Introduction to Remanufacturing and Reverse Logistics

Introduction to Remanufacturing and Reverse Logistics

Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4908-8.ch001
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This chapter introduces the background knowledge of the main targeted problem considered in this book (i.e., remanufacturing and its associated reverse logistics). The chapter starts with an introduction about the role of remanufacturing in environment protection. Then, the related studies dealing with the remanufacturing are outlined in the background section, which is followed by a discussion about the work dedicated to the reverse logistics. Finally, the conclusion drawn in the last section closes this chapter.
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In 2011, governments from 194 countries, business representatives and non-government organizations attended the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference which was held in Durban, South Africa from 28 November to 06 December. Since the international treaty of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) came into force in 1995, 2011 marks its 17th year. As part of the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, created binding targets for the richer nations of the world to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as CO2 by 5.2% from the levels measured in 1990. Among various sources of GHG emissions, manufacturing sector has been identified by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as one of the main sectors that contributes a significant portion of GHG emitted globally (Zhang et al., 2012). In general manufacturing produces GHG emissions directly through onsite use of fossil fuels, as well as indirectly through resource and energy consumption to support product operations (Sutherland, Adler, Haapala, & Kumar, 2008). Therefore in order to reduce the GHG emissions, the sustainable manufacturing alternatives should be introduced and encouraged on a world-wide scale.

Recently, Ijomah (2008) claimed that remanufacturing can reduce the production of GHG due to it limits raw materials production and the subsequent activities such as machining and shipping that for most products produce the highest CO2 emissions. In the realm of sustainable manufacturing, remanufacturing is often interpreted as a premier eco-efficiency portfolio since it can, through a broad set of reprocessing activities, reclaim economic and ecological value of a used or end-of-life product which was added in during its original manufacturing stage (Güngör & Gupta, 1999; Thierry, Salomon, Nunen, & Wassenhove, 1995). According to one of the famous reviews conducted by Lund (1996), the remanufacturing industry segment in the U.S. includes more than 70,000 firms, directly employing nearly a half million and generating over $53 billion in sales annually. Moreover, researchers (Giuntini & Gaudette, 2003; Toffel, 2004) also remarked that “remanufacturing offers tremendous untapped opportunities for American businesses”, such as reduce production cost, meet customer demand, enhance brand image, and protect after market. Some examples of remanufacturing apply to tires (Ferrer, 1997b; Lebreton & Tuma, 2006; Sasikumar, Kannan, & Haq, 2010), gasoline engines (Östlin & Svensson, 2005; Sahni, Boustani, Gutowski, & Graves, 2010; Seitz, 2007; Seitz & Wells, 2006; Subramanian, 2010; Tang, Grubbström, & Zanoni, 2007), toner cartridges (Östlin & Ekholm, 2007; Taylor, 2002), single use cameras (Grant & Banomyong, 2010), home appliances (H.-J. Kim, Ciupek, Buchholz, & Seliger, 2006; Sundin, 2001; Sundin & Bras, 2005), machinery (Cao, Du, & Chen, 2011; M. Ferguson, Guide, Koca, & Souza, 2006; King, Miemczyk, & Bufton, 2006; Klausner, 1998; Maslennnikova & Foley, 2000; Tan & Kumar, 2006), cellular phones (Franke, Basdere, Ciupek, & Seliger, 2006; Geyer & Blass, 2010; Guide, Neeraj, Newmann, & Wassenhove, 2005; Guide, Teunter, & Wassenhove, 2003; Seliger, Skerlos, Basdere, & Zettl, 2003), and electrical equipments (Ferrer, 1997a; Quariguasi-Frota-Neto & Bloemhof, 2012; Spengler & Schröter, 2003).

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