IJAT Vol.8 No.5 pp. 644-652
doi: 10.20965/ijat.2014.p0644


Challenges and Opportunities of Lean Remanufacturing

Jelena Kurilova-Palisaitiene and Erik Sundin

Division of Manufacturing Engineering, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, SE-58381, Linköping, Sweden

March 31, 2014
August 4, 2014
September 5, 2014
lean, remanufacturing, product life cycle, continuous improvement

Lean philosophy, which promotes business excellence through continuous improvement, originates from the Japanese car manufacturer, Toyota’s Production System (TPS). An area where lean has not been fully explored is remanufacturing, a process that brings used products back to useful life. Remanufacturing is often a more complex process than manufacturing due to the uncertainty of process steps/time and part quality/quantity. This study explored remanufacturing by identifying its challenges and opportunities in becoming lean. The challenges of a lean remanufacturing system do not exceed its advantages. Although some researchers state that it is difficult or even impossible to apply lean principles to remanufacturing, this research utilizes lean as a continuous improvement philosophy that focuses on improving the remanufactured products’ quality, process lead times, and inventory levels.

Cite this article as:
J. Kurilova-Palisaitiene and E. Sundin, “Challenges and Opportunities of Lean Remanufacturing,” Int. J. Automation Technol., Vol.8, No.5, pp. 644-652, 2014.
Data files:
  1. [1] N. Modig and P. Åhlström, “This is Lean – resolving the efficiency paradox,” Rheologica Publishing, Stockholm, 2012.
  2. [2] J. Womack and D. T. Jones, “Lean Thinking,” Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996.
  3. [3] E. Sundin, “How can Remanufacturing Processes become Leaner?” Proc. of 13th CIRP Int. Conf. on Life Cycle Engineering, Leuven, Belgium, May 31 – Jun. 02, pp. 429-434, 2006.
  4. [4] E. Sundin and H. M. Lee, “In what way is remanufacturing good for the environment?” Proc. of the 7th Int. Symp. on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing (EcoDesign-11) Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, Kyoto, Japan, pp. 551-556, 2011.
  5. [5] J. Östlin, E. Sundin, and M. Björkman, “Business Drivers for Remanufacturing,” the Proc. of 15th CIRP Int. Conf. on Life Cycle Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 17-19 Mar., pp. 581-586, 2008.
  6. [6] R. Hammond, T. Amezquita, and B. Bras, “Issues in the Automotive Parts Remanufacturing Industry – A Discussion of Results from Surveys Performed among Remanufacturers,” Systems Realization Laboratory, The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA, pp. 1-24, 1996.
  7. [7] V. D. R. Guide Jr., “Production planning and control for remanufacturing: Industry practice and research needs,” J. of Operations Management, Vol.18, Issue 4, pp. 467-483, 2000.
  8. [8] P. Lundmark, E. Sundin, and M. Björkman, “Industrial Challenges within the Remanufacturing System,” Proc. of Swedish Production Symp., Dec. 2-3, Göteborg, Sweden, pp. 132-138, 2009.
  9. [9] A. E. E. Van Nunen Jo and R. A. Zuidwijk, “E-Enabled Closed-Loop Supply Chains,” California management review, Vol.46, No.2, pp. 40-54, 2004.
  10. [10] M. A. Seitz and K. Peattie, “Meeting the Closed-Loop Challenge: The Case of Remanufacturing,” California management review, Vol.46, No.2, pp. 74-89, 2004.
  11. [11] L. Lindkvist and E. Sundin, “The Use of Product Life-Cycle Information in a Value Chain including Remanufacturing, Reengineering Manufacturing for Sustainability,” Proc. of the 20th CIRP Int. Conf. on Life Cycle Engineering, Singapore, 17-19 Apr., pp. 621-626, 2013.
  12. [12] R. Steinhilper, “Remanufacturing – The ultimate form of recycling,” Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, Stuttgart, 1998.
  13. [13] J. Östlin, E. Sundin, and M. Björkman, “Product Life-cycle Implications for Remanufacturing Strategies,” J. of Cleaner Production, Vol.17, Issue 11, pp. 999-1009, 2009.
  14. [14] Inmar Reverse Logistics, “Special Report on Automotive Aftermarket Reverse Logistics Opportunities,” Mema Information Services Council, Inmar, Winston-Salem, USA, 2009.
  15. [15] J. Kurilova-Palisaitiene and E. Sundin, “Remanufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities to be Lean,” Proc. of 8th Int. Symp. on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing (EcoDesign 2013), Jeju Island, South Korea, Dec. 4-6, pp. 2013.
  16. [16] H. Hiraoka and A. Tanaka, “Simulator for Reuse of Mechanical Parts with Network Agents,” Int. J. of Automation Technology, Vol.3, No.1, 2009.
  17. [17] S. Lind, D. Olsson, and E. Sundin, “Exploring inter-organizational relationships in automotive component remanufacturing,” J. of Remanufacturing, Vol.4, No. 5, 2014.
  18. [18] S. Dowlatshahi, “A strategic framework for the design and implementation of remanufacturing operations in reverse logistics,” Int. J. of Production Research, Vol.43, Issue 6, pp. 3455-3480, 2005.
  19. [19] T. Amezquita, R. Hammond, and B. A. Bras, “Issues in the Automotive Parts Remanufacturing Industry: Discussion of Results from Surveys Performed among Remanufacturers,” Int. J. of Engineering Design and Automation – Special Issue on Environmentally Conscious Design and Management, Vol.4, 1, pp. 27-46, 1998.
  20. [20] J. T. Mentzer, W. DeWitt, J. S. Keebler, M. Soonhoong, N. W. Nix, C. D. Smith, and Z. G. Zacharia, “Definition of Supply Chain management,” J. of Business Logistics, Vol.22, Issue 2, pp. 21-26, 2001.
  21. [21] B. Ashenbaum, “Designing the supply chain for production and after market needs,” Critical Issues report, CAPS: Center for Strategic Supply Research, 2006.
  22. [22] M. M. Davis and J. Heineke, “Operations Management – Integrating Manufacturing and Services,” McGraw Hill, New York, 2005.
  23. [23] J. Olhager, “Produktionsekonomi,” Studentlitteratur, Lund, Sweden, 2000.
  24. [24] Y. Umeda, S. Kondoh, and S. Takashi, “Proposal of “Marginal Reuse Rate” for Evaluating Reusability of Products,” Int. Conf. on Engineering Design, Melbourne, Aug. 15-18, 2005.
  25. [25] A. Atasu and L. N. Van Wassenhove, “Outsourcing Remanufacturing under Finite Life Cycles: Operational and Tactical Issues,” ZfBSpecial Issue 3, pp. 77-94, 2005.
  26. [26] A. Phelan, J. Griffiths, and S. Fisher, “Pushing Worldwide Aftermarket Support of Manufactured Goods,” Managing Service Quality, Vol.10, Issue 3, pp. 170-177, 2000.
  27. [27] V. D. R. Guide Jr., “Production economics – Scheduling with priority dispatching rules and drum-buffer-rope in a recoverable manufacturing system,” Int. J. of Production Economics, Vol.53, pp. 101-116, 1997.
  28. [28] E. Pawlik, W. Ijomah, and J. Corney, “Current State and Future Perspective Research on Lean Remanufacturing – Focusing on the Automotive Industry,” IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, Vol.397, pp. 429-436, 2013.
  29. [29] J. S.W. Jr. Fargher, “Lean Manufacturing and Remanufacturing implementation tools,” Missouri Enterprise, University of Missouri, Rolla, MO, 2006.
  30. [30] F. R. Jacobs and R. H. Chase, “Operations and supply management – the core,” McGraw Hill, Boston, 2001.
  31. [31] J. Östlin and H. Ekholm, “Lean production Principles in Remanufacturing – A Case Study at a Toner Cartridge Remanufacturing,” Proc. of IEEE Int. Symp. on Electronics and the Environment, Orlando, USA, May 7-10, 2007.
  32. [32] S. L. Hunter and T. J. Black, “Lean Remanufacturing: a cellular case study,” J. of Advanced Manufacturing Systems, Vol.6, No.2, pp. 129-144, 2007.
  33. [33] R. J. Kucner, “A Socio-technical study of lean manufacturing deployment in the remanufacturing context,” Dissertation, The University of Michigan, 2008.
  34. [34] T. Kanikula and T. Koch, “Methodology of Designing Disassembly and Reassembly Processes Using Lean Thinking Approach,” Advances in Production Management Systems New Challenges, New Approaches, pp. 11-18, 2011.
  35. [35] P. Hines, M. Holweg, and N. Rich, “Learning to evolve: A review of contemporary lean thinking,” Int. J. of Operations & Production Management, Vol.24, 10, pp. 994-1011, 2004.
  36. [36] K. Inderfurth, “Impact of uncertainties on recovery behavior in a remanufacturing environment: A numerical analysis,” Int. J. of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Vol.35, 5, pp. 318-336, 2005.
  37. [37] V. D. R. Jr. Guide, V. Jayaraman, and J. D. Linton, “Building contingency planning for closed-loop supply chains with product recovery,” J. of operations management, Vol.21, Issue 3, pp. 259-279, 2003.
  38. [38] N. Slack, “The flexibility of manufacturing systems,” Int. J. of Operations & Production Management, Vol.25, 12, pp. 1190-1200, 2005.
  39. [39] C. Bai and J. Sarkis, “Flexibility in reverse logistics: a framework and evaluation approach,” J. of Cleaner Production, Vol.47, pp. 306-318, 2013.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, IE9,10,11, Opera.

Last updated on Nov. 08, 2019