Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Han P. Bao

Committee Member

Gene Hou

Committee Member

Sebastian Bawab


In the current consumer oriented environment, many new products appear in the market almost on a daily basis. Lured by advertisements and tempted by new product features, customers are constantly purchasing newer products. Acquiring newer products for often leads to throwing out older ones, but it is a totally different story for manufacturers. They need to consider the best way to reuse a product both for economic purposes and for environmental protection. Considerations for them often include: how to minimize total disassembly cost, how to achieve the lowest total disassembly time at each processing step, and how to sort valuable parts from hazardous parts as early as possible during the disassembly procedure.

In this paper, we use a Disassembly Petri-Net (DPN) to generate the Disassembly Process Plan (DPP). This plan is a sequence of disassembly tasks from the initial stage of the whole product to the final stage where each part is separated from the other parts. This disassembly plan is very valuable for product recycling or remanufacturing. Prior to having the DPN, we apply an algorithm to generate a Disassembly Precedence Matrix (DPM) helped by the construction steps involved in SolidWorks™, a solid model software used to create the part in the first place. From the DPN, we find all feasible paths and generate the corresponding costs of disassembly based upon tool changes, changes in direction of the movement and individual part characteristics (e.g. hazardous components and recycle component). Cost data was extracted from previously published studies by Boothroyd et al. to obtain the handling time and disassembly time. Afterwards, we developed the optimal or near-optimal DPP for the best time and cost based disassembly options.

In summary, this paper presents a systematic method to disassemble a part into its individual components and provides a cost figure for doing so. This is in contrast with many studies reported in the literature in that they concentrate either on a measure of disassembly complexity, or even if cost is presumably the driving force, their costs are arbitrary costs based on pre-selected values for such things as tool change penalty, disassembly direction change penalty or penalty for delaying removal of hazardous materials. In this paper, we are using disassembly times based on experimental work and/or industrial experience. Given the correct labor rate, our cost evaluation indeed yields a realistic cost value.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).