Methodology to Apply Design for Remanufacturing in Product Development

Methodology to Apply Design for Remanufacturing in Product Development

Karina Cecilia Arredondo-Soto, Rosa María Reyes-Martínez, Jaime Sánchez-Leal, Jorge De la Riva Rodríguez
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5234-5.ch019
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This chapter discusses the definitions of environmental design, design for remanufacturing (DfR), as well as a case study to demonstrate the convergent point between these topics. Many products that are currently remanufactured were not designed with this objective, generating a complicated process that requires that the manufacturing engineers develop in a corrective way, modifications in the original design of the products related to its components and the process. The case study analyzes a product that was not originally designed as remanufacturable. The decision was made to develop a reconstruction process that fulfilled the characteristics of remanufacturing. Finally, in applying the DfR, it was possible to expedite the remanufacturing so that material planners do not fear to run out of good parts and have to order the purchase of new product, decrease the use of assembly details that are purchased at a high price, and thus save on the cost of remanufacturing. Analyzing this case and applying DfR implied a savings of 37% compared to the initial process that did not apply this tool.
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The design of a product directly influences the way a value chain will be managed; the product innovation starts with the design phase and requires the development of generations with greater advantages: it is necessary to modify subsequent generations in order to facilitate the assembly processes, meet functional requirements, reduce costs and offer a more competitive product due to the high quality involved. Until a few years ago, when designing a product, logical thinking was to favor a design that would facilitate the manufacturing process, thus creating the DMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly). However, the inclusion of new industrial standards such as ISO 14000 and OSHAS 18000 added to the interest of companies to incorporate a sustainable vision has led to the association of innovative concepts to the DMA, emphasizing Green Design or Ecodesign, as well as others approaching to Design for EoL (End-of-Life), strategies among which the Design for Remanufacturing stands out.

Once a product is designed it goes through the life cycle stages as shown in figure 1. In the last phase the product final disposal is made, for this purpose, there are different options such as those included in figure 2. These options recover part of the value of the product previously considered as waste. The remanufacturing is evaluated as the most complete option under the concept of saving everything that can be recovered, by preserving the original geometry of the components, assuring the customer the resulting product meets the design specifications and therefore with the functional requirements, in addition, it offers a guarantee of quality of a new product to a lower price. And is that few concepts integrate so many desirable and attractive topics in one such as this, for example new business opportunities, high return on investment, job creation, technology development, green industry, low prices and sustainable manufacturing.

Figure 1.

Life cycle stages

Figure 2.

End of life strategies


The remanufacturing process includes initial inspection, disassembly of components, cleaning of components, assembly (this phase includes machining operations, reconstruction of parts and change of critical components by new ones) and final test (Guide, 2000; Hatcher, Ijomah, & Windmill, 2014). Therefore, it is not only important the easy to assemble the product, but also facilitate the process of disassembly. It is necessary to reduce the time of disassembly and generate the least possible damage to the components, which implies a more efficient process. At this regard, Design for Remanufacturing has been addressed from the following approaches:

  • Design for Disassembly (DfD).

  • End-of-Life Decision Making in product design (EoLDM).

  • Environmental Design (Design for Environment), which has been treated indistinctly to Eco-design or Green Design (GD) in the context of remanufacturing.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM): An OEM is the original manufacturer of products who designed and proposed the specifications, subsequently participates in reverse logistics activities to obtain end-of-life products and remanufacture them.

Design for Remanufacturing (DfR): DfR is a design activity focused on managing the factors involved in remanufacturing related to product design. Its objective is to overcome the technical barriers to apply the remanufacturing process.

Materials Induced (MI): The amount of material induced to the remanufacturing process.

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DMA): It is a set of tools to ease the assembly process. Some considerations include ensuring minimizing the number of jigs and fixtures, reduction in the number and variety of cutting tools, minimization of tolerance stack up, and assembly mismatch.

Material Metric Discarded (MMD): The amount (in monetary terms) of the material discarded during the remanufacturing process.

Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG): AIAG is a not-for-profit association where auto industry members collaborate to develop common global standards for quality.

Product Development: In the context of an OEM remanufacturing its own products, it is a process of generating recovery operations on products were not originally designed to be remanufactured, resulting in new product generations; it is used synonymously with DfR.

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