Varying lifecycle lengths within a product take-back portfolio

Yuan Zhao, Vijitashwa Pandey, Harrison Hyung Min Kim, Deborah L Thurston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Product take-back and reuse is sometimes at odds with the rapidly evolving desires of some customers. For other customers, the environmental benefits of reuse more than compensate for minor drawbacks. "Selling a service" (rather than a product) through leasing enables the manufacturer to control the timing and quality of product take-back but current methods assume a fixed leasing period. What is needed is a method for fine tuning the time span of customers' life cycles in order to provide each market segment the combination of features it most desires. This paper presents a new method for performing long range product planning so that the manufacturer can determine optimal take-back times, end-of-life design decisions, and number of lifecycles. The method first determines a Pareto optimal frontier over price, environmental impact and reliability using a genetic algorithm. Then, a multiattribute utility function is employed to maximize utility across different segments of the market and also across different lifecycles within each segment. Post-optimal studies help determine feasibility ofcomponent redesign in addition to parts consolidation. The proposed method is illustrated through an example involving personal computers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)910121-9101210
Number of pages8191090
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Varying lifecycle lengths within a product take-back portfolio'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this