Integrating Design for Remanufacture into the Design Process: the Operational Factors

Gillian Hatcher

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

64 Citations (Scopus)


Remanufacturing is the process of returning a used product to a like-new condition with a warranty to match. It is widely recognised as an environmentally preferable end-of-life strategy for many products, as it is a process that saves materials from landfill and retains more intrinsic energy than similar end-of-life strategies such as recycling or repair. The concept of ‘design for remanufacture’ (DfRem) originates from the understanding that decisions made during the design process may have a considerable effect upon the efficiency and effectiveness of the remanufacturing process. Much of the DfRem literature to date has focused upon the identification of technical DfRem factors (such as material choice or fastening methods), and the subsequent development of design methods and tools. However, the literature has overlooked how DfRem practices may be integrated into a company design process, and has not considered the operational factors that may influence DfRem integration decision-making and practice. This thesis presents the findings from industrial case study research with three original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from the UK mechanical industry sector. Through observation and interviews with designers, design management, and aftermarket and remanufacturing management, the research has indentified significant external and internal operational factors that influence DfRem integration, including management commitment, OEM-remanufacturer relationships and designer motivation. The findings led to the development of a ‘DfRem integration network model’ which maps the identified relationships between the various operational factors, providing practitioners with an enhanced understanding of DfRem integration into the design process, and a portfolio of practical steps towards more remanufacturable products and improved remanufacturing services.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
  • Ijomah, Winifred, Supervisor
  • Windmill, James, Supervisor
Award date12 Nov 2013
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2013


  • remanufacture
  • design process
  • sustainability
  • design for remanufacture


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