Simultaneous selective disassembly and end-of-life decision making for multiple products that share disassembly operations

Sara Behdad, Minjung Kwak, Harrison Kim, Deborah Thurston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Environmental protection legislation, consumer interest in "green" products, a trend toward corporate responsibility and recognition of the potential profitability of salvaging operations, has resulted in increased interest in product take back. However, the cost effectiveness of product take-back operations is hampered by many factors, including the high cost of disassembly and a widely varying feedstock of dissimilar products. Two types of decisions must be made, how to carry out the disassembly process in the most efficient manner to "mine" the value-added that is still embedded in the product, and then how to best utilize that value-added once it is recovered. This paper presents a method for making those decisions. The concept of a transition matrix is integrated with mixed integer linear programming to determine the extent to which products should be disassembled and simultaneously determine the optimal end-of-life (EOL) strategy for each resultant component or subassembly. The main contribution of this paper is the simultaneous consideration of selective disassembly, multiple products, and the value added that remains in each component or subassembly. Shared disassembly operations and capacity limits are considered. An example using two cell phone products illustrates application of the model. The obtained results demonstrate the most economical level of disassembly for each cell phone and the best EOL options for each resultant module. In addition, the cell phone example shows that sharing disassembly operations between different products makes disassembly more cost effective compared with the case in which each product is disassembled separately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410021-410029
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design - Transactions of the ASME
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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