Remanufacturing: A model for products with physical and technological obsolescence

Kwak Minjung, Kim Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


For a successful remanufacturing, it is important to ensure in advance that a product is suitable for remanufacturing and that a remanufactured product will provide greater economic and environmental value than a brand-new product. This paper provides an approach to estimate the economic and environmental advantages of remanufacturing. Focusing on the fact that advantages are greatly influenced by the nature of a product, i.e., its design and lifetime characteristics, as well as the timing of remanufacturing, this paper proposes a model for assessing the time-varying advantages of remanufacturing. The model provides an objective, quantitative method to compare a remanufactured product with an equivalent brand-new version from three perspectives: unit production cost, environmental impact, and net profit. It also defines a set of conditions under which a remanufactured product will be more profitable than a brand-new product. The model is expected to help remanufacturers make informed and effective decisions concerning product design and remanufacturing strategies. To illustrate, the developed model is demonstrated with an example of a desktop computer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
Issue numberDS 80-04
StatePublished - 2015
Event20th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2015 - Milan, Italy
Duration: Jul 27 2015Jul 30 2015


  • Design for X (DFX)
  • Ecodesign
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation


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