Product resynthesis: Knowledge discovery of the value of end-of-life assemblies and subassemblies

Sung Woo Kang, Chinmay Sane, Nitish Vasudevan, Conrad S. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The trends of increasing waste and comparatively low growth of waste treatment methodologies have created the need for better utilization of the products we deem unfit for use. The options available for utilizing end-of-life (EOL) products are currently restricted to reusing, recycling, remanufacturing, and permanent disposal. In this work, the authors propose a new EOL option called resynthesis that utilizes existing waste from EOL products in a novel way through the synthesis of assemblies/subassemblies across multiple domains (i.e., consumer electronics, health care, automotive, etc.). The resynthesis of assemblies/subassemblies is achieved by quantifying their similarities (form and function) across multiple domains. A mixed-integer linear model is developed to determine the optimal EOL strategy for each component/subassembly. As a means of verifying the EOL decision, the value of the "new" resynthesized product is compared with the value that would be derived if the individual subassemblies were reused, remanufactured, recycled, or disposed. A case study involving an electronic mouse is used to validate the proposed methodology and to demonstrate its practicality as an alternate enterprise level EOL option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011004
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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