Remanufacture, an industrial process to return used product to an “as-new” condition, is a key strategy in environmentally conscious manufacturing and waste management. However strategies to improve the efficiency of the process are hampered by a lack of remanufacturing-specific knowledge and tools. This paper presents the results of quantitative research, conducted in a Caterpillar Remanufacturing UK facility, to establish the relationship between pre-processing inspection levels and the subsequent remanufacturing process time for returned used products known as cores. It concludes that for components (i.e. cores) having either complex geometry (such as internal ports), a large number of sub-components or that are constructed from, or comprising of, multiple materials the remanufacturing process is shortened by increased inspection prior to processing. However, these benefits are currently limited by the amount of information that can be gained from the inspection methods used. The paper describes the practical use of these factors in a decision-making methodology for inspection and in a refined cost assessment tool.
- pre-processing inspection