Impact of generational commonality of short life cycle products in manufacturing and remanufacturing processes

Jinju Kim, Harrison M. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Short life cycle products are frequently replaced and discarded, even though they are resource-intensive products. Technological advances and rapid changes in demand have led manufacturers to develop their innovative next-generation products quickly, which not only enables multiple generations to coexist in the market but also speeds up the technological obsolescence of products. Diversity of collected end-of-life (EoL) and rapid technological obsolescence make the effective recovery of EoL products difficult. The low utilization rate of EoL products causes serious environmental problems such as e-waste and waste of natural resources. To deal with the conflict between the technical evolution of products and the promotion of social benefits in solving environmental problems, this paper focuses on the impact of generational commonality effects on the overall production process including manufacturing and remanufacturing. Generational commonality leads to an increase in the efficiency of manufacturing due to reducing related costs. Additionally, from the remanufacturing perspective, the interchangeability between generations can help collect the EoL products needed for remanufacturing. On the other hand, it causes a weakening of the level of performance and technology evolution between generations that significantly affect the demand for short life cycle products. Therefore, this study identifies these trade-offs of generational commonality levels in both manufacturing and remanufacturing based on a quantitative approach. This study finds how different pricing strategies, production plans, and recovery costs are based on the designs of a new generation with a different degree of generational commonality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122001
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Life cycle analysis and design
  • Product family design
  • Sustainable design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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