Remanufacturing has gained attention from industry, but the literature lacks the scientific comprehension to realize efficient remanufacturing. This hinders a company from commencing or improving remanufacturing efficiently. To fill this gap, the paper proposes a set of practical success factors for remanufacturing. To do so, it analyzes remanufacturing practices in industry through interviews with staff from remanufacturing companies with long experience. The practical success factors are found to be (1) addressing product and component value, (2) having a customer-oriented operation, (3) having an efficient core acquisition, (4) obtaining the correct information, and (5) having the right staff competence. Next, the paper further analyzes remanufacturing processes theoretically with both cause and effect analysis and means-ends analysis. Since the factors show that, among other things, the product/service system (PSS) is highly relevant to remanufacturing in multiple ways, theories on the PSS are partly utilized. As a result, the distinctive nature of remanufacturing underlying in the processes is found to have high variability, high uncertainty and, thus, also complexity. The obtained insights from practice and theory are found to support each other. In addition, a fishbone diagram for remanufacturing is proposed based on the analysis, including seven m's, adding two new m's (marketing and maintenance) on top of the traditional five m's (measurement, material, human, method, and machine) in order to improve customer value. The major contribution of the paper lies in its insights, which are grounded in both theory and practice.
How to Improve Remanufacturing?—A Systematic Analysis of Practices and Theories
Department of Management and Engineering,
Linköping 58183, Sweden
Manuscript received April 16, 2018; final manuscript received October 15, 2018; published online December 24, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Sara Behdad.
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Sakao, T., and Sundin, E. (December 24, 2018). "How to Improve Remanufacturing?—A Systematic Analysis of Practices and Theories." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. February 2019; 141(2): 021004. doi: https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4041746
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