Special section: New Problem Formulations for Design Under Uncertainty

End-of-Life Decision Making With Uncertain Product Return Quantity

[+] Author and Article Information
Sara Behdad, Aida Sefic Williams

Deborah Thurston1

Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering Department,  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, CAthurston@illinois.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Mech. Des 134(10), 100902 (Sep 28, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007394 History: Received January 14, 2012; Revised July 26, 2012; Published September 21, 2012; Online September 28, 2012

The management of end-of-life electronic waste (e-waste) attracts significant attention due to environmental concerns, legislative requirements, consumer interest in green products, and the market image of manufacturers. However, managing e-waste is complicated by several factors, including the high degree of uncertainty of quantity, timing of arrival, and quality of the returned products. This variability in the stream of returned end-of-life (EOL) products makes it difficult to plan for remanufacturing facility materials, equipment, and human resource requirements. The aim of this research is to tackle the uncertainty associated with the quantity of received used products. A stochastic programming model for waste stream acquisition systems (as opposed to market-driven systems) is introduced. The model considers the quantity of returned product as an uncertain parameter and determines to what extent the product should be disassembled and what is the best EOL option for each subassembly. The stochastic model is defined in a form of chance constrained programming and is then converted to a mixed integer linear programming. An example is provided to illustrate the application of the model for an uncertain stream of PCs (minus monitor and keyboard) received in a PC refurbishing company. The remanufacturer must then decide which proportion of disassembled modules should be processed given specific remanufacturing options.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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