Disassembly line balancing.
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Disassembly line balancing.

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  • Abstract:
    Manufacturers are increasingly recycling and remanufacturing their postconsumed

    products due to new, more rigid environmental legislation,

    increased public awareness, and extended manufacturer responsibility. In

    addition, the economic attractiveness of reusing products, subassemblies or

    parts instead of disposing off them has further fueled this effort. Recycling is a process performed to retrieve the material content of used and nonfunctioning

    products. Remanufacturing, however, is an industrial process in which

    worn-out products are restored to like-new conditions. Thus, remanufacturing

    provides the quality standards of new products with used parts.

    Product recovery seeks to obtain materials and parts from old or outdated

    products through recycling and remanufacturing to minimize the amount of

    waste sent to landfi lls. This includes the reuse of parts and products. There

    are many attributes of a product that enhance product recovery; examples

    include: ease of disassembly, modularity, type and compatibility of materials

    used, material identifi cation markings, and effi cient cross-industrial

    reuse of common parts/materials. The fi rst crucial step of product recovery

    is disassembly.

    Disassembly is defi ned as the methodical extraction of valuable parts/

    subassemblies and materials from discarded products through a series of

    operations. After disassembly, reusable parts/subassemblies are cleaned,

    refurbished, tested, and directed to the part/subassembly inventory for

    remanufacturing operations. The recyclable materials can be sold to rawmaterial

    suppliers, while the residuals are sent to landfi lls.

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