Abstract

In recent years, the continuous growth in consumer waste and dwindling natural resources has seriously threatened the environment. Realizing this, several countries have passed regulations that force manufacturers not only to manufacture environmentally conscious products, but also to take back their used products from consumers so that the components and materials recovered from the products may be reused and/or recycled. Disassembly plays an important role in product recovery. A disassembly line is perhaps the most suitable setting for disassembly of products in large quantities. Because a disassembly line has a tendency to generate excessive inventory, employing a kanban system can reduce the inventory level and let the system run more efficiently. A disassembly line is quite different from an assembly line. For example, not only can the demand arrive at the last station, it can also arrive at any of the other stations in the system. The demand for a component on the disassembly line could fluctuate widely. In fact, there are many other complicating matters that need to be considered to implement the concept of kanbans in such an environment. In this paper, we discuss the complications that are unique to a disassembly line. We discuss the complications in utilizing the conventional production control mechanisms in a disassembly line setting. We then show how to overcome them by implementing kanbans in a disassembly line setting with demand fluctuation and introduce the concept of multi-kanban mechanism. We demonstrate its effectiveness using a simulation model. An example is presented to illustrate the concept.

Keywords

JIT, Kanban, Disassembly

Subject Categories

Production engineering

Disciplines

Engineering

Publication Date

2003



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