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Green profit design for lifecycle

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Title: Green profit design for lifecycle
Author(s): Kwak, Minjung
Director of Research: Kim, Harrison M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Kim, Harrison M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Thurston, Deborah L.; Chhajed, Dilip; Ouyang, Yanfeng; Finamore, Peter
Department / Program: Industrial&Enterprise Sys Eng
Discipline: Industrial Engineering
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): End-of-life recovery Remanufacturing Sustainable design Lifecycle assessment (LCA)
Abstract: “Green Profit” refers to economic profits generated by an environmentally sustainable business. As awareness of sustainability increases and environmental regulations become more stringent, manufacturers are faced with the challenge of making a green profit in their businesses. Recovering end-of-life products after customer use is a promising solution to this challenge. Various recovery options, including reuse, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and material recovery, can make it possible for companies to comply with environmental legislation and also gain social and economic benefits. This dissertation presents a design approach, referred to as “Green Profit Design,” to help maximize green profits from end-of-life recovery of products. Green Profit Design is a Design for Recovery approach that facilitates green and profitable end-of-life recovery of products by establishing a clear link between product design and end-of-life recovery. Product design features, including product architecture, functional performance, and material properties, greatly affect the economic and environmental performances of end-of-life recovery. Therefore, the most important factors in achieving green profit are an understanding of how design decisions affect actual end-of-life recovery and understanding the economic and environmental implications of the design. The Design for Recovery methods introduced in this dissertation evaluate product design from a recovery perspective and provide a quantitative assessment of how good or how bad a product design is in terms of both recovery profit and environmental impact. The methods can be utilized for either design improvement or design selection. An original contribution of this dissertation is that it provides the foundation for integrating the different perspectives on end-of-life recovery of different domains, i.e., design engineering, environmental engineering, and business. Another important contribution is its thorough coverage of recovery processes. In addition to technical and operational issues, the methods in this dissertation also cover the recovery processes at the front end (i.e., product take-back and reverse logistics) and the back end (i.e., remarketing of recovered items) and suggest an advanced approach for coordinating and managing the entire process more effectively. This dissertation presents two empirical studies, four Design for Recovery methods, and three extended studies on further refinement of the four methods. Using statistical analyses, the empirical studies investigate the challenges that the Design for Recovery approach must overcome. The current industry practice of electronics recovery is examined to gain a better understanding of the design issues associated with end-of-life recovery. The Design for Recovery methods focus on evaluating the design of the original product from a recovery perspective. The first three methods consider the case in which the second-life products recovered from the end-of-life products have a pre-defined design. Optimization models for evaluating a single product and for evaluating the design of a family of products are presented, and the effects of product obsolescence and deterioration at the time of end-of-life recovery are also analyzed. The fourth method is focused more on how to remarket end-of-life products, and it provides the advanced tools required for market positioning to optimize the design and the price of a second-life product. The three extended studies focus on environmental implications of end-of-life recovery and discuss appropriate timing utilizing recovery principles. End-of-life recovery is basically a strategy for extending the life of a product by reusing, refurbishing, or remanufacturing that product. The studies demonstrate that an extended lifetime may not always be environmentally sustainable, and that shortening the lifetime may actually be better in some cases. To help decide on the optimal lifetime strategy for a given product, lifecycle assessment (LCA) approaches for a large-scale system are discussed, and an analytical model is proposed for planning optimal lifetime of a given product based on the LCA approach.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34247
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Minjung Kwak
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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