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  • 1.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Lean Remanufacturing: addressing system challenges2015In: Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Environmental Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing (Eco-Design -15), 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim with remanufacturing is emphasized through delivering same or better than original product quality and prolonging physical product performance. However, remanufacturing faces challenges related to complex material and information flows. Therefore in order to sustain competitive some remanufacturers investigate opportunity to improve through lean production.

    The aim with this paper is to define remanufacturing challenges from a system perspective and investigate how these challenges can be addressed by lean production principles. Data is collected via focus group interviews at three remanufacturing companies. In addition, a literature study on lean principles and practices to deal with the identified challenges was conducted.

    The lean principles in remanufacturing: value, value stream, flow, pull and perfection are described and five remanufacturing system challenges: uncertainty, complexity, variability, inflexibility, lean waste were defined. As a result, a generic lean approach to deal with remanufacturing system challenges is developed with a focus on pull-based remanufacturing.

  • 2.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Lean Remanufacturing: Reducing Process Lead Time2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Remanufacturing is a product recovery option in which used products are brought back into useful life. While the remanufacturing industry stretches from heavy machinery to automotive parts, furniture, and IT sectors, it faces challenges. A majority of these challenges originate from the remanufacturing characteristics of having little control over the core (the used product or its part), high product variation, low product volumes, and a high proportion of manual work, when compared to manufacturing. Some remanufacturing challenges appear to be process challenges that prolong process lead time, making remanufacturing process inefficient.

    Lean is an improvement strategy with roots in the manufacturing industry. Lean helps to increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and improve company’s performance in delivery, quality, inventory, morale, safety, and other areas. Lean encompasses principles, tools and practices to deal with e.g. inefficient processes and long process lead times. Therefore, in this thesis lean has been selected as an improvement strategy to deal with long remanufacturing process lead times.

    The objective of this thesis is to expand knowledge on how lean can reduce remanufacturing process lead time. This objective is approached through literature studies and a case study conducted at four remanufacturing companies. There are five challenges that contribute to long process lead time: unpredictable core quality, quantity, and timing; weak collaboration, information exchange, and miscommunication; high inventory levels; unknown number of required operations in process and process sequence; and insufficient employee skills for process and product upgrade. When analysing the case companies’ process lead times it was found that there is a need to reduce waiting times, which account for 95 to 99 per cent of process lead times at three of the four companies.

    To improve remanufacturing process efficiency and reduce remanufacturing process lead time six lean practices are suggested: product families; kanban; layout for continuous flow; cross functional teams; standard operating procedures; and supplier partnerships. The suggested lean practices have a key focus on reducing waiting time since it prolongs the process lead time. This thesis contributes to lean remanufacturing research with the case study findings on lean practices to reduce remanufacturing process lead time and increase process efficiency.

    List of papers
    1. Challenges and Opportunities of Lean Remanufacturing
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges and Opportunities of Lean Remanufacturing
    2014 (English)In: International Journal of Automation Technology, ISSN 1881-7629, E-ISSN 1883-8022, Vol. 8, no 5, p. 644-652Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Lean philosophy, which promotes business excellence through continuous improvement, originates from the Japanese car manufacturer, Toyota’s Production System (TPS). An area where lean has not been fully explored is remanufacturing, a process that brings used products back to useful life. Remanufacturing is often a more complex process than manufacturing due to the uncertainty of process steps/time and part quality/quantity. This study explored remanufacturing by identifying its challenges and opportunities in becoming lean. The challenges of a lean remanufacturing system do not exceed its advantages. Although some researchers state that it is difficult or even impossible to apply lean principles to remanufacturing, this research utilizes lean as a continuous improvement philosophy that focuses on improving the remanufactured products’ quality, process lead times, and inventory levels. 

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Fuji Technology Press, 2014
    Keywords
    lean, remanufacturing, product life cycle, continuous improvement
    National Category
    Other Civil Engineering
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120764 (URN)
    Projects
    ÅterProdukt, KEAP
    Funder
    VINNOVA
    Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
    2. Minimum Time for Material and Information Flows Analysis at a Forklift Truck Remanufacturer
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Minimum Time for Material and Information Flows Analysis at a Forklift Truck Remanufacturer
    2014 (English)In: Proceedings of Sixth Swedish Production Symposium (SPS14), 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Material and information flows are often complex at remanufacturing companies. Minimum time for Material and Information Flows Analysis (MiniMifa) is a data collection workshop in which material and information flows’ challenges and improvement opportunities are investigated. By carrying the idea of Value Stream Mapping (VSM), MiniMifa turns to an act of cartography of industrial processes. After the workshop, companies have a holistic view of their processes, the current “pains” - challenges, and possible “painkillers” – improvement ideas, including lean-inspired solutions.

    This paper demonstrates a pilot MiniMifa at a forklift truck remanufacturer where a potential improvement in e.g. lead time reduction by 93% was discovered.

    Keywords
    Remanufacturing, Lean, Material and Information Flows, Data collection workshop, Process map
    National Category
    Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118270 (URN)
    Conference
    Sixth Swedish Production Symposium (SPS14), September 16-18, 2014, Gothenburg, Sweden
    Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-25 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
    3. Toward Pull Remanufacturing: A Case Study on Material and Information Flow Uncertainties at a German Engine Remanufacturer
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Toward Pull Remanufacturing: A Case Study on Material and Information Flow Uncertainties at a German Engine Remanufacturer
    2015 (English)In: Procedia CIRP, ISSN 2212-8271, E-ISSN 2212-8271, Vol. 26, p. 270-275Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract Together with reuse and material recycling, remanufacturing has emerged as a sustainable approach for used products. Remanufacturing is more complex than manufacturing, due to the uncertainties in material and information flows inside the remanufacturing facility and along the product life-cycle. Therefore, some remanufacturers intend to use lean production principles and philosophies to deal with this complexity and to improve their operations. The aim of this paper is to identify reasons for possible material and information flow uncertainties and develop lean-inspired solution at a German engine remanufacturer. The empirical data were collected via a Material and Information Flow Analysis workshop. The reasons for missing, late, defective and non-available spare parts as well as disrupted, uneven, chaotic and inaccessible information flows are identified. Finally, a lean pull Kanban reordering system is suggested and recognized to be a proper solution to remanufacturing complexity.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Elsevier, 2015
    Keywords
    Remanufacturing, Product life-cycle, Lean, Pull, Kanban
    National Category
    Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118272 (URN)10.1016/j.procir.2014.07.187 (DOI)000360931800048 ()
    Conference
    12th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing - Emerging Potentials, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, 22–24 September 2014
    Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-25 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
    4. Remanufacturing lead time reduction through a Just-in-time Lean strategy: a case study on Laptops
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Remanufacturing lead time reduction through a Just-in-time Lean strategy: a case study on Laptops
    2017 (English)In: Proceedings of 3rd International Conference onRemanufacturing (ICOR17), 2017, p. 47-56Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The annual accumulation of electronic equipment waste, including IT, in the European Union reached at least nine million tons in 2015. These products usually have a limited lifespan, and many consumers tend to buy new devices before their old ones stop working.

    Remanufacturing is one of the effective ways to contribute to IT waste reduction. Product life extension through remanufacturing gives the product one or several more users throughout its life cycle. When remanufacturing is applied to laptops, the extraction of virgin materials, the energy consumption for manufacturing and the amount of waste are all reduced. However, today many remanufacturers of IT face challenges associated with inefficient and complex processes due to uncertainties in core timing, volume and quality. Lean remanufacturing is typically treated as an operations improvement strategy that deals with the process challenges. Just-in-time is one of the lean strategies to address inefficient, long and stochastic operations. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to investigate how just-in-time can help to reduce remanufacturing process lead time, and consequently increase process efficiency.

    The data was collected through a focus group interview and a simplified Value Stream Mapping lean method at an IT remanufacturing company. The company’s remanufacturing process is assessed regarding process lead time and efficiency. Based on the case company's process challenges, the following possible just-in-time solutions were developed for remanufacturers: cellular layout, distinct product family flows and Kanban reordering system.

    Keywords
    Recovering, Laptops, Lean, Just-in-time solutions, Process efficiency
    National Category
    Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-142345 (URN)
    Conference
    3rd International Conference on Remanufacturing ICOR-17, Linköping, Sweden, October 24-26, 2017
    Available from: 2017-10-27 Created: 2017-10-27 Last updated: 2019-04-02Bibliographically approved
    5. Lean improvements in remanufacturing: solving information flow challenges
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lean improvements in remanufacturing: solving information flow challenges
    2017 (English)In: QMOD proceedings, 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - One efficient way to prolong the functional life of used products is remanufacturing. Compared to manufacturing, remanufacturing is a complex industrial process due to among other things high product variability, low production volumes and uncertain quality of returned used products. Remanufacturers are dependent on product information from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), but that information is often not shared. Remanufacturers struggle to access or develop lacking product information and need a strategy to address information flow challenges. Lean could be a suitable strategy to improve the information flow. Therefore, the purpose of the paper is to identify and suggest Lean improvements to address remanufacturer’s information flow challenges.

    Methodology/Approach - Based on a case study of a filling machine remanufacturer, this paper discusses the information flow challenges and Lean-based solutions. The data was collected through a three-hour focus group interview combined with a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) method with the participation of seven company employees representing sales, logistics, quality, maintenance and production departments.

    Findings - Two key information flow challenges were identified at the company: a lack of available product data and miscommunication with the OEM, and poor internal information sharing. The analysis of the identified challenges and improvement ideas created a platform for developing Lean-based solutions:1) developing standard operations through instruction checklists and kitting areas;2) boosting supplier and customer relations through six best partnering practices; and3) developing people and teams through teamwork and training.

    Originality/Value of paper – All industries have their own specific challenges and development needs. This paper focuses on information flow challenges in remanufacturing. Original product information is often not shared, even when the remanufacturer has a contract with the OEM. Only few remanufacturers work with Lean today, but Lean could be a strategy to address the information flow challenges. This paper contributes to the knowledge on how Lean could be applied in the remanufacturing context.

    Keywords
    Lean remanufacturing, Information flow, Challenges, Improvements
    National Category
    Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-142344 (URN)
    Conference
    20th QMOD conference, Copenhagen/Elsinore, Denmark and Helsingborg, Sweden, 5-7 August, 2017
    Available from: 2017-10-27 Created: 2017-10-27 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
    6. Towards facilitating circular product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards facilitating circular product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing
    2015 (English)In: Procedia CIRP, ISSN 2212-8271, E-ISSN 2212-8271, Vol. 29, p. 780-785Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    In order to achieve a sustainable development, circular economy approaches and circular material flows are explored in industry. However, circular information flows remain essentially unestablished. The aim of this paper is to: 1) explore categories and types of product life-cycle information available for remanufacturing; 2) identify constraints for efficient product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing; and 3) propose initiatives to facilitate product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing.

    Data was collected through workshops and interviews at five remanufacturing companies. An accumulated Sankey diagram illustrates product life-cycle information flow, losses and bottleneck. Based on the analysis, possible initiatives to facilitate efficient product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing are presented.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Elsevier, 2015
    Keywords
    Remanufacturing; Product life-cycle stackeholder; Feedback; Feed forward; Sankey diagram
    National Category
    Other Civil Engineering
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120761 (URN)10.1016/j.procir.2015.02.162 (DOI)000356146100132 ()
    Conference
    22nd CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE), Univ New S Wales, Sydney, AUSTRALIA, April 7-9, 2015
    Projects
    Återprodukt, KEAP2
    Funder
    VINNOVA
    Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
    7. Remanufacturing challenges and possible lean improvements
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Remanufacturing challenges and possible lean improvements
    2018 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 172, p. 3225-3236Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Remanufacturing is a viable way to prolong the useful life of an end-of-use product or its parts. Despite its economic, environmental, and social benefits, remanufacturing is associated with many challenges related to core (used product or its part) availability, timing and quality. The aim of this paper is to study how lean production could be used to tackle remanufacturing process challenges and contribute to shorter lead times. To meet this aim, we conducted a literature review and case studies of four remanufacturing companies. The case companies remanufacturing challenges were: (1) a lack of material requirements planning system, (2) poor core information, (3) a lack of core material, (4) poor spare parts information, (5) a lack of spare parts material, (6) insufficient quality management practices, (7) large inventories, (8) stochastic remanufacturing processes, (9) a lack of supply-demand balance, and (10) insufficient automation. These challenges contribute to long and variable remanufacturing process lead times. To tackle remanufacturing challenges, seven lean-based improvements with a major effect on improvements in lead time were suggested: standard operations, continuous flow, Kanban, teamwork, employee cross-training, layout for continuous flow, and supplier partnership. Providing that the suggested improvements are implemented, a possible lead time reduction of 83-99 per cent was projected. 

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2018
    Keywords
    Remanufacturing; Circular economy; Lean production; Lead time
    National Category
    Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-144880 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.11.023 (DOI)000423002500020 ()
    Note

    Funding Agencies|Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems [2013-03333]

    Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-05-17
  • 3.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Lindkvist, Louise
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Sundin, Erik
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Towards facilitating circular product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing2015In: Procedia CIRP, ISSN 2212-8271, E-ISSN 2212-8271, Vol. 29, p. 780-785Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to achieve a sustainable development, circular economy approaches and circular material flows are explored in industry. However, circular information flows remain essentially unestablished. The aim of this paper is to: 1) explore categories and types of product life-cycle information available for remanufacturing; 2) identify constraints for efficient product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing; and 3) propose initiatives to facilitate product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing.

    Data was collected through workshops and interviews at five remanufacturing companies. An accumulated Sankey diagram illustrates product life-cycle information flow, losses and bottleneck. Based on the analysis, possible initiatives to facilitate efficient product life-cycle information flow via remanufacturing are presented.

  • 4.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Sundin, Erik
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Challenges and Opportunities of Lean Remanufacturing2014In: International Journal of Automation Technology, ISSN 1881-7629, E-ISSN 1883-8022, Vol. 8, no 5, p. 644-652Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Lean philosophy, which promotes business excellence through continuous improvement, originates from the Japanese car manufacturer, Toyota’s Production System (TPS). An area where lean has not been fully explored is remanufacturing, a process that brings used products back to useful life. Remanufacturing is often a more complex process than manufacturing due to the uncertainty of process steps/time and part quality/quantity. This study explored remanufacturing by identifying its challenges and opportunities in becoming lean. The challenges of a lean remanufacturing system do not exceed its advantages. Although some researchers state that it is difficult or even impossible to apply lean principles to remanufacturing, this research utilizes lean as a continuous improvement philosophy that focuses on improving the remanufactured products’ quality, process lead times, and inventory levels. 

  • 5.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Sundin, Erik
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Minimum Time for Material and Information Flows Analysis at a Forklift Truck Remanufacturer2014In: Proceedings of Sixth Swedish Production Symposium (SPS14), 2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Material and information flows are often complex at remanufacturing companies. Minimum time for Material and Information Flows Analysis (MiniMifa) is a data collection workshop in which material and information flows’ challenges and improvement opportunities are investigated. By carrying the idea of Value Stream Mapping (VSM), MiniMifa turns to an act of cartography of industrial processes. After the workshop, companies have a holistic view of their processes, the current “pains” - challenges, and possible “painkillers” – improvement ideas, including lean-inspired solutions.

    This paper demonstrates a pilot MiniMifa at a forklift truck remanufacturer where a potential improvement in e.g. lead time reduction by 93% was discovered.

  • 6.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Sundin, Erik
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    MINIMUM TIME FOR MATERIAL AND INFORMATION FLOWS ANALYSIS (MINIMIFA): A METHOD TO IDENTIFY CHALLENGES AND IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES2014In: Proceedings of Sixth Swedish Production Symposium (SPS14), Götegorg, Sweden, September 16-18; 2014, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Material and information flows are often complex at remanufacturing companies. Minimum time for Material and Information Flows Analysis (MiniMifa) is a data collection workshop in which material and information flows’ challenges and improvement opportunities are investigated. By carrying the idea of Value Stream Mapping (VSM), MiniMifa turns to an act of cartography of industrial processes. After the workshop, companies have a holistic view of their processes, the current “pains” - challenges, and possible “painkillers” – improvement ideas, including lean-inspired solutions.

    This paper demonstrates a pilot MiniMifa at a forklift truck remanufacturer where a potential improvement in e.g. lead time reduction by 93% was discovered.

  • 7.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Sundin, Erik
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Remanufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities to be Lean2013In: Proceedings of EcoDesign 2013 International Symposium, 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The lean philosophy, which denotes business excellence through continuous improvement, originates from Japanese car manufacturer Toyota’s Production System (TPS). An area where lean is not fully explored is remanufacturing, a business that brings used products back to useful life. Remanufacturing is often a more complex process than manufacturing due to uncertainty of process steps/time and part quality/quantity.This paper has explored remanufacturing by revealing its challenges and opportunities to be lean. The identified challenges to work with lean do not overcome the advantages of a lean remanufacturing system. Even though some researches state that it is difficult or even impossible to apply lean to remanufacturing, this research recovers lean as a continuous improvement philosophy that not only works for manufacturing but also for remanufacturing.

  • 8.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Sundin, Erik
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Remanufacturing lead time reduction through a Just-in-time Lean strategy: a case study on Laptops2017In: Proceedings of 3rd International Conference onRemanufacturing (ICOR17), 2017, p. 47-56Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The annual accumulation of electronic equipment waste, including IT, in the European Union reached at least nine million tons in 2015. These products usually have a limited lifespan, and many consumers tend to buy new devices before their old ones stop working.

    Remanufacturing is one of the effective ways to contribute to IT waste reduction. Product life extension through remanufacturing gives the product one or several more users throughout its life cycle. When remanufacturing is applied to laptops, the extraction of virgin materials, the energy consumption for manufacturing and the amount of waste are all reduced. However, today many remanufacturers of IT face challenges associated with inefficient and complex processes due to uncertainties in core timing, volume and quality. Lean remanufacturing is typically treated as an operations improvement strategy that deals with the process challenges. Just-in-time is one of the lean strategies to address inefficient, long and stochastic operations. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to investigate how just-in-time can help to reduce remanufacturing process lead time, and consequently increase process efficiency.

    The data was collected through a focus group interview and a simplified Value Stream Mapping lean method at an IT remanufacturing company. The company’s remanufacturing process is assessed regarding process lead time and efficiency. Based on the case company's process challenges, the following possible just-in-time solutions were developed for remanufacturers: cellular layout, distinct product family flows and Kanban reordering system.

  • 9.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Sundin, Erik
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Toward Pull Remanufacturing: A Case Study on Material and Information Flow Uncertainties at a German Engine Remanufacturer2015In: Procedia CIRP, ISSN 2212-8271, E-ISSN 2212-8271, Vol. 26, p. 270-275Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract Together with reuse and material recycling, remanufacturing has emerged as a sustainable approach for used products. Remanufacturing is more complex than manufacturing, due to the uncertainties in material and information flows inside the remanufacturing facility and along the product life-cycle. Therefore, some remanufacturers intend to use lean production principles and philosophies to deal with this complexity and to improve their operations. The aim of this paper is to identify reasons for possible material and information flow uncertainties and develop lean-inspired solution at a German engine remanufacturer. The empirical data were collected via a Material and Information Flow Analysis workshop. The reasons for missing, late, defective and non-available spare parts as well as disrupted, uneven, chaotic and inaccessible information flows are identified. Finally, a lean pull Kanban reordering system is suggested and recognized to be a proper solution to remanufacturing complexity.

  • 10.
    Kurilova-Palisaitiene, Jelena
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Sundin, Erik
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Poksińska, Bonnie
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Logistics & Quality Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Lean improvements in remanufacturing: solving information flow challenges2017In: QMOD proceedings, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - One efficient way to prolong the functional life of used products is remanufacturing. Compared to manufacturing, remanufacturing is a complex industrial process due to among other things high product variability, low production volumes and uncertain quality of returned used products. Remanufacturers are dependent on product information from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), but that information is often not shared. Remanufacturers struggle to access or develop lacking product information and need a strategy to address information flow challenges. Lean could be a suitable strategy to improve the information flow. Therefore, the purpose of the paper is to identify and suggest Lean improvements to address remanufacturer’s information flow challenges.

    Methodology/Approach - Based on a case study of a filling machine remanufacturer, this paper discusses the information flow challenges and Lean-based solutions. The data was collected through a three-hour focus group interview combined with a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) method with the participation of seven company employees representing sales, logistics, quality, maintenance and production departments.

    Findings - Two key information flow challenges were identified at the company: a lack of available product data and miscommunication with the OEM, and poor internal information sharing. The analysis of the identified challenges and improvement ideas created a platform for developing Lean-based solutions:1) developing standard operations through instruction checklists and kitting areas;2) boosting supplier and customer relations through six best partnering practices; and3) developing people and teams through teamwork and training.

    Originality/Value of paper – All industries have their own specific challenges and development needs. This paper focuses on information flow challenges in remanufacturing. Original product information is often not shared, even when the remanufacturer has a contract with the OEM. Only few remanufacturers work with Lean today, but Lean could be a strategy to address the information flow challenges. This paper contributes to the knowledge on how Lean could be applied in the remanufacturing context.

  • 11.
    Kurilova-Pališaitienė, Jelena
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Toward Lean Remanufacturing: Challenges and Improvements in Material and Information Flows2015Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Remanufacturing is an environmentally sound material recovery option which is essential to compete for sustainable manufacturing. The aim with remanufacturing at a majority of companies is to prolong physical product performance by delivering the same or betterthan-original product quality. In general, remanufacturing is an industrial process that brings used products back to useful life by requiring less effort than is demanded by the initial production process. Consequently, from a product life-cycle perspective, remanufacturing generates great product value.

    Remanufacturers lag behind manufacturers since they often face complex and unpredictable material and information flows. Based on a review of remanufacturing research, remanufacturing challenges in material and information flows can be classified into three groups: insufficient product quality, long and unstable process lead times, and an unpredictable level of inventory. While some remanufacturing researchers state that manufacturing and remanufacturing are significantly different, they have more in common than many other processes operations. Therefore, to sustain competitive remanufacturing, companies investigate an opportunity for improvement through the employment of lean production that generates significant benefits for manufacturers.

    In order to investigate the potential to address remanufacturing challenges by lean production, a Minimum time for material and information flow analysis (MiniMifa) method was developed. This method originates from the value stream mapping (VSM) method, broadly practiced to bring lean to manufacturing companies. The focus of MiniMifa was to collect empirical data on the identified groups of remanufacturing challenges from the remanufacturing perspective, and to provide a basis for the development of improvements originating from lean principles.

    Lean production was selected for this research due to its system perspective on material and information flows. Among the defined lean principles in remanufacturing, a pull principle was investigated at the case companies. The suggested principle demonstrated a reduction in lead time, followed by improvements in inventory level and product quality. However, in order to become lean, remanufacturers have to overcome three levels of lean remanufacturing challenges: external and internal challenges as well as lean wastes.

    Finally, this research reduces the gap between academia and industry by contributing with a possible solution to the identified remanufacturing challenges in material and information flows.

    List of papers
    1. Minimum Time for Material and Information Flows Analysis at a Forklift Truck Remanufacturer
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Minimum Time for Material and Information Flows Analysis at a Forklift Truck Remanufacturer
    2014 (English)In: Proceedings of Sixth Swedish Production Symposium (SPS14), 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Material and information flows are often complex at remanufacturing companies. Minimum time for Material and Information Flows Analysis (MiniMifa) is a data collection workshop in which material and information flows’ challenges and improvement opportunities are investigated. By carrying the idea of Value Stream Mapping (VSM), MiniMifa turns to an act of cartography of industrial processes. After the workshop, companies have a holistic view of their processes, the current “pains” - challenges, and possible “painkillers” – improvement ideas, including lean-inspired solutions.

    This paper demonstrates a pilot MiniMifa at a forklift truck remanufacturer where a potential improvement in e.g. lead time reduction by 93% was discovered.

    Keywords
    Remanufacturing, Lean, Material and Information Flows, Data collection workshop, Process map
    National Category
    Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118270 (URN)
    Conference
    Sixth Swedish Production Symposium (SPS14), September 16-18, 2014, Gothenburg, Sweden
    Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-25 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
    2. Toward Pull Remanufacturing: A Case Study on Material and Information Flow Uncertainties at a German Engine Remanufacturer
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Toward Pull Remanufacturing: A Case Study on Material and Information Flow Uncertainties at a German Engine Remanufacturer
    2015 (English)In: Procedia CIRP, ISSN 2212-8271, E-ISSN 2212-8271, Vol. 26, p. 270-275Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract Together with reuse and material recycling, remanufacturing has emerged as a sustainable approach for used products. Remanufacturing is more complex than manufacturing, due to the uncertainties in material and information flows inside the remanufacturing facility and along the product life-cycle. Therefore, some remanufacturers intend to use lean production principles and philosophies to deal with this complexity and to improve their operations. The aim of this paper is to identify reasons for possible material and information flow uncertainties and develop lean-inspired solution at a German engine remanufacturer. The empirical data were collected via a Material and Information Flow Analysis workshop. The reasons for missing, late, defective and non-available spare parts as well as disrupted, uneven, chaotic and inaccessible information flows are identified. Finally, a lean pull Kanban reordering system is suggested and recognized to be a proper solution to remanufacturing complexity.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Elsevier, 2015
    Keywords
    Remanufacturing, Product life-cycle, Lean, Pull, Kanban
    National Category
    Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118272 (URN)10.1016/j.procir.2014.07.187 (DOI)000360931800048 ()
    Conference
    12th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing - Emerging Potentials, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, 22–24 September 2014
    Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-25 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
    3. Challenges and Opportunities of Lean Remanufacturing
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges and Opportunities of Lean Remanufacturing
    2014 (English)In: International Journal of Automation Technology, ISSN 1881-7629, E-ISSN 1883-8022, Vol. 8, no 5, p. 644-652Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Lean philosophy, which promotes business excellence through continuous improvement, originates from the Japanese car manufacturer, Toyota’s Production System (TPS). An area where lean has not been fully explored is remanufacturing, a process that brings used products back to useful life. Remanufacturing is often a more complex process than manufacturing due to the uncertainty of process steps/time and part quality/quantity. This study explored remanufacturing by identifying its challenges and opportunities in becoming lean. The challenges of a lean remanufacturing system do not exceed its advantages. Although some researchers state that it is difficult or even impossible to apply lean principles to remanufacturing, this research utilizes lean as a continuous improvement philosophy that focuses on improving the remanufactured products’ quality, process lead times, and inventory levels. 

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Fuji Technology Press, 2014
    Keywords
    lean, remanufacturing, product life cycle, continuous improvement
    National Category
    Other Civil Engineering
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120764 (URN)
    Projects
    ÅterProdukt, KEAP
    Funder
    VINNOVA
    Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
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