A common recommendation when designing for disassembly is to develop more modular products. The common belief is that an increase in modularity will systematically reduce the time required in order to disassemble the product, reducing the cost of the process. This paper studies the statistical relationship between these two concepts by comparing 15 different electrical products. Modularity and disassembly performance are assessed by different indicators each and their correlation is analyzed. The results show that the aforementioned relationship cannot be statistically proven and, for some of the cases, even inverse correlation is found. Factors such as product structure or selected end-of-life strategy are more important than modularity in end-of-life performance. Systematic modularization can even result in products with a worse behavior: For most electrical equipment, generating modules from a functional or manufacturing point of view will most probably result in worse end-of-life performance. It is only for modules with very specific properties that performance can be guaranteed.
Modularity and Ease of Disassembly: Study of Electrical and Electronic Equipment
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Collado-Ruiz, D., and Capuz-Rizo, S. F. (December 21, 2009). "Modularity and Ease of Disassembly: Study of Electrical and Electronic Equipment." ASME. J. Mech. Des. January 2010; 132(1): 014502. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4000641
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