News: Remaining life estimation of used components in consumer products: Life cycle data analysis by Weibull and artificial neural networks
Environmental awareness and legislative pressures have made manufacturers responsible for the take-back and end-of-life treatment of their products.
Monday, 18th February 2008
To competitively exploit these products, one option is to incorporate used components in “new” or remanufactured products. However, this option is partly limited by a firm's ability to assess the reliability of used components. A comprehensive two-step approach is proposed. The first stage phase statistically analyzes the behavior of components for reuse. A well-known reliability assessment method, the Weibull analysis, is applied to the time-to-failure data to assess the mean life of components. In the second phase, the degradation and condition monitoring data are analyzed by developing an artificial neural network (ANN) model. The advantages of this approach over traditional approaches employing multiple regression analysis are highlighted with empirical data from a consumer product. Finally, the Weibull analysis and the ANN model are then integrated to assess the remaining useful life of components for reuse. This is a critical advance in sustainable management of supply chains since it allows for a better understanding of not only service requirements of product, but the remaining life in a product and hence its suitability for reuse or remanufacture. Future work should assess: (1) reduction in downtime of process equipment through the implementation of this technique as a means to better manage preventative maintenance; (2) reduce field failure of remanufactured product; (3) selling-service strategy through implementation of the proposed methodology. These academic papers are available to purchase through Sciencedirect.com, usually at US$30 each. To do this, it is necessary to register via the weblink given.