This research investigates the advantages offered by embedded sensors for cost-effective and environmentally benign product life cycle management for desktop computers. During their use by customers as well as at the end of their lives, Sensor Embedded Computers (SECs) by virtue of sensors embedded in them generate data and information pertaining to the conditions and remaining lives of important components such as hard-drive, motherboard, and power supply unit. A computer monitoring framework is proposed to provide more customer comfort, reduce repair costs and increase the effectiveness of current disassembly practices. The framework consists of SECs, remote monitoring center (RMC), repair/service, disassembly, and disposal centers. The RMC collects dynamic data/information generated by sensors during computer usage as well as static data/information from the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The RMC forwards this data/information to the repair/service, disassembly, and disposal centers on need-basis. The knowledge about the condition and remaining life of computer components can be advantageously used for planning repair/service and disassembly operations as well as for building refurbished computers with known expected lives. Simulation model of the framework is built and is evaluated in terms of the following performance measures: average downtime of a computer, average repair/service cost of a computer, average disassembly cost of a computer, and average life cycle cost of a computer. Test results show that embedding sensors in computers provides a definite advantage over conventional computers in terms of the performance measures.


Sensor integrated computers, embedded sensors, product life cycle management, repair, disassembly

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Recycling (Waste (etc.))



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