M.S. Thesis Presentation by Mark William McIntosh
Thursday, May 28, 1998

(Dr. Bert Bras, advisor)

"Modeling the Value of Remanufacture in an Integrated Manufacturing-Remanufacturing Organization"

Abstract

As a result of today’s competitive marketplace, an emerging trend is the rapid development of product families that share common platforms or modules across models yet which are easily adapted as requirements change through the variation of other modules or components. At the same time, there is a growing international pressure on manufacturers to reclaim used products for utilization in new production. However, in order for society to reuse more products, industry must integrate remanufacturing capabilities into existing manufacturing organizations. While the trend toward rapid innovation may seem to threaten remanufacturing efforts, the rise of product families presents an opportunity for remanufacturing since a key aspect of product families is the stability of component designs across product variety and evolution.

The goal in this research is to allow "designed-in" remanufacturing capabilities to permit remanufacturing where it is not currently implemented. In order to accomplish this, the following tasks will be performed. Remanufacturing organizations will be studied and classified in order to provide a better understanding of remanufacturing organizations and issues. A model will be developed to assess remanufacturing feasibility based not only on product design characteristics but also on product family management strategies over time.

The model will be applied to an industrial case study involving a single use camera producer.

The result will be an improved understanding of how remanufacturing organizations can make better product design, product development, and production decisions over time. This will enable the reuse of high-value components despite the evolution of products as new technologies and consumer demands arise.