Computational Intelligence in Used Products Retrieval and Reproduction

Computational Intelligence in Used Products Retrieval and Reproduction

Wen-Jing Gao (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa), Bo Xing (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa) and Tshilidzi Marwala (Department of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 47
DOI: 10.4018/jsir.2013010104
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Abstract

Remanufacturing has become a superior option for product recovery management system. It mainly consists of three stages: retrieval, reproduction, and redistribution. So far, many different approaches have been followed in order to improve the efficiency of a remanufacturing process. However, as the complexity increases, the use of computational intelligence (CI) in those problems is becoming a unique tool of imperative value. In this paper, different CI methods, such as artificial neural network (ANN), ant colony optimization (ACO), biogeography-based optimization (BBO), cuckoo search (CS) and fuzzy logic (FL), are utilized to solve the problems involved in retrieval and reproduction stages for remanufacturing. The key issues in implementing the proposed approaches are discussed, and finally the applicability of the proposed methods are illustrated through different examples.
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2. Background Knowledge

A remanufacturing process is typical composed of three stages: retrieval, reproduction, and redistribution. Since there are many questions need to be answered before a redistribution decision (i.e., selling remanufactured products again to customers) can be reached, in this paper, we only pay our attentions to several activities involved at retrieval and reproduction stages.

2.1. Retrieval

In remanufacturing environment, one of the major issues is the retrieval of the target items (i.e., used products in this research) (Guide & Jayaraman, 2000). It is indeed the first activity, and triggers the other activities involved in a remanufacturing process. As argued in Langella (2007), without used products being successfully collected, a remanufacturer would have nothing to remanufacturing. In general, retrieval refers to all operations rendering used products available and physically moving them to some point where further treatment is taken care of (Fleischmann et al., 2000). Used products collection, transportation, consolidation, transshipment, and storage are several common examples found at retrieval stage (Blanc, 2006). Therefore managing these operations potentially accounts for a significant part of the total costs and as a key factor in the overall performance of any remanufacturing process and its associated reverse supply chain (Fleischmann, 2001). And thus planning ahead in order to make remanufacturing profitable and in the meantime compliant with applicable laws and regulations is always suggested (Güngör & Gupta, 1999).

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