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Application of active disassembly to extend profitable remanufacturing in small electrical and electronic products

Ijomah, Winifred and Chiodo, J.D. (2010) Application of active disassembly to extend profitable remanufacturing in small electrical and electronic products. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 3 (4). 246 - 257. ISSN 1939-7038

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Abstract

Alternative production approaches are required because of conventional manufacturing's adverse environmental impacts. Remanufacturing returns used products to at least original performance specification from customers' perspectives and gives the resultant products warranties at least equal to that of new equivalents. Remanufacturing is relatively novel in research terms compared to conventional manufacture and recycling but often is more profitable than both. It would help manufacturers address competitive, environmental and legislative pressures by enabling them to meet pressing waste legislation while producing high-quality, lower cost products with less environmentally damaging end-of-life (EoL) and manufacturing modes. Remanufacturing is highly profitable in large, complex mechanical and electromechanical products but with conventional manufacturing and design modes not so in smaller products; particularly fast moving ones. However, effective waste management is urgently required for such products because waste electrical and electronic equipment constitutes the fastest growing EU waste stream and a large percentage of products being produced by major developing economies such as China are of this type. Active disassembly (AD) enables product non-destructive, self-disassembly at EoL and was invented to facilitate a step-change improvement in recycling. This research investigated the use of AD to extend profitable remanufacturing into small EoL electrical and electronic products.