Design for a Closed-Loop Supply Chain System With Sensor-Embedded Refrigerators

Design for a Closed-Loop Supply Chain System With Sensor-Embedded Refrigerators

Mehmet Talha Dulman (Northeastern University, USA) and Surendra M. Gupta (Northeastern University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8109-3.ch001


This chapter presents a methodology to evaluate the benefit of using sensors in closed-loop supply chains. Sensors can be embedded into products to collect helpful information during their use and end-of-life (EOL) phases. This information can subsequently be employed to estimate the remaining lives of components and products and to ensure that proper maintenance is provided to avoid premature failures. The information is also useful in determining the quality of the components and products when planning EOL operations such as disassembly, inspection, and remanufacturing. To statistically illustrate these benefits, discrete event simulation is employed to a case study consisting of regular and sensor-embedded refrigerator systems. A design of experiments study is then employed where experiments are run to compare the two systems. The results reveal that the sensor-embedded systems perform much better than the regular systems in terms of disassembly costs, inspection costs, and EOL profits generated by selling the remanufactured products and components.
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Literature Review

This section presents a literature review of the studies conducted on remanufacturing, maintenance and sensor-embedded products. Several survey papers (Gungor & Gupta, 1999; Ilgin & Gupta, 2010a; Ilgin et al. 2015) were consulted during the literature review to acquire an in-depth understanding of environmentally conscious manufacturing and product recovery. Gupta and Ilgin (2018) published a book to cover multi-criteria decision making application in environmentally conscious manufacturing and product recovery.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Disassembly: Deconstructing a product into its components.

Sensor-Embedded Products: Products that have sensors embedded into them while they are being manufactured.

Closed-Loop Supply Chain: Covering all of the supply chain operations including both forward and reverse supply chain.

End-of-Life: Stage that product is not being used by customer.

Remanufacturing: Building products by using their used components.

Maintenance: Providing service to ensure that product is working during its life cycle.

Inspection: Process of determining product’s condition.

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