The strategic value of design for remanufacturing: a case study of professional imaging equipment

Nina Boorsma*, David Peck, Tanya Bakker, Conny Bakker, Ruud Balkenende

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Remanufacturing offers an approach to extend product lifetime beyond its first use. After restoring products to original quality, they are reintroduced to the market. To make products more suited for this approach, and to increase resource-efficiency, design for remanufacturing can be incorporated for new product development. Academic literature points out opportunities for improved implementation particularly through early-stage design activities. This paper presents an in-depth, single case study into the opportunities and barriers to incorporate design for remanufacturing ine early-stage design. The selected case company is a producer of professional imaging equipment with an internal remanufacturing division. The company has decades of experience in remanufacturing and has introduced a company standard on design for End-of-Life. For data collection, employees from different departments were interviewed and observed. Design management theory was used to combine findings from all perspectives into a company-specific strategy map. This map shows departmental interrelations and dependencies, and exposes the opportunities for creating new value through design. At the case company, remanufacturing was found to be separate from, and secondary to, the development of newly manufactured products. If the strategy of a company is not attuned to developing products that serve multiple use-cycles, its execution will remain sub-optimal and remanufacturing will be a value-retention strategy in isolation. These findings may be valid for other companies that have remanufacturing operations, which are separate, as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Remanufacturing
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Circular economy
  • Circular product design
  • Design strategy
  • Printers
  • Soft barriers
  • Sustainable design

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