Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Leslie Monplaisir


Remanufacturing is identified as the most viable product end-of-life (EOL) management strategy. However, about 80% of manufactured products currently end up as wastes. Besides other benefits, the product service system (PSS) could curtail the main bottlenecks to remanufacturing namely quantity, quality, recovery time of used product, and negative perception of remanufactured products. Therefore, the integration of PSS and remanufacturing has been increasingly recommended as an enhanced product offering. However, an integration that is informed by mathematical analysis is missing. Meanwhile, the variables that bolster the performance of PSS and remanufacturing are substantially influenced by product development (PD) decisions. Among the PD strategies, modular architecture is a technique that significantly enhances product lifecycle management. Consequently, modular design is a suitable PD approach for an enhanced PSS-remanufacturing enterprise. Furthermore, it is argued that the PSS-remanufacturing initiative is poised to be a sustainable venture due to the sustainability philosophy of PSS. However, the acclaimed sustainability of PSS is flawed if a high environmental impact is associated with the production of the parts that constitute the product which is offered in PSS. Therefore, it is essential to consider the environmental implications of the production of the parts that are contained in the product architecture during PD. This research identifies that cost, core-cleaning, and product serviceability are critical variables for the success of remanufacturing and PSS. The research employs pairwise assessment methodology to evaluate the compatibility of module pairs comprehensively and obtains the modular pair compatibility indices via fuzzy system. Similarly, cost data are obtained. The study develops an optimization model that determines viable modular configuration(s) from among several alternatives in order to realize an enhanced PSS-remanufacturing business. Furthermore, the research performs lifecycle assessment (LCA) of module variants and determine the modular architecture with minimal environmental Impact. Having obtained the optimal architectures with regard to cost, core cleaning, product serviceability and environmental impacts, multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT) is engaged to collectively assess the degree of sustainability of the product architectures. The study offers analytical-based guidance to the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in making product architecture decisions in order to realize the sustainable PSS-remanufacturing enterprise.