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Research Papers

How to Improve Remanufacturing?—A Systematic Analysis of Practices and Theories PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author and Article Information
Tomohiko Sakao

Division of Environmental Technology
and Management,
Department of Management and Engineering,
Linköping University,
Linköping 58183, Sweden
e-mail: tomohiko.sakao@liu.se

Erik Sundin

Division of Manufacturing Engineering,
Department of Management and Engineering,
Linköping University,
Linköping 58183, Sweden

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 16, 2018; final manuscript received October 15, 2018; published online December 24, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Sara Behdad.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 141(2), 021004 (Dec 24, 2018) (13 pages) Paper No: MANU-18-1240; doi: 10.1115/1.4041746 History: Received April 16, 2018; Revised October 15, 2018

Remanufacturing has gained attention from industry, but the literature lacks the scientific comprehension to realize efficient remanufacturing. This hinders a company from commencing or improving remanufacturing efficiently. To fill this gap, the paper proposes a set of practical success factors for remanufacturing. To do so, it analyzes remanufacturing practices in industry through interviews with staff from remanufacturing companies with long experience. The practical success factors are found to be (1) addressing product and component value, (2) having a customer-oriented operation, (3) having an efficient core acquisition, (4) obtaining the correct information, and (5) having the right staff competence. Next, the paper further analyzes remanufacturing processes theoretically with both cause and effect analysis and means-ends analysis. Since the factors show that, among other things, the product/service system (PSS) is highly relevant to remanufacturing in multiple ways, theories on the PSS are partly utilized. As a result, the distinctive nature of remanufacturing underlying in the processes is found to have high variability, high uncertainty and, thus, also complexity. The obtained insights from practice and theory are found to support each other. In addition, a fishbone diagram for remanufacturing is proposed based on the analysis, including seven m's, adding two new m's (marketing and maintenance) on top of the traditional five m's (measurement, material, human, method, and machine) in order to improve customer value. The major contribution of the paper lies in its insights, which are grounded in both theory and practice.

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Remanufacturing builds upon a resource-efficient approach for how to deliver functioning products with less extraction of new raw materials (see, e.g., Refs. [1] and [2]). Remanufacturing is performed throughout the world; e.g., in China, there has been substantial progress lately [3]. Increased demand for raw materials such as steel (see World Steel Association [4]) has led to increased interest for not only material recycling but also reuse of products and components through remanufacturing (see Ref. [5]). This is also a basis for our societies' interest in the circular economy [6]. In the last years, the interest in buying remanufactured products has increased, as well as the number of product types being remanufactured, for instance, within the automotive industry [7]. Remanufacturing has been defined in many ways [812]. Within this paper, we adopt a broad definition of remanufacturing proposed by Östlin [13], based on Sundin [14], which is “an industrial process whereby products, referred to as cores, are restored to useful life. During this process, the core passes through a number of operations, e.g., inspection, disassembly, part reprocessing, reassembly, and testing, to ensure it meets the desired product standards”.

Remanufacturing companies need to overcome such challenges emerging in the remanufacturing system like uncertainty in core returns [1517]. Other researchers, e.g., Refs. [1821], looked at lean remanufacturing challenges. Despite this research, according to Refs. [22] and [23], there is a lack of knowledge about remanufacturing. Here, an academic method for decision making is not always called for by industry, as implied by Hatcher et al. [22]. Instead, systematic knowledge on how to arrange and perform remanufacturing as a viable way of business is missing, and there is a stronger need to develop such knowledge. This paper aim to advance the knowledge about remanufacturing that guides managers at companies on how to begin or improve remanufacturing efficiently and thereby remain competitive in the markets.

The goal of the paper is to present practical success factors of remanufacturing and theoretical insights supporting those factors, with the aim above in mind. To address both practical and theoretical aspects is needed, because lacking either of them does not fulfill the aim and managers in industry often need both. To obtain practical success factors and theoretical insights, analysis based on interviews with practitioners and relevant theories is carried out, respectively.

The paper is structured as follows: Section 2 provides a deeper background and motivation for this paper. It is followed by Sec. 3, which describes the research method. Then, Sec. 4 briefly describes remanufacturing business of ten companies so that Sec. 5 analyzes practical success factors. Section 6 describes theoretical insights on remanufacturing. Then, Sec. 7 analyzes the results from Secs. 5 and 6. Finally, Sec. 8 provides the discussion and conclusion of the paper.

Recently, the drivers for remanufacturing have grown even stronger [5]. The drivers can, according to Östlin [13], be categorized into profit, policy, and environment. Profit could be gained, for example, when a product can be remanufactured at a lower cost than producing a new one. In addition, customers are demanding remanufactured products, and manufacturers can explore these new markets with their remanufactured products. In terms of policy, remanufacturing is expected to protect brand [13] and contribute to job creation [6]. From an environmental point of view, products are salvaged through remanufacturing, and thus the materials and energy needed to produce products are saved to a large extent in comparison to other end-of-use options within the product lifecycle (shown in Fig. 1) according to, e.g., Refs. [1] and [2]. One reason why remanufacturing is found attractive from an environmental point of view is that the efforts made when manufacturing new parts, e.g., material extraction, material manufacturing, part manufacturing and product manufacturing, are fully or partly salvaged through remanufacturing. With product remanufacturing, the geometrical form of the product is retained, and its associated economic value is preserved. The environmental gains often found in the environmental studies are less depletion of resources, less harm to human health, and less global warming [2].

How strong the remanufacturing drivers are is case-dependent on which industry sector and the product that is remanufactured. Under some circumstances, there is a win-win-win situation available for remanufacturing, meaning that remanufacturing is beneficial for:

  • remanufacturing companies, which profits while improving its environmental image;

  • customers, who can buy a price-worthy remanufactured product with good quality; and

  • society, which gains environmental benefits and increased job opportunities.

The literature provides some insights to guide managers at companies on how to begin or improve remanufacturing, e.g., through implementing lean principles [17,19,20]. In addition, there is research suggesting that managers should consider a better use of product information backward and forward within the product value chain [17]. These kinds of insights within the reverse supply chain are also pointed out previously by, e.g., Refs. [15] and [16].

Remanufacturing companies have been studied by other researchers for other motivations than ours. Most often, surveys and interviews have been conducted to find out what the drivers and barriers are among remanufacturing companies within a specific region, as described in Table 1 below.

To briefly summarize these previously conducted surveys and interviews with remanufacturing companies, the examples of drivers for remanufacturing companies found are asset and brand protection, competition, customer orientation, environmental and ethical responsibility, legislation, market share, profitability, secure spare part supply, strategic advantages, subsidies, and warranty. Among the barriers found at the studied remanufacturers were core quality, core volume, customer recognition, high labor costs, lack of product knowledge, lack of sales channels, lack of technology, and legal restrictions.

Despite the drivers and other insights in the literature, there is still a lack of knowledge about remanufacturing, according to, e.g., Refs. [22] and [23]. More specifically, deeper and more comprehensive knowledge is needed about how things are connected within the entire remanufacturing system. This knowledge could be used for existing remanufacturing companies to improve their remanufacturing, or for new companies to begin it.

In order to derive theoretical knowledge of remanufacturing, different theories could be adopted as a basis. Theory of supply chain management (SCM) is one alternative, as adopted by, e.g., Haapala et al. [26]. Another is the product/service system (PSS), which is an integrated offer of physical products and services, and may mean “a specific type of value proposition that a business (network) offers to (or co-produces with) its clients” [27]. With the PSS perspective, remanufacturing is seen as a kind of service. Note that the PSS does not necessarily include remanufacturing, as the type of included service does not matter (included service may be maintenance [28] or rental [29], for instance). In this sense, the PSS refers to a broader concept than remanufacturing. One of the PSS' roots in scientific research may be regarded as functional economy [30], which dematerializes economic activities by creating the highest possible use value for the longest possible time while consuming as few materials and energy as possible. The PSS is often regarded as a target of designing [27], and such designing is more complex than designing its products alone due to the integration of its products and services in one [31]. The PSS has been practiced [32] and researched [28] in industry and academia extensively for more than 15 years [27], and still provides research issues [33]. Based on a search of remanufacturing literature with an SCM or PSS perspective, a clear difference is found.2 That is, research on remanufacturing with a PSS perspective is much more underexplored, and therefore provides a much greater potential than that with an SCM perspective. The choice of the PSS will be further motivated in Sec. 5 based on the practical success factors uncovered in Sec. 4.

To reach the goal of the paper, the research method as shown in Fig. 2 was adopted.

As the first step, an empirical study of ten remanufacturing companies was conducted. The remanufacturing companies selected for this study were original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or independent remanufacturers. One of the criteria for the choice of the companies was long experience within the remanufacturing business. The data collection at these remanufacturing companies was mainly performed through face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with managers. The interviews were held with one to three people simultaneously and lasted from one to three hours. Table 2 describes the companies used for the empirical study. During the interviews, practical success factors for remanufacturing were extracted. The following analysis creates a category of practical success factors.

Then, research of remanufacturing with theories was carried out. As stated in Sec. 2, this paper aims at improving understanding of remanufacturing and how things are connected within the remanufacturing system. To fulfill the aim, a bidirectional analysis was performed between the remanufacturing characteristics and remanufacturing properties, as shown in Fig. 3. Performing this bidirectional analysis has been shown effective to increase the completeness of the analysis in other disciplines such as reliability engineering [34]. Here, characteristics and properties mean more structural and more behavioral description, respectively, as inspired by Weber and Deubel [35].3

In more detail, having the practical success factors in mind, the remanufacturing processes are first described to obtain remanufacturing characteristics. The results are then analyzed through cause and effect analysis in order to show remanufacturing properties. Further, a means-ends analysis is carried out in the opposite direction to obtain insights about means to improve remanufacturing. Lastly, the analysis of practices and with theories was combined to advance body of knowledge for remanufacturing.

Section 4.1 briefly describes results of interviews including details of the companies' remanufacturing business, while Sec. 4.2 gives an overview of the companies' remanufacturing business.

Remanufacturing Business of Each Company
FUJI Film.

FUJI Film is a remanufacturer of single-use cameras in Japan, as a result of becoming more resource efficient and environmentally benign. Having a high number of cores coming to its facility, in combination with a high degree of automation, has made its remanufacturing process successful. Its customers are satisfied to see that although the cameras are used once per user, most of the components in the cameras are reused through their remanufacturing business. About 90% of the used cameras are remanufactured, while the rest are recycled. FUJI Film's remanufacturing process is flexible and can handle around 15 different camera types. Collecting cores is in its case easy, since the single-use cameras are returned to the photoshops when the customer wants to develop their photos. In addition, FUJI Film is able to use both new and old components in the remanufacturing of single-use cameras.

Greenman.

Greenman remanufactures toner cartridges for use in, e.g., laser printers and photocopiers. Its products are called “Greenman Eco original” and are toner cartridges remanufactured from original toner cartridges. The company has a clear environmental profile, and most of its products have an ecolabel. Greenman also has a service for automatic toner cartridge deliveries called “SAMS—Supplies and Management System,” which helps its customers in managing their needs for toner cartridges. In addition, they have free return system for used toner cartridges.

Inrego.

Inrego remanufactures professional IT equipment of high value, e.g., laptops and smartphones. It retrieves IT equipment from private and public organizations. One of its strengths is that it can, in a certified manner, wipe out data before it leaves the company. Around 90% of the retrieved IT equipment is remanufactured, while the rest is too broken or has no interested buyers and thus is sent to material recycling. The customers of the remanufactured IT equipment normally include schools, private customers, or companies that want to buy professional equipment at an inexpensive price. A key thing for Inrego is to obtain the IT equipment before it gets too old and less valuable. A positive thing with today's society is that we are consuming a lot of IT equipment, and thus there are many used products of high value on the market that can be remanufactured.

Scandi-Toner.

Scandi-Toner remanufactures toner cartridges, which are sold through retailers who both sell new and remanufactured toner cartridges. Around 90% of the toner cartridges are collected through the company's own return systems, while the rest are bought through partners. Key elements in Scandi-Toner's business are its reverse logistics systems, technologies for remanufacturing and staff competence. The company also uses ecolabels on its remanufactured toner cartridges, which point out for its customers the different environmental and economic benefits for choosing their product.

Ståthöga.

Ståthöga performs remanufacturing on pumps and smoke channels. Through remanufacturing, Ståthöga's customers can extend the life of their pumps and smoke channels. Usually, it takes a shorter time to remanufacture the products than to buy new ones. At the same time, it is also a more inexpensive choice than buying and installing new products. Within the remanufacturing process, an extra surface treatment is done to improve the efficiency of the products, which provides additional savings to the customer.

Swepac.

Swepac manufacturers and remanufacturing soil compactors used in construction. Its soil compactors are usually sold through rental agreements. Swepac manufactures soil compactors that can withstand tough conditions in difficult environments. The company provides its customers with a fast supply of spare parts, technical service and support, as well as offers pure service agreements where customers have a list of service levels to choose from. Through service and remanufacturing, the technical and economic lifetimes of its soil compactors are prolonged. The remanufacturing process itself generates costs for Swepac, which it is trying to reduce by choosing a smart design for its products.

TetraPak.

TetraPak manufactures and remanufactures large filling machines. Some of these are sold on “up-time”. In the early 2000s, TetraPak started its remanufacturing business in collaboration with its European suppliers. This kind of business has grown internationally to include Brazil, India, and China. The sequence is that a customer demands a remanufactured filling machine, and then the TetraPak sales company sources a good candidate for remanufacturing at any TetraPak sales company according to the customer needs. Having remanufacturing in TetraPak's business gives it better control of its assets (machines), protects its brand and reaches a new market for remanufactured machines.

Toyota Material Handling.

Toyota material handling (TMH) manufactures and remanufactures forklift trucks. In Europe, more than 75% of TMH's forklift trucks are sold through rental agreements (PSS). This means that the company has good control over its fleet of forklift trucks and can perform preventive maintenance to keep them from breaking down. In between the rental periods, the forklift trucks need to be remanufactured to meet the next customer's requirements. By providing the market remanufactured forklift trucks, the company reaches a new customer segment, i.e., those who are not willing to buy new forklift trucks. These kinds of companies could, for example, be newly started companies that are not willing to invest much in equipment. The value for the customers is that they get price-worthy forklift trucks that have been treated well during their previous use under the control of Toyota.

UBD Cleantech.

UBD Cleantech remanufactures different kinds of car parts, e.g., brake calipers and diesel particle filters. The company has many different ways to retrieve cores; however, for diesel particle filters, it performs remanufacturing as a service for the car repair workshops. UBD is an expert in developing technologies for its remanufacturing processes, which seldom is the case for car workshops and car part manufacturers. By using remanufactured car parts, the cost of car services is lowered by around 50% in component costs. UBD also has a clear environmental profile for its business, and its services are a way to boost its customers' environmental work.

Volvo Parts.

Volvo parts performs some manufacturing, but mostly manufacturing of petrol and diesel engines for trucks, buses and cars. Volvo parts also conducts some remanufacturing of water pumps and packaging of cylinder liner kits. The car engines are mainly for Volvo Cars, but also for some other brands. Normally, the products are delivered to the customers' inventory, waiting for an end customer to place an order. Environmental savings are highlighted as a large amount of natural resources are saved.

Overview.

This section provides an aggregated description of what was found when analyzing the semistructured interviews with the ten remanufacturing companies within this empirical study. The results here are based on what the managers of the remanufacturing companies revealed to us during the interviews, meaning that it is based on their perspective. However, in our study, we have focused on what factors are making remanufacturing successful in practice. Therefore, the managers of successful remanufacturing companies have been interviewed. The practical success factors found at the remanufacturing companies were:

  1. (1)addressing product and component value,
  2. (2)having a customer-oriented operation,
  3. (3)having an efficient core acquisition,
  4. (4)obtaining the correct information, and
  5. (5)having the right staff competence.

The following paragraphs will describe these practical success factors in more detail, along with examples from the remanufacturing companies studied.

Addressing Product and Component Value.

For products to be remanufactured, there should be an interest from customers and other stakeholders. The manufacturer has an opportunity to generate a profit while simultaneously addressing environmental issues. This means that it is important to keep the cost of core collection and remanufacturing processes lower than the market value of remanufactured products. To be sold on the market, a remanufactured product must be enhanced in terms of its value by the remanufacturing process. A good way to do so is to inform the market about the product and the benefits of buying the remanufactured product, as done, e.g., by Inrego, UBD Cleantech (website) and Volvo Parts (customer movie commercial). FUJI Film is keeping the value of its products by reusing the components as many times as possible. This means that the manufacturer needs to have an acceptable strategy regarding how the product and component value can be retained.

For Inrego, it has put focus on professional IT equipment with a high value that easily competes in the same price range as new, low-value products. In addition, toner cartridge remanufacturers Green man and Scandi-Toner both point out that their remanufactured toner cartridges can be remanufactured several times in comparison to cheap new copies from China. Swepac and TMH try to keep the product value high through their product life extension with their remanufacturing business in combination with services (in the form of PSS). For Swepac, components are chosen in such a way that value of the product is kept high for a long time. TetraPak realized that there were repair workshops around the world repairing its filling machines without the control of TetraPak. In order to keep and even increase the value of its used filling machines, it started its remanufacturing business.

Having a Customer-Oriented Operation.

In customer-oriented operations, the manufacturer needs to establish a service-oriented operation that fulfills the customer's need. The structure of the organization varies between different branches, and therefore must be carefully analyzed to be formed in the best way for the product and business. The respondents pointed out that in contact with the customers, it is important to gain information about the process and its strengths and weaknesses. The customer often looks at the price, but it is increasingly common that they choose products that correspond with their ethics, e.g., those based on environmental issues. This makes remanufactured products more competitive on a bigger market. The use of a green image is evident for some companies; Greenman, e.g., remanufactures toner cartridges and uses the word “green” in its company name. Also, for FUJI Film, one of the reasons to start remanufacturing was the pressure from its customers to become more resource efficient. Some remanufacturers, e.g., Inrego, Greenman, Scandi-Toner, and UBD Cleantech, market their remanufactured products from an environmental point of view. In addition, the product must maintain its original warranty in order to stay competitive with the original manufactured products.

A finding from the interviews was that customers must be matched with the right product—some may need the latest technical innovations, while others may not. In the Toyota Material Handling (TMH) case, a customer is consulted to identify their needs with respect to, e.g., the working environment and the running hours per year. Based on the need, a new or remanufactured forklift truck is provided. If a remanufactured product is available, it is used and in some cases rebuilt, e.g., by exchanging the mast and length of forks to match the new customer needs. This means that if the level of flexibility to exchange components from the product is high, it can be customized to fit the customers' need even better. This can also result in a lower total cost, since it can be recustomized and thus used by more customers.

Ståthöga has a clear customer focus in the offer. It provides its customers with a remanufacturing service which is fast and at the same time results in an upgraded product with a higher efficiency. Swepac has developed its services and remanufacturing for its customers and to be able to gain a closer relationship with its customers. Through a good product design adapted for tough use, maintenance, and remanufacturing, Swepac's customers get a product that is long lasting and has few breakdowns.

In the TMH case, newly produced forklift trucks are normally allocated for long-term contracts; this is done toward the segment of customers that demands the latest technology. After these contracts expire, the forklift trucks are remanufactured but if and only if they are in good condition and there is a market need. The forklift trucks are then remanufactured to meet the next customer's requirements. The new customer will get a price-worthy forklift truck that has been taken care of by the OEM (TMH) during its previous lifecycle phase (see Fig. 1). An example of a new customer is one that has a temporarily higher need for a forklift truck, or a customer that does not need the function of a forklift truck as frequently and wants an inexpensive remanufactured product. Another example would be a customer who is not willing to buy a brand-new forklift truck, but still wants a forklift truck from TMH.

In the case of filling machines (TetraPak), a customer requires a remanufactured machine according to their needs, and then the process of finding a core and remanufacturing it according to the new customer requirements begins. TetraPak found that its market of remanufactured filling machines was larger than expected, leading to a good growth in business. Inrego, Greenman, and Scandi-Toner make it easier for their customers to buy and return used products through their websites and return boxes.

Having an Efficient Core Acquisition.

The flow of returned cores/units is a determining factor that is significant in making remanufacturing processes possible. The number and timing of the incoming cores are estimated by some remanufacturers through statistics. From the interviews with TetraPak and Volvo Parts, this is crucial when planning the remanufacturing process. Depending on what kind of product is remanufactured and what relation it has with the users, the core flows vary significantly. The best way to deal with this variation is to have a flexible organization that can adjust to the present situation. The question, however, is how and where this flexibility is maintained. This is significant when one cannot estimate the potential return flow of cores. A good solution is to combine traditional manufacturing with remanufacturing, as currently done by, e.g., Volvo Parts, FUJI Film and Ståthöga. By doing so, one can achieve a situation with greater flexibility, both in the flow of returns and labor positioning. In addition, for FUJI Film, it is rather easy to retrieve cores since the cameras are returned to the photoshop after being used.

OEMs such as TMH and Swepac, which have a PSS contract while maintaining the product ownership and thus control over their products during use, have also experienced a better possibility to plan their remanufacturing process since they have better knowledge regarding when their cores are going to be collected and in what condition.

For Inrego, this also means that the cores should not be broken; hence, specific wagons and instructions are used for its customers during core acquisition. In addition, toner cartridge remanufacturers Greenman and Scandi-Toner both have their own return systems in place for used toner cartridges, making the core acquisition more efficient. On the other hand, UBD Cleantech has sometimes been struggling to retrieve cores in an economical manner, but by collaborating with car workshops the need for buying cores on the market is gone, although there are still variations on core retrievals to deal with.

Obtaining the Correct Information.

To achieve an efficient remanufacturing process, it is important for the remanufacturer to have the correct information at the correct time. The cores are usually inspected early in the remanufacturing process. The condition of returning products differs, because their use environment and ways of usage are variable depending on the customers, operation, and so forth. The outcome of this step, therefore, is one of the uncertainties that a remanufacturer has to deal with. Significant time can be saved if accurate information is available in advance about the cores' condition. In addition, correct information about market demands is crucial to have when deciding on remanufacturing or not. By having this kind of information on hand before performing the first remanufacturing steps, the process runs much faster. If this information is not accurate a remanufacturing process could be put on hold, since new spare parts are needed, which increases costs. This is, e.g., important for the cases of TetraPak and TMH, where it is crucial to avoid long waits on spare parts since the customer is waiting for their remanufactured product.

In addition, it is important to get correct information from remanufacturing plants to product designers in order to get the product's design for remanufacturing and thus a smoother remanufacturing process. For FUJI Film, it was crucial to develop cameras that are possible to remanufacture in its automatic but flexible remanufacturing process. Swepac is a rather small company where they have staff working on design, service, and remanufacturing close to each other, and problems in manufacturing, service, and remanufacturing are easily shared with the designers who then can easier adapt their products for these lifecycle stages.

Having the Right Staff Competence.

In general, the remanufacturing process cannot be automated due to the variety of incoming units. Remanufacturing processes are thus labor-intensive, and this means that the manufacturer has to avoid big divergences in the flow of returned units between periods. To be able to use personnel in an effective way, good planning is required. The planning should be done with a long-term view in order to ensure the proper number of personnel. A high ratio of labor turnover often demands larger investments to sustain the competence and work ethic.

The personnel's competence at, e.g., TMH and Swepac has a direct effect on the remanufacturing process. The engineer should possess knowledge facilitating that the product, passing the remanufacturing process, obtains a long life after being remanufactured. It is important that the company upholds a broad competence level overall due to, e.g., product quality reasons. It is also important that the labor is consistent with the remanufacturing demand. Competence has to develop continuously to uphold a competitive situation. This means that the manufacturer must continually invest in education and similar activities. As in the case of Scandi-Toner, among the remanufacturing companies it is preferable to have staff that can perform many different process steps and/or products, which will give more flexibility to the process. A way to achieve a higher competence is to motivate personnel to come up with their own ideas and thus be a part of improving the remanufacturing process.

Often, as in the Volvo Parts case, firms consider outsourcing as rational; the problem with outsourcing, however, is that the manufacturer can lose control over the organization when activities go outside the company. The positive effect is that the processes, from a short-term perspective, can be very cost-efficient. The best way to have representatives with high responsibility is to establish the long-term view, or vision, in every person that is incorporated in the process. Outsourcing can also result in difficulties in aspects of regulated access to information about the recovered product. This often depends on the value of the documents and their sensitivity.

The personnel at the remanufacturing companies are more important and knowledgeable than in traditional manufacturing, since more complex problems need to be addressed. Often, very skilled service technicians with experience in the repair and reprocessing of products are hired to work in the remanufacturing process. Some companies, such as Ståthöga, hire personnel for short-term jobs when having peaks in work load rather saying no to jobs so it can retain personnel with high competence. By doing so, the quality of its work remains high. FUJI Film relies on having highly skilled staff that can develop its fully automated but yet flexible process that can care take of all its camera types. In addition, the process also needs to be upgraded to bring in new variants as technology develops.

Description of the Remanufacturing System
Overview.

The remanufacturing system can be divided into core acquisition (including collection) and remanufacturing process and sales (including redistribution). Each of them is explained in Secs. 6.1.26.1.4.

Core Acquisition Process.

Core acquisition is the activity of getting rid of a product in which a user becomes uninterested [36]. A user demands this because it reduces the cost of disposing or keeping a product. It could also be written in the contract, or the user might have to return a core to be able to buy a remanufactured product. Therefore, this is triggered by a customer. When this happens is uncertain, as shown by Behdad et al. [37], since this is the nature of the physical lifetime of a product. In addition, the latest technology available influences the customer's expectation, which is uncontrollable by a single company, and the product's lifetime. Thus, the rate of technological change [38,39] is quite influential in the acquisition process. For instance, the demand for a product might suddenly drop due to the technical development [39]. In addition, disposers' behavior should be remarked in customers' characteristics, because this substantially influences the quality of the cores (returned products) [39,40].

Based on this, the most remarkable nature of remanufacturing is summarized as a lack of control regarding the quantity, quality, and timing of the cores. In addition, to make sure that a remanufacturing company acquires enough cores for its business, many sources of cores are often used [41]. Östlin et al. [41] identified in their study the seven possible ways for remanufacturing companies to acquire cores. The first is ownership-based, where the product is owned by the manufacturer and operated by the customer, as, for example, in a rental, lease, or product-service offer. The second is the service contract, which is a type of relationship based on a service contract between a manufacturer and a customer that includes remanufacturing. The third is direct-order, where the customer returns the used product to the remanufacturer, the product is remanufactured, and the customer gets the same product back (if it is possible to perform a remanufacturing operation. The fourth is deposit-based, which means that when a customer buys a remanufactured product, they are obligated to return a similar used product, thus also acting as a supplier to the remanufacturer. The fifth is credit-based, which means when the customer returns a used product they receive a specific number of credits for the returned product; these credits are then used as a discount when buying a remanufactured product. The sixth is buy-back, where the remanufacturer simply buys the wanted used products from a supplier, which can be the end user, a scrapyard, or a core dealer. Finally, the seventh is voluntary-based, where the supplier gives the used products to the remanufacturer. The supplier can also be a customer but does not have to be.

A reason as to why a remanufacturing company would want to have many sources is that if it cannot acquire enough cores, it might lose its deal with the customer. This sometimes means that a remanufacturing firm has to bring together a large number of small-volume flows [41,42]. Thus, the nature of remanufacturing associated with the acquisition process is summarized in the following characteristics (also shown in Fig. 4):

  1. (1)Uncertain product quality
  2. (2)Uncertain time of supply
  3. (3)A large number of sources with a low volume of products with many different types
  4. (4)An uncertain rate of technical development, e.g., the uncertainty of when a new technology will be utilized

The four characteristics of the core acquisition process can be further categorized into uncertainty in supply and complexity in acquisition.

Remanufacturing Process.

The characteristics of the acquisition process have an impact on the remanufacturing process (in a narrower sense). Namely, the uncertainties regarding quantity, quality and timing of the returned cores are also influential on the remanufacturing process.

First, concerning quality, when looking at one type of product within the same remanufacturing facility the processing steps are, to a large degree, dependent on the condition of the core. This means that there are no well-determined sequences of production steps within remanufacturing as there are in manufacturing [11,14,38]. For instance, since a product that has been used very intensively also might require intense remanufacturing processing, the variance in quality also causes a variance in the time to perform each activity [42]. Second, as a result of combining the uncertainty of volume and timing, the batch sizes are usually much smaller than in traditional manufacturing. Third, with the impact of all the above combined, the remanufacturing process is complex and requires flexibility.

This complexity is further increased due to the difficulty of disassembly. The disassembly process is an especially challenging one within remanufacturing since most products not are designed for disassembly [43]. This lack of consideration for disassembly in the design phase makes the disassembly process very variable regarding the required time [38].

Thus, the nature of remanufacturing associated with the remanufacturing process is summarized in the following characteristics (also shown in Fig. 4):

  1. (1)Variable activities
  2. (2)Small batch sizes
  3. (3)Complex process

Sales Process.

The acceptance of remanufactured products in the marketplace (i.e., willingness to pay; see, e.g., Ref. [44]) depends a great deal on the perceived difference between remanufactured products and brand-new products. This variety is partly caused by the more immature market of remanufactured products than that of traditional, new products. To such an extent as finding a market for remanufactured products, this means that the uncertainty of the market can be strong [12]. This uncertainty is further increased by a rate of technical development that cannot be precisely predicted. This makes it likely that it will be a diverse, niche market.

Regarding service quality, a provider must give more information on a product when selling a remanufactured product than with a traditional, new one. The additional information includes not only the fact that the product is remanufactured but also the type and stage of the product lifecycle (shown in Fig. 1) in terms of market maturity.

Thus, the nature of the sales process is summarized in the following characteristics (also shown in Fig. 4):

  1. (1)Uncertain and immature market
  2. (2)Many product types and different stages of the product lifecycle
  3. (3)Many diverse, niche markets

Cause and Effect Analysis of the Remanufacturing System.

This section utilizes the results of the theoretical analysis (Sec. 5.1) and further analyzes the effects of the characteristics of remanufacturing to enrich the description of the nature of remanufacturing. The effects do not include high-level descriptions regarding quality, cost, and time in order to provide more concrete information. In addition, the excluded effects were based on external assumptions. For instance, the uncertainty of demand and of core supply will result in increased inventory volume, assuming the remanufacturer controls the inventory in order to decrease the possibility of sales opportunity loss. However, this effect was not included because it is based on such an assumption. Furthermore, the effects were described with support from the remanufacturing literature.

First, the uncertainty in supply (from the core acquisition process), together with the uncertain market (from the sales process), affects the complexity of the remanufacturing planning as well as the inventory management. Thus, there is a problem with balancing supply and demand, which is caused by uncertainties in both the supply of used products and demand for remanufactured products, as pointed out by Östlin [13].

Next, uncertainty in the quality of the cores affects the remanufacturing process in two different ways. Two returned products that are identical might yield a very different set of remanufacturable parts, which makes inventory planning and control as well as purchasing more difficult [38]. This problem is also noticed by Sundin [20], who states that remanufacturing companies often have a large number of used products, spare parts or half-finished products in storage waiting to be used in remanufacturing. These parts might be new parts, used products, spare parts, finished goods, or work-in-progress (WIP) [38].

The other effect that uncertainty in quality causes in the remanufacturing process is stochastic routings. However, there are differences between products in terms of product design, remanufacturing volumes, and process layouts, which means that it is not possible to present a generic remanufacturing process that is valid for different remanufacturing facilities [14]. This is included in the complexity of the remanufacturing.

This uncertainty regarding time makes it very hard to estimate flow times, and setting accurate lead times is almost impossible [38]. Therefore, the remanufacturing process is less predictable than a traditional manufacturing process [45], and thus the production planning is more difficult as well [11,20].

The complexity in sales is also caused by many different products being in the same supply chain, and also being in different phases of the product lifecycle [39]. This complexity in the sales is increased because of the potential interaction between redistribution and core acquisition [40].

This cause and effect analysis of the characteristics and thus nature of remanufacturing is depicted in Fig. 5. In summary, within the entire remanufacturing process, there are three dominating and remarkable remanufacturing properties to address: variability, uncertainty, and, based on these two, complexity.

Means-Ends Analysis
The Product/Service System Adopted as Theory.

To carry out means-ends analysis, a theory about the PSS, which is a value proposition offered to customers, is introduced with multiple motivations. First, among the five practical success factors pointed out by the practitioners, (1) addressing product and component value and (2) having a customer-oriented operation make the PSS especially relevant. In addition, information plays a crucial role in the PSS as pointed out in Ref. [46], and thus (3) obtaining correct information also makes the PSS relevant.

Second, remanufacturing can be seen as a concrete type of PSS offering (especially core acquisition—shown to be important as the fourth practical success factor—can be seen as a service) provided by an OEM of the product [47]. In other words, the lens with the PSS has an advantage of bringing in a holistic view (e.g., different lifecycle stages) and different aspects (e.g., the business model and organization). This is pointed out in Ref. [22] as missing in remanufacturing.

Third, to apply the insights gained in the area of PSSs provides a high potential, as already explained in Sec. 2. There has been indeed a growing body of knowledge about PSSs with such subjects as the business model and lifecycle engineering [28,48,49]. According to Esmaeilian et al. [50], business models are acknowledged to be an important aspect of remanufacturing.

6.3.2 Means-Ends Analysis With Theory on Product/Service System.

The end, i.e., aim, of remanufacturing can be creating customer value, which is implied to be the general aim of a PSS [27]. This is also supported by the criticality of value and customer in remanufacturing, as raised as the practical success factors (see Sec. 4) and shown by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation [6]. Then, the essential question here is what customer value is a function of. A representation model of the PSS according to Sakao et al. [51] shows, in essence, that customer value is a function of PSS contents, customer sacrifice [52], and customer characteristics. This is in line with the formalization of value by Bolton and Drew [53] that value is a function of quality, customer sacrifice, and the customer characteristics. This is also in line with other models of value. For instance, the model by Zeithaml [54] shows that, e.g., value is a function of quality and sacrifice, and that sacrifice is a function of price.

Another component that is often pointed out as crucial in the PSS is a payment model [55,56] (a revenue stream model or a charging scheme from the provider's standpoint), which is often perceived as a part of the business model by Osterwalder and Pigneur [57] and thus phrased as “business model.”

In remanufacturing, the customer characteristics are exemplified by the customer's preference for remanufactured (or brand-new) products. The customer's sacrifice includes the money and time spent to use a remanufactured product. The payment model can be chosen from various alternatives; see, e.g., [41]. One instance is an ownership-based alternative, where a core is owned by the provider and, e.g., a rental fee is paid. Another example is a credit-based option, where the customer, upon returning a core, receives a specific number of credits to be used as a discount in buying a remanufactured product.

Figure 6 depicts the relationships between the customer value in remanufacturing and other items, based on the authors' analysis shown above. In essence, the customer value is influenced by four factors that can be regarded as means: the product, the service personnel, the customer, and the business model.

Practical Success Factors Analyzed With Theories.

This section analyzes the five practical success factors raised by practitioners (in Sec. 5) with the results of theoretical reasoning: first, the nature of remanufacturing derived from the theoretical process analysis—variability and uncertainty (in Secs. 6.1 and 6.2); and second, the means to influence the customer value, which involves product, service personnel, customer, and business model (in Secs. 6.3). Table 3 shows which items from the theoretical reasoning are matched with the practical success factors. For instance, variability and uncertainty (as the nature) and product (as the means) are matched with “addressing product and component value.” Table 3 also shows how practitioners are supported by scientific methods or tools with regard to each practical success factor; for simplicity, three alternatives, i.e., high, medium and low, are used.

With all the five factors, variability and uncertainty are recognized as relevant. This means that the practical success factors are backed up by the essential, scientifically derived, nature of remanufacturing. It also means that the nature of remanufacturing can explain the practical success factors raised by practitioners. In addition, theoretically relevant means were identified for each of the five factors to improve the customer value in remanufacturing. Finally, an estimation of what degree of support is available from the literature for each of the practical success factors is shown in Table 3.

This table will enrich the practitioners' understanding of remanufacturing, and the practitioners may become capable of addressing a concerned success factor in a smarter manner. In addition, if insights are available to support firms to address a factor, they would be capable of overcoming the factor. For instance, concerning the collection of cores, practitioners seem well aware of both variability and uncertainty. However, some firms would be better supported by existing insights. If a remanufacturing company tries to balance supply and demand, it faces complicated inventory management and control functions. On the other hand, there are storage and disposal costs associated with not trying to balance supply and demand. Guide and Van Wassenhove [42] state that to effectively cope with the higher degree of uncertainty in these systems, demand management techniques are required, as well as production planning and control systems and materials management that explicitly take into account the unique characteristics of recoverable manufacturing systems. The pressure on companies to find better ways to handle returned cores should lead to the new exploration of managing supply chains [58]. A PSS with the product ownership staying at the provider is another solution to achieve a predicted return flow of cores [43]. Other insights (models, methods, and tools) to help firms provide a PSS effectively and efficiently are available [27,28] but not fully applied to remanufacturing. This creates a huge potential for applied research. In particular, customer-oriented operations, which lack support in industry at present, could be a subject of promise for research applying theories on PSSs.

Developing a Fishbone Diagram to Improve Remanufacturing.

This section highlights the new insights presented in Sec. 7.1 by comparing them with insights for quality management in the traditional manufacturing of new products. The motivation for choosing quality management is that quality still plays a major part in the means-ends analysis (see Sec. 6.3). In traditional manufacturing, to decrease problems with the product quality, the five m's have been relevant in many cases [59], namely, people (human), technology (machine), material, process (method), and inspection (measurement). These form a set of factors used in a fishbone diagram (also known as an Ishikawa diagram [59]) for traditional manufacturing.

Based on the findings in Sec. 7.1, in remanufacturing, the head of the fishbone should be value instead of defect in quality or quality itself. The reason exists in the criticality of value in remanufacturing, as spelled out by practitioners as well as implied by relevant theories. All the traditional five m's (measurement, material, human, method and machine) remain important in remanufacturing. However, they are not sufficient. First, the market should be added, as implied by the practices and theories on PSSs (the customer as one of the means in Fig. 6). Second, the maintenance of products becomes relevant—and not only inspection, because this can be, and in some practices is, a measure to decrease the uncertainty (e.g., rental programs decrease the uncertainty of core supply). Another reason for maintenance is increased importance to manage the increased variability in remanufacturing. These seven m's are proposed to be a comprehensive set of factors to influence the value in remanufacturing, as depicted in Fig. 7.

It should also be noted that the relative importance among the seven factors can be different from that in traditional manufacturing; e.g., the degree of automation is lower and the remanufacturing process is labor-intensive. According to Steinhilper [1], the remanufacturing process is, in general, approximately three to five times more labor-intensive than the manufacturing of the same product. Thus, people on the shop floor become more important. Higher quality of the people in terms of, e.g., knowledge and experience, is often required and also mentioned by the practitioners in Sec. 5.5.

Further, recommended actions for remanufacturers to take are added in the fishbone diagram. These recommendations are derived based on Sec. 7.1 and through consolidating results from analyzing practices (Sec. 5) and analysis with theories (Sec. 6). How to manage each of variability and uncertainty is derived under each m, since they are the nature of remanufacturing (Table 3). The seven m's are categorized into the means in Table 3; product, customer, business model, and service personnel. Here, the business model is used as a broader concept than a mere charging scheme so that it includes how to measure, maintain, and collect products. For instance, in the personnel category, a recommendation is to educate remanufacturing personnel for variable activities required: this originates from a practical success factor “having the right staff competence” in Table 3 and refers to “variable activities” in remanufacturing in Fig. 5. The other recommendation in the personnel category is to manage uncertain needed staff volume: this originates from the discussion about the importance in practice to match the volume of staff with the demand in Sec. 5.5. These 14 recommendations in Fig. 7 cover most of the discussions on this paper but are not collectively exhaustive. Thus, this diagram is meant to guide remanufacturers not to overlook major issues. Note that these recommendations are actions to eventually enhance the customer value, and therefore what are described as elements in the diagram do not precisely follow the original fishbone diagram. However, this adjusted way of presenting elements in the fishbone diagram is considered sensible and useful.

Scientific Implications.

Section 7 provided a combined analysis of practices and theories in a comprehensive manner. Section 7.1 showed that the results derived from practices and those from theories support each other in several ways. This implies that practitioners could enhance their knowledge based on the theoretical insights while researchers could concretize their knowledge more by practical insights. It should be emphasized that comprehensiveness is maintained owing to interviews with the ten companies concerning the practical success factors. Little of the literature provided a comprehensive analysis of practices and theories in order to realize its full business potential as implied in a recent report [23,60]. Further, Sec. 7.2 provided a new fishbone diagram to increase customer value for remanufacturing. The way to present the contributors in such a diagram is not new, but the two additional items and the “head” (customer value instead of quality) are new to the body of knowledge in manufacturing in a broad sense.

Managerial Implications.

The managerial implications concern first the issue of inventory management. In traditional, open-loop manufacturing, to keep as little inventory as possible and adjust the production volume according to the volume of the demand of final products is regarded as good in order to decrease the entire manufacturing cost—this is a core idea of lean production. However, in remanufacturing, a remanufacturer is expected to keep higher inventory volume to react to the higher uncertainty of demand as well as uncertainty and variety of core supply (as explained in Sec. 5.2) in order to decrease the possibility of sales opportunity loss, as compared to traditional manufacturing. The managerial implication in closed-loop remanufacturing is to increase inventory volume as compared to open-loop traditional manufacturing.

The second issue is the degree of product customization. In industry today, product customization adopting a variety of parts or components is widely spread [61] to address individual customer needs and wants, and thereby maintain the competitiveness of the products. In particular, in the mass customization paradigm by Pine [62], it is recommended to meet customers' demands as far as economically feasible and to provide product variation. However, as explained in Sec. 5.2, remanufacturing is characterized by the uncertain quality of cores. With more variety of products, the uncertainty in supply is increased even more in remanufacturing. This may become a relevant barrier for increasing remanufacturing efficiency. Therefore, a trade-off relation is observed between remanufacturing performance and customization degree.

A third issue concerns the type of product to be remanufactured. If the value of the used product (core) of a specific type of product is high, then it makes more sense to remanufacture the product in comparison to recycling or scrapping it. All the ten companies studied for this research have cores with high value and, in some cases, efficient ways of acquiring cores that make remanufacturing a preferable end-of-use option. Another product type-specific issue is the design of the product, meaning that remanufacturing becomes more effortless if the products are designed for it (see Sundin and Bras [43] and Sundin et al. [63]). Therefore, theoretically, product design for remanufacturing may be expected to have taken place frequently in industry. However, Hatcher et al. [22] show that design for remanufacturing does not occur much in industry. In this research, the companies did not raise any specific design issues (Swepac, for instance, mentioned good practice in design for remanufacturing, though) as also was the case of another investigation [63]. The reason why the product design was not mentioned as a success factor by the remanufacturing company managers is possibly that they have not reflected on the product design or have not had the opportunity to influence the design of the product due to organizational structures.

For remanufacturing companies to have a successful business, barriers have to be overcome, and drivers have to be used in a successful way. The practical success factors have been described in Sec. 5, while other research dealing with the business model shows that the key resources that remanufacturing companies have are their technical staff, good access to cores and facilities, and machinery and equipment [64]. These key resources, together with customer benefits, allow them to become successful remanufacturing companies. It should not be forgotten that the cost for remanufacturers remains a challenge (ibid): the prices for remanufactured products are lower than for new products by 10–80%, and offering the right prices is important from a management point of view.

Conclusion.

Within this paper, the five practical success factors for remanufacturing were identified and explained: (1) addressing product and component value, (2) having a customer-oriented operation, (3) efficient collection of cores, (4) obtaining correct information, and (5) having the right staff competence. The factors are recognized by practitioners and are found to be relevant to the separately identified distinctive nature of remanufacturing underlying in the processes, namely, variability and uncertainty. In addition, they are found relevant to the means to improve customer value in remanufacturing, that is, product, service personnel, customer, and business model. They are also represented with a fishbone diagram for remanufacturing to highlight the newly obtained insights. Further, recommendations were derived and presented in this diagram. Considering the lack of, for instance, a practical guide for remanufacturing, the gained insights would be a useful basis for such a guide. It should be emphasized that the factors are grounded in both practice and theory.

Future Works.

The paper points to various future research opportunities with strong potential. First, as shown in Table 3, the addressing of three key factors in particular lack support in industry: having a customer-oriented operation, having an efficient core acquisition, and obtaining the correct information. This is a future research direction with high potential in, for instance, developing specific support tools that address these factors. Second, as described in Sec. 6.3, applying PSS theory to improve remanufacturing is also an interesting research endeavor. Third, the practitioners' evaluation of the theoretical analysis, including the fishbone diagram presented in this paper, is interesting and could complement the practitioners' views. Fourth, developing a practical guide for remanufacturing based on the insights gained in the paper is expected to be yet another research option.

The authors wish to thank the personnel at the ten companies studied for their time and effort. Furthermore, we wish to show our gratitude to VINNOVA, the Swedish governmental innovation agency, for partially financing this research project. Writing this paper was also partially supported by the Swedish funding body called Stiftelsen för miljöstrategisk forskning (Mistra) (The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research in English) through their research program named the Mistra REES (Resource Efficient and Effective Solutions) (No. 2014/16).

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Bolton, R. N. , and Drew, J. H. , 1991, “ A Multistage Model of Customers' Assessments of Service Quality and Value,” J. Consumer Res., 17(4), pp. 375–384. [CrossRef]
Zeithaml, V. A. , 1988, “ Consumer Perceptions of Price, Quality, and Value: A Means-End Model and Synthesis of Evidence,” J. Marketing, 52(3), pp. 2–22. [CrossRef]
Müller, P. , 2013, Integrated Engineering of Products and Services, Layer-Based Development Methodology for Product-Service Systems, Technical University of Berlin, Berlin.
Meier, H. , Völker, O. , and Funke, B. , 2011, “ Industrial Product-Service Systems (IPS2)—Paradigm Shift by Mutually Determined Products and Services,” Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol., 52(9–12), pp. 1175–1191. [CrossRef]
Osterwalder, A. , and Pigneur, Y. , 2010, Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.
Grenchus, E. , Keene, R. , and Nobs, C. , 1997, “ Demanufacturing of Information Technology Equipment,” IEEE International Symposium on Electronics & Environment, San Francisco, CA, May 5–7, pp. 157–160.
Ishikawa, K. , 1989, Hinshitsu Kanri Nyumon (Introduction to Quality Management), 3rd ed., JUSE Press, Tokyo, Japan (in Japanese).
Jansson, K. , Vatanen, S. , Karvonen, I. , Behm, K. , Waugh, R. , Fitzsimons, D. , Sundin, E. , and Parker, D. , 2017, “ ERN–European Remanufacturing Network, Targeted Recommendations,” European Remanufacturing Network, Delft, The Netherlands, accessed Oct. 15, 2018, http://www.remanufacturing.eu/pdf/story/11a98ee6c096c15ce182.pdf
Hu, S. J. , Ko, J. , Weyand, L. , ElMaraghy, H. A. , Lien, T. K. , Koren, Y. , Bley, H. , Chryssolouris, G. , Nasr, N. , and Shpitalni, M. , 2011, “ Assembly System Design and Operations for Product Variety,” CIRP Ann.—Manuf. Technol., 60(2), pp. 715–733. [CrossRef]
Pine, J. , 1993, Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.
Sundin, E. , Lindahl, M. , and Ijomah, W. , 2009, “ Product Design for Product/Service Systems—Design Experiences From Swedish Industry,” J. Manuf. Technol. Manage., 20(5), pp. 723–753. [CrossRef]
Sundin, E. , Sakao, T. , Lindahl, M. , Kao, C.-C. , Joungerious, B. , and Ijomah, W. , 2017, “ ERN–European Remanufacturing Network, Map of Remanufacturing Business Model Landscape,” European Remanufacturing Network, Delft, The Netherlands, accessed Oct. 15, 2018, https://www.remanufacturing.eu/assets/pdfs/ERN-D-3-1-Map-of-Remanufacturing-Business-Model-Landscape.pdf
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Ulaga, W. , and Chacour, S. , 2001, “ Measuring Customer Perceived Value in Business Markets,” Ind. Marketing Manage., 30(6), pp. 525–540. [CrossRef]
Bolton, R. N. , and Drew, J. H. , 1991, “ A Multistage Model of Customers' Assessments of Service Quality and Value,” J. Consumer Res., 17(4), pp. 375–384. [CrossRef]
Zeithaml, V. A. , 1988, “ Consumer Perceptions of Price, Quality, and Value: A Means-End Model and Synthesis of Evidence,” J. Marketing, 52(3), pp. 2–22. [CrossRef]
Müller, P. , 2013, Integrated Engineering of Products and Services, Layer-Based Development Methodology for Product-Service Systems, Technical University of Berlin, Berlin.
Meier, H. , Völker, O. , and Funke, B. , 2011, “ Industrial Product-Service Systems (IPS2)—Paradigm Shift by Mutually Determined Products and Services,” Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol., 52(9–12), pp. 1175–1191. [CrossRef]
Osterwalder, A. , and Pigneur, Y. , 2010, Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.
Grenchus, E. , Keene, R. , and Nobs, C. , 1997, “ Demanufacturing of Information Technology Equipment,” IEEE International Symposium on Electronics & Environment, San Francisco, CA, May 5–7, pp. 157–160.
Ishikawa, K. , 1989, Hinshitsu Kanri Nyumon (Introduction to Quality Management), 3rd ed., JUSE Press, Tokyo, Japan (in Japanese).
Jansson, K. , Vatanen, S. , Karvonen, I. , Behm, K. , Waugh, R. , Fitzsimons, D. , Sundin, E. , and Parker, D. , 2017, “ ERN–European Remanufacturing Network, Targeted Recommendations,” European Remanufacturing Network, Delft, The Netherlands, accessed Oct. 15, 2018, http://www.remanufacturing.eu/pdf/story/11a98ee6c096c15ce182.pdf
Hu, S. J. , Ko, J. , Weyand, L. , ElMaraghy, H. A. , Lien, T. K. , Koren, Y. , Bley, H. , Chryssolouris, G. , Nasr, N. , and Shpitalni, M. , 2011, “ Assembly System Design and Operations for Product Variety,” CIRP Ann.—Manuf. Technol., 60(2), pp. 715–733. [CrossRef]
Pine, J. , 1993, Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.
Sundin, E. , Lindahl, M. , and Ijomah, W. , 2009, “ Product Design for Product/Service Systems—Design Experiences From Swedish Industry,” J. Manuf. Technol. Manage., 20(5), pp. 723–753. [CrossRef]
Sundin, E. , Sakao, T. , Lindahl, M. , Kao, C.-C. , Joungerious, B. , and Ijomah, W. , 2017, “ ERN–European Remanufacturing Network, Map of Remanufacturing Business Model Landscape,” European Remanufacturing Network, Delft, The Netherlands, accessed Oct. 15, 2018, https://www.remanufacturing.eu/assets/pdfs/ERN-D-3-1-Map-of-Remanufacturing-Business-Model-Landscape.pdf

Figures

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Fig. 1

The product lifecycle and its actors where the remanufacturing companies are acting end-of-use treatment companies

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Fig. 2

Research method of this paper

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Fig. 3

Approach to obtain theoretical insights of remanufacturing

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Fig. 4

The habitat in which remanufactured products are operating

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Fig. 5

The remanufacturing properties (effects) caused by their characteristics (causes) identified in the habitat of remanufacturing

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Fig. 6

Means to influence customer value

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Fig. 7

Fishbone diagram for remanufacturing including seven m's with recommended actions

Tables

Table Grahic Jump Location
Table 1 Examples of previously conducted studies with surveys and interviews
Table Grahic Jump Location
Table 2 Companies interviewed in the empirical study
Table Grahic Jump Location
Table 3 Matching between the practical success factors and theoretical items as well as the degree of support available for the practical success factors

Errata

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