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Technical Brief

A design method to improve end-of-use product recyclability for circular economy

[+] Author and Article Information
Liang Cong

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

Fu Zhao

School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University 585 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088, USA; Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University 500 Central Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2022, USA
fzhao@purdue.edu

John Sutherland

Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University 500 Central Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2022, USA
jwsuther@purdue.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041574 History: Received April 08, 2018; Revised September 10, 2018

Abstract

The product end-of-use stage is the key to circulating materials and components into a new life cycle rather than direct disposal. Low economic return of end-of-use value recovery is a major barrier to overcome. To address the problem, a design method to facilitate end-of-use products value recovery is proposed. Firstly, product end-of-use scenarios are determined by optimization of end-of-use components flows. The end-of-use scenario depicts what modules (groups of components) will be allocated for reuse, recycling or disposal, the order of joint detachment (the joints for modules connection), and the end-of-use options for each module. Secondly, in the given study, bottleneck, improvement opportunities and design suggestions will be identified and provided following the end-of-use scenario analysis. Pareto analysis is used for ranking joints, according to their detachment cost, and for indicating what joints are the most suitable for replacement. Analytic hierarchy process is employed to choose 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 valued based recycling indicator is developed to measure recyclability of the modules and evaluate design suggestions for material selection. Lastly, 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.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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