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Research Papers

Effective Age of Remanufactured Products: An Entropy Approach

[+] Author and Article Information
Vijitashwa Pandey

Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 104 South Mathews Avenue, 117 Transportation Building, Urbana, IL 61801vpandey2@illinois.edu

Deborah Thurston

Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 104 South Mathews Avenue, 117 Transportation Building, Urbana, IL 61801thurston@illinois.edu

The failure modes were chosen for demonstration purposes. Failure of, for example, the power supply can be perceived as the failure of the computer by most people. The critical and noncritical components were defined based on one of the authors’ experience. An example to support this choice could be the failure of battery in an automobile. Even though it would result in the automobile not being able to run, most people would not consider it a failure as it is easily replaceable.

J. Mech. Des 131(3), 031008 (Feb 20, 2009) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3042146 History: Received November 30, 2007; Revised November 10, 2008; Published February 20, 2009

Product take-back and remanufacturing systems are difficult to implement cost effectively. One contributing factor is the complex nature of the inter-relationships among components of a product. Modeling of these relationships helps determine the product’s overall performance as a function of the performances of individual components. Reliability, a commonly used measure of performance, is a good measure of the physical failure rate, but it does not always reflect value degradation as experienced by customers or experts. As a result, it is difficult to define the effective performance of remanufactured products when some components are reused while others are not. Legislated take-back mandates across the world increasingly make it necessary to understand this perceived performance. In this paper we propose a method for combining customers’/experts’ assessments of value degradation using the maximum entropy principle. This value degradation information is then coupled with the components’ failure rate information. A method for modeling performance of a product that is comprised of components of different ages is presented. Overall performance is measured in units of time (effective age) by aligning with that of a product that has never been disassembled. We demonstrate the approach using a personal computer as example.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

An example of multiple value degradation curves as potentially provided by customers/experts

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Figure 2

Finding the maximum entropy value degradation curve using a taut-string distribution based on upper and lower bounds of distributions in Fig. 1

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Figure 3

Maximum entropy value degradation curve calculations using sets of three anchor points for VDFs elicited from customers/experts

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Figure 4

Critical and noncritical components and failure mode assumed for the computer

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Figure 5

The maximum entropy reliability curve for the personal computer (RMEPS curve) when all components are the same age

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Figure 6

Variation in effective product age as the age of hard drive and sound card are changed individually. Ages of other components are kept constant at 3 years.

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Figure 7

Different components have different ages within a product, same component across products can also have different ages

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Figure 8

Normal plot of the effective age of the computer showing that it approaches a normal distribution

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