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What makes cleaning a costly operation in remanufacturing

Gamage, J.R. and Ijomah, W.L. and Windmill, J. (2015) What makes cleaning a costly operation in remanufacturing. In: Proceedings, 11th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing. Technical University of Berlin, Berlin, pp. 219-223. ISBN 9783798326095

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Abstract

Product remanufacturing is a widely accepted product reuse strategy in most industries due to its unique advantage of retaining a greater portion of added value in the initial manufacturing stage. Remanufacturing involves a sequence of operations including disassembly, cleaning, inspection, parts replacement, reassembly and testing. Previous research has shown that the cost of cleaning is only second to the cost of parts replacement. The objective of this study is to illustrate the significance of the cleaning operation in automotive remanufacturing and to identify the factors influencing the cost of the cleaning process. Case studies on four UK remanufacturers, three automotive and one copier, were carried out. Seven key factors causing high cleaning costs were identified and categorised under two dimensions. These are the technical nature of the products and processes of cleaning and the business nature of the remanufacturer.