Date of Award

Fall 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering - (M.S.)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Reggie J. Caudill

Second Advisor

R. S. Sodhi

Third Advisor

Sanchoy K. Das


Over the last decade, pressure on the electronic industry has been increasing as concerns for product take-back, product stewardship and global warming have continued to grow. Various end-of-life management options are being expanded including recycling to recapture values from basic materials through reengineering and recovery of subassemblies and individual components for remanufacturing. While progress has been reported on life cycle assessment (LCA), disassembly planning, design for disassembly, and design for environment (DFE), very little research has been focused on demanufacturing from a systems perspective.

The objective of this thesis is to build an interface between the user who knows the demanufacturing operation and a software engine, which performs the simulation, collects detailed operational data, and displays results. This thesis bridges the gap between the requirement of hard core simulation knowledge and demanufacturing terminology to present a computerized software tool.

Arena, a commercially available discrete event simulation software, acts as an engine for performing these simulations. The developed software tool for demanufacturing contains objects necessary for facility layout, systematic workflow and simulation of the facility. Each object refers to a specific demanufacturing activity and uses detailed simulation logic behind its design to perform that activity. The user selects and locates these objects to layout the facility for a graphical representation of the demanufacturing operation. Objects provide a user screen to input necessary data for the complete description of the activity and its operational characteristics.

By simulating the facility for various scenarios, the demanufacturer can compare different options for improving operations, resource utilization, equipment and layout changes. To examine improvement options from an economic perspective a first-order model of demanufacturing costs has been developed and integrated with the simulation software. An activity based unit cost model is used to identify fixed and variable costs associated with each product demanufactured. A small electronics demanufacturing facility was observed and evaluated to validate the simulation modeling and operational logic.

The application illustrates the usefulness of demanufacturing system simulation tool to manage and improve the overall efficiency of facilities for economical operation. In summary, a computer-base tool for simulating demanufacturing facility from a systems perspective has been developed and validated. An activity based cost model has been integrated with the simulation to give demanufacturers the ability to examine the full operational and economic trade-offs associated with the business.