MIXED ASSEMBLY AND DISASSEMBLY OPERATIONS FOR REMANUFACTURING

Authors

  • MICHAEL E. KETZENBERG,

    1. College of Business, Colorado State University, 222 Rockwell Hall, Fort Collins, Colorado
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      Michael E. Ketzenberg is an assistant professor of operations management in the College of Business at Colorado State University. Dr. Ketzenberg earned his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include remanufacturing, supply chain management, and value of information. His work has appeared in several journals, including Production and Operations Management, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Operations Management, and International Journal of Production Economics.

  • GILVAN C. SOUZA,

    1. The Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742-1815
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      Gilvan C. Souza is an assistant professor of management science in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Dr. Souza earned his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include remanufacturing, management of technology, and supply chain management. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Production and Operations Management, Management Science, European Journal of Operational Research, and International Journal of Production Research.

  • V. DANIEL R. GUIDE JR.

    1. Smeal College of Business Administration, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
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      V. Daniel R. Guide, Jr. joined the faculty in the Department of Supply Chain & Information Systems in the Smeal College of Business Administration, The Pennsylvania State University in the fall of 2002. He was a visiting research scholar at INSEAD from 2001“2003. Professor Guide's research is focused on the development and control of closed-loop supply chains, time-based models for commercial product returns, remanufacturing, and industrial ecology. His research has appeared in numerous academic and managerial journals, including Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Harvard Business Review, Interfaces, and this journal. Professor Guide's research has been supported by grants from the Carnegie Bosch Institute and the National Science Foundation. He also regularly works and consults with global organizations (including the U.S. Navy, HewlettPackard, Robert Bosch Tool Company, and Lucent) on a variety of supply chain problems.


Abstract

In this paper we consider the problem of designing a mixed assembly-disassembly line for remanufacturing. That is, parts from the disassembly and repair of used products can be used to build “new” products. This is a problem common to many OEM remanufacturers, such as Xerox or Kodak. We study two main configurations, under the assumption that the disassembly sequence is exactly the reverse of the assembly sequence. Under a parallel configuration, there exist two separate dedicated lines, one for assembly and one for disassembly, which are decoupled by buffers—from both disassembly operations, which have preference, as well as parts from an outside, perfectly reliable supplier. Under a mixed configuration, the same station is used for both disassembly and assembly of a specific part. The problem is studied using GI/G/c networks, as well as simulation. Due to a loss of pooling, we conclude that the parallel configuration outperforms the mixed line only when the variability of both arrivals and processing time are significantly higher for disassembly and remanufacturing than for assembly. Via a simulation, we explore the impact of having advanced yield information for the remanufacturing parts. We find that advanced yield information generally improves flow times; however, there are some instances where it lengthens flow times.

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