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Design for remanufacture : a literature review and future research needs

Hatcher, G. D. and Ijomah, W. L. and Windmill, J. F. C. (2011) Design for remanufacture : a literature review and future research needs. Journal of Cleaner Production, 19 (17-18). pp. 2004-2014. ISSN 0959-6526

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Abstract

‘Design for Remanufacture’ or DfRem, is an area of remanufacturing research that has received relatively high levels of interest in recent years, due to the recognition that a product’s design may have a high impact on remanufacturing efficiency. However, the overall volume of literature dedicated to DfRem is low and there is still much to learn about the subject. The purpose of this literature review is to collate the current body of literature and establish a contemporary understanding of DfRem through analysing the trends, agreements and conflicts of opinion in the field. Much of the DfRem literature to date is focused upon the investigation of remanufacturing problems associated with product design, and the subsequent development of design methods and tools, either specifically developed to aid DfRem or as adaptations of existing design methods. These methods and tools vary in purpose and intended use but all largely remain within the academic realm to date. Within the literature there is widespread agreement that any approach to DfRem must consider both product and process, yet the ‘design for X’ definition of the task continues to spark debate. The key problems and issues that future DfRem research should address have been identified in this paper, from both within the literature and from the current gaps in the literature. Some key recommendations for future research include the need for ‘lifecycle thinking’ within design method development and the need for greater exploration into the organisational factors affecting DfRem integration into the design process, from the perspectives of the OEM and designer.