Optimal Acquisition and Sorting Policies for Remanufacturing





The condition of the used items acquired by remanufacturers is often highly variable, and sorting is an important aspect of remanufacturing operations. Sorting policies—the rules specifying which used products should be remanufactured and which should be scrapped—have received limited attention in the literature. In this paper, we examine the case of a remanufacturer who acquires unsorted used products as needed from third party brokers. As more used items are acquired for a given demand, the remanufacturer can be more selective when sorting. Thus, two related decisions are made: how many used items to acquire, and how selective to be during the sorting process. We derive optimal acquisition and sorting policies in the presence of used product condition variability for a remanufacturer facing both deterministic and uncertain demand. We show the existence of a single optimal acquisition and sorting policy with a simple structure and show that this policy is independent of production amount when acquisition costs are linear.