Implementing Flow Processing with Product End of Life Remanufacturing
This research focuses on improving the remanufacturing process efficiency by estimating the workstation utilization through identifying percentage of %Blocking and %Waiting on individual workstations within a remanufacturing flow line. It attempts to achieve this aim such that improved use of methods to overcome the effect of variability can be employed. Extensive literature review revealed the requirement of strategies to recover End of Life products due to the introduction and implementation of legislative directives demanding manufacturers to recover the End of Life resources. Upon analyzing the range of product recovery strategies, End of Life product remanufacturing has emerged as an appropriate and suitable strategy to be used since it extends the operational life of existing products without the need for the new resources required when making products. Remanufacturing is a process in which a product is disassembled to component level. Each of the components will be thoroughly examined for defects. Upon identifying defects, they will either be repaired or components will be replaced. This process in turn increases the product life span. However, remanufacturing is not widely used process applied into various industry sectors due to the fact that it is labour intensive and expensive process compared to new products. Although remanufacturing process is in infancy where small number of industry such as Automotive and Aerospace are deriving benefit from it by making effective use of remanufacturing. Ideally, the suitable manufacturing methods i.e. flow processing system, should be used to remanufacture products. However when flow processing is deployed, it is found that there are a number of factors affecting the process that if not tackled, will result in poor performance and poor efficiency of the overall remanufacturing system. This inefficiency is primarily due to the number of sources of variation found in terms of supply, product design, parts specification, operation and demand variability. Further investigation led to the characterizing the remanufacturing variability and identified ways the effect of this variability can be removed or reduced using Lean principles e.g. Single Minute Exchange of Dies and use of an appropriate manufacturing system. Based on the information revised in literature and experimental design, novel equations were developed along with a set of rules that accurately measures the workstation utilization in terms of %Blocking and %Waiting on individual workstation.
- PhD