The use of personal computers (PCs) continues to increase every year. According to a 1999 figure, 50 percent of all US households owned PCs, a figure that continues to rise every year. With continuous development of sophisticated software, PCs are becoming increasingly powerful. In addition, the price of a PC continues to steadily decline. Furthermore, the typical life of a PC in the workplace is approximately two to three years while in the home it is three to five years. As these PCs become obsolete, they are replaced and the old PCs are disposed of. It is estimated that between 14 and 20 million PCs are retired annually in the US. While 20 to 30% of the units may be resold, the others are discarded. These discards represent a significant potential source of lead for the waste stream. In some communities, waste cathode ray tubes (CRTs) represent the second largest source of lead in the waste stream after vehicular lead acid batteries. PCs are, therefore, not suitable for dumping in landfills. Besides, several components of a PC can be reused and then there are other valuable materials that can also be harvested. And with the advent of product stewardship, product recovery is the best solution for manufacturers. Disassembly line is perhaps the most suitable set up for disassembling PCs. However, planning and scheduling of disassembly on a disassembly line is complicated. In this paper, we discuss some of the complications including product arrival, demand arrival, inventory fluctuation and production control mechanisms. We then show how to overcome them by implementing a multi-kanban mechanism in the PC disassembly line setting. The multi-kanban mechanism relies on dynamic routing of kanbans according to the state of the system. We investigate the multi-kanban mechanism using simulation and demonstrate that this mechanism is superior to the traditional push system in terms of controlling the system's inventory while maintaining a decent customer service level.
JIT, Kanban, Disassembly
Gupta, Surendra M.; Sagar, Kamarthi V.; and Gun, Udomsawat, "Multi-kanban mechanism for personal computer disassembly" (2004). . Paper 79. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10003344
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