Journal of Operations Management 16 Ž1998. 551–568
Inventory buffers in recoverable manufacturing
V. Daniel R. Guide Jr.
, Rajesh Srivastava
Suffolk UniÕersity, F. Sawyer School of Management, Management Department, Beacon Hill, 8 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108-2770, USA Air Force Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management, Department of Graduate Logistics Management, 2950 P Street, Bldg 641, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7765, USA Received 19 February 1997; accepted 16 June 1997
Abstract Recoverable manufacturing is becoming an increasingly important alternative to firms as they develop environmentally sound strategies aimed at minimizing waste and resources. It helps minimize costs and conserve resources through methods such as extending product life cycles via remanufacturing which uses only a fraction of the resources and energy associated with a new product. In this study the creation and location of inventory buffers Ždelay buffers. and their impact on other managerial operating decisions is examined in the context of a remanufacturing environment. It is shown that inventory buffer decisions are significantly impacted by the method used to release parts from the disassembly stage to the remanufacturing stage within the remanufacturing environment. Based on observations and on discussions with managers in remanufacturing facilities several managerial propositions are stated. These propositions are examined, via a simulation model of an operating facility, and recommendations as to the inventory buffer to use in conjunction with the disassembly release policy Žfor parts. are made for the remanufacturing environment. q 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Environmental issues; Manufacturing control systems
1. Introduction There are numerous ways to minimize the environmental costs of manufacturing, but the prevention of waste products avoids many environmental...