Rapid innovations in technology lead customers to frequently upgrade to new products. Their current products, now obsolete in terms of technology, aesthetic features and performance, leave behind an ecological footprint that is harmful to the environment. Product take-back systems and remanufacturing methods that promise to minimize the environmental impact are gaining attention among researchers and practitioners in the manufacturing field. A common objective is to find the best option for end of lifecycle (EOL) decisions on whether a product and the components comprising it should be reused, recycled, remanufactured, or disposed. These decisions must entail proper analysis while taking into account customer preferences, which can vary considerably from customer to customer. Mass customization, considered a plausible solution for this problem, is not viable model for many products. In this paper, therefore, we approach this problem from a preference aggregation perspective, particularly, the benevolent dictator model. Using this understanding of aggregated preferences, we address the take-back and possible remanufacturing of products. Once collected, it is questioned whether efficiency enhancing new technology or features should be added in take-back products to improve its performance or add any value. If that is the case, will these remanufactured products, with new technology or features, help in cost-effectively reducing the lifecycle environmental impact of the product, compared to a remanufactured product with original specifications? A home HVAC system was selected to exemplify the design and reuse problem, and show the benefit of favoring environmentally conscious customers in lifecycle decision making.

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