All the text below is sourced directly from the paper titled Opportunities for Industry 4.0 to Support Remanufacturing published by Yang, S., M. R., A., Kaminski, J., & Pepin, H. The full reference is:
Yang, S., M. R., A., Kaminski, J., & Pepin, H. (2018). Opportunities for Industry 4.0 to Support Remanufacturing. Applied Sciences, 8(7), 1177. MDPI AG. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/app8071177
Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth stage of industrialization, aiming for a high level of automation in the manufacturing industry through the adoption of ubiquitous information and communication technologies (ICTs). In simple terms, electronic and mechanical components are linked through sensors in a network, which provides a smart platform for data flow and data analytics called cyber-physical production systems (CPPSs).
An early form of this technology is the implementation of radio frequency identification (RFID) sensors, which have been in wide use since the year 1999. The opportunities that Industry 4.0 bring to remanufacturing are in the following three areas:
- Smart Life Cycle Data for Design for Remanufacturing and EOL Management:
Ineffectiveness of data circulation has reduced the efficiency of product life-cycle management and the quality of service provided. This could be enabled through sensors, embedded systems, and connected devices (“Internet of Things”), as well as a comprehensive data management platform.
- Smart Factory for cost-effective and green remanufacturing operations:
“Smart factories” are essentially at the core of Industry 4.0. “Smartness” is achieved using electronic hardware/software, as well as networking of production resources. Compared with traditional manufacturing, more ancillary hardware and software, like RFID tags, barcodes, laser markers, sensors, as well as communication infrastructure, will be embedded into the factory to enable machines to collaborate with each other using intelligent analytics.
- Smart Services for a successful remanufacturing business model:
In this emerging and disruptive business model, ownership of the product is usually retained by the OEMs or retailers and only the service or usage is offered to customers (e.g., selling “flying hours of the engine” instead of selling “engines”). Hence, it creates a mandate for manufacturers or retailers to monitor their product’s performance during its runtime and to forecast remanufacturing operations on the cores returned based on the predicted remaining life of the product. On the other hand, from the consumers’ perspective, as they pay for the service rather than the ownership of the product, market acceptance for remanufactured goods will likely be increased, leading to a successful remanufacturing model