This paper describes a schematic representation of product retirement specification that aids in design for recycling and reuse. In the past decade, a graphical representation of the assembly process, called the assembly fishbone diagram, has effectively assisted engineers to conduct design for assembly (DFA) and process failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA). On the other hand, environmentally conscious manufacturing requires engineers to make advanced planning for product retirement. This study investigates the use of the reverse fishbone diagram to model the disassembly and reprocessing sequence of a product at the end of its useful life. An industry-provided student project guided us to an initial definition of the reverse fishbone diagram that effectively led the students to analyze the recyclability and make practical redesign suggestions. The diagram is continuously adding more rigorous definitions and promises to be a central tool for evaluation of recyclability in a simultaneous engineering setting.

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