Immersive computing technology to investigate tradeoffs under uncertainty in disassembly sequence planning

Sara Behdad, Leif Berg, Judy Vance, Deborah Thurston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The scientific and industrial communities have begun investigating the possibility of making product recovery economically viable. Disassembly sequence planning may be used to make end-of-life product take-back processes more cost effective. Much of the research involving disassembly sequence planning relies on mathematical optimization models. These models often require input data that is unavailable or can only be approximated with high uncertainty. In addition, there are few mathematical models that include consideration of the potential of product damage during disassembly operations. The emergence of Immersive Computing Technologies (ICT) enables designers to evaluate products without the need for physical prototypes. Utilizing unique 3D user interfaces, designers can investigate a multitude of potential disassembly operations without resorting to disassembly of actual products. The information obtained through immersive simulation can be used to determine the optimum disassembly sequence. The aim of this work is to apply a decision analytical approach in combination with immersive computing technology to optimize the disassembly sequence while considering trade-offs between two conflicting attributes: disassembly cost and damage estimation during disassembly operations. A wooden Burr puzzle is used as an example product test case. Immersive human computer interaction is used to determine input values for key variables in the mathematical model. The results demonstrate that the use of dynamic programming algorithms coupled with virtual disassembly simulation is an effective method for evaluating multiple attributes in disassembly sequence planning. This paper presents a decision analytical approach, combined with immersive computing techniques, to optimize the disassembly sequence. Future work will concentrate on creating better methods of estimating damage in virtual disassembly environments and using the immersive technology to further explore the feasible design space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number071001
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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