Mixed assembly and disassembly operations for remanufacturing

Michael E. Ketzenberg, Gilvan C. Souza, V. Daniel R. Guide

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


In this paper we consider the problem of designing a mixed assembly-disassembly line for remanufacturing. That is, parts from the disassembly and repair of used products can be used to build "new" products. This is a problem common to many OEM remanufacturers, such as Xerox or Kodak. We study two main configurations, under the assumption that the disassembly sequence is exactly the reverse of the assembly sequence. Under a parallel configuration, there exist two separate dedicated lines, one for assembly and one for disassembly, which are decoupled by buffers - from both disassembly operations, which have preference, as well as parts from an outside, perfectly reliable supplier. Under a mixed configuration, the same station is used for both disassembly and assembly of a specific part. The problem is studied using GI/G/c networks, as well as simulation. Due to a loss of pooling, we conclude that the parallel configuration outperforms the mixed line only when the variability of both arrivals and processing time are significantly higher for disassembly and remanufacturing than for assembly. Via a simulation, we explore the impact of having advanced yield information for the remanufacturing parts. We find that advanced yield information generally improves flow times; however, there are some instances where it lengthens flow times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-335
Number of pages16
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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