An approach to evaluate the impact of the introduction of a disassembly line in traditional manufacturing systems

Marco Sergio, Chiara Franciosi, Raffaele Iannone


Purpose: The circular economy (CE) paradigm, traditionally based on the 3R (reuse, recycle, and remanufacture) principles, provides benefits for sustainability and represents a big opportunity for manufacturing enterprises to reduce costs and take economic advantages. This paper proposes an approach that can help stakeholders transition towards CE oriented business by evaluating the economic convenience of introducing a manual disassembly line to recover the components of End-of-Life (EoL) products in a traditional manufacturing system.

Design/methodology/approach: The conceptual approach is generic and based on the characteristics of EoL products and on the reusability and recyclability features of every component. Then, based on the type of product and the disassembly sequence, the disassembly line is built in the virtual environment along the assembly line. The virtual environment must take into account the probabilistic parameters that characterise each real industrial context. Therefore, the assembly-disassembly lines are linked with the variables and economic functions needed to process the outputs of the approach application.

Findings: Implemented in a virtual environment, the proposed approach evaluates a priori possible economic and environmental benefits coming from the integration of a disassembly line within a manufacturing context. The approach considers the variability of the EoL products’ status (their reusability and recyclability indices), provides the optimal number of operators that must be assigned to the manual disassembly line and determines the maximum reduction of the product cost that can be gained by introducing the disassembly line.  Furthermore, an application example is provided to show the potential of the tool.

Originality/value: Recently, the scientific literature has dealt with the issue related to the disassembly process of EoL products from several perspectives (e.g. disassembly line scheduling, planning, balancing, with and without the consideration of the quality of EoL products). However, to the best of our knowledge, no study provided an approach to evaluate the convenience of the investment in a disassembly line. Therefore, this document contributes to this research field by proposing a simple approach that supports the decision-making process of traditional manufacturing enterprises to evaluate a priori the economic return (i.e. how much the product cost decreases) and provide an estimate of the environmental benefits of integrating a manual disassembly line of EoL products with a traditional manufacturing system.


Circular economy, end of life products, sustainable manufacturing, economic performance, EoL

Full Text:



Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience