Technical Brief

A Design Method to Improve End-of-Use Product Value Recovery for Circular Economy

[+] Author and Article Information
Liang Cong

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
585 Purdue Mall,
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088
e-mail: lcong@purdue.edu

Fu Zhao

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
585 Purdue Mall,
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088;
Environmental and Ecological Engineering,
Purdue University,
500 Central Drive,
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2022

John W. Sutherland

Environmental and Ecological Engineering,
Purdue University,
500 Central Drive,
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2022

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design for Manufacturing Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received April 8, 2018; final manuscript received September 10, 2018; published online January 11, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Gul E. Okudan Kremer.

J. Mech. Des 141(4), 044502 (Jan 11, 2019) (10 pages) Paper No: MD-18-1298; doi: 10.1115/1.4041574 History: Received April 08, 2018; Revised September 10, 2018

Circular economy (CE) is being increasingly accepted as a promising sustainable business model, supporting waste minimization through product life cycles. The product end-of-use (EOU) stage is the key to circulate materials and components into a new life cycle, rather than direct disposal. The economic viability of recycling EOU products is significantly affected by designers' decisions and largely determined during product design. Low economic return of EOU value recovery is a major barrier to overcome. To address this issue, a design method to facilitate EOU product value recovery is proposed. First, product EOU scenarios are determined by optimization of EOU component flows. The EOU scenario depicts which modules (groups of components) will be allocated for reuse, recycling, or disposal, the order of joint detachment (the joints for modules connection), and recovery profit. Second, in the given study, bottlenecks, improvement opportunities, and design suggestions will be identified and provided following the EOU scenario analysis. Pareto analysis is used for ranking joints, according to their detachment cost and for indicating which joints are the most suitable for replacement. An analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is employed to select the best joint candidate with trade-off among criteria from the perspective of disassembly. In addition, disposal and recycling modules are checked to eliminate hazardous material and increase material compatibility. A value-based recycling indicator is developed to measure recyclability of the modules and evaluate design suggestions for material selection. Finally, based on heuristics, the most valuable and reusable modules will be selected for reconfiguration so that they can be easily accessed and disassembled. A hard disk drive is used as a case study to illustrate the method.

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Fig. 1

Flowchart of design method for ease of value recovery

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Fig. 2

An example of product, and transition and succession matrices

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Fig. 3

Flow of the decision-making process for EOU scenarios

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Fig. 4

Rules of selecting components for product reconfiguration

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Fig. 5

Main components in a HDD

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Fig. 6

Design structure matrix of the HDD

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Fig. 7

HDD EOU modules and disassembly sequence

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Fig. 8

Cumulative revenue, cost and profit of disassembly

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Fig. 9

Pareto analysis of disassembly operation cost

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Fig. 10

Coating in the components–A&H

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Fig. 11

Pareto analysis based on revenue of EOU modules

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Fig. 12

Pareto analysis based on ratio of revenue to disassembly cost

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Fig. 13

Spindle motor (G) attached to the frame (H)

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Fig. 14

A new proposed HDD design



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