Monday, May 27, 2013

Depth of manual dismantling analysis: A cost–benefit approach

This paper presents a decision support tool for manufacturers and recyclers towards end-of-life strategies for waste electrical and electronic equipment. A mathematical formulation based on the cost benefit analysis concept is herein analytically described in order to determine the parts and/or components of an obsolete product that should be either non-destructively recovered for reuse or be recycled. The framework optimally determines the depth of disassembly for a given product, taking into account economic considerations. On this basis, it embeds all relevant cost elements to be included in the decision-making process, such as recovered materials and (depreciated) parts/components, labor costs, energy consumption, equipment depreciation, quality control and warehousing. This tool can be part of the strategic decision-making process in order to maximize profitability or minimize end-of-life management costs. A case study to demonstrate the models’ applicability is presented for a typical electronic product in terms of structure and material composition. Taking into account the market values of the pilot product’s components, the manual disassembly is proven profitable with the marginal revenues from recovered reusable materials to be estimated at 2.93–23.06 €, depending on the level of disassembly. 
The E-waste centre of Agbogbloshie, Ghana, where electronic waste is burnt and disassembled
► A mathematical modeling tool for OEMs.
► The tool can be used by OEMs, recyclers of electr(on)ic equipment or WEEE management systems’ regulators.
► The tool makes use of cost–benefit analysis in order to determine the optimal depth of product disassembly.
► The reusable materials and the quantity of metals and plastics recycled can be quantified in an easy-to-comprehend manner.
a School of Economics & Business Administration, International Hellenic University, 14th km Thessaloniki-Moudania, 57001 Thermi, Greece; Tel.: +30 2310 807545; fax: +30 2310 474569.
b Department of Logistics, Alexander Technological Educational Institute, Branch of Katerini, 60100 Katerini, Greece 
c Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Box 483, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Volume 33, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 948–956
Keywords: WEEE; Mathematical modeling; Manual dismantling; Level of disassembly; Cost accounting; Reuse; Recycling

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