A web-based information system to support end-of-life product recovery

Increased public awareness towards global environmental problems has forced manufacturing companies to consider the negative impacts of their activities on the environment. In this context, the effective management of products at the end of their useful life has become of paramount importance due to the ever-increasing national and international legislation and directives aimed at making take-back and recovery of used products obligatory for the original equipment manufacturer. This highlights a need for a systematic approach for enhancement of information, business and production management systems to deal with additional activities and processes related to the recovery of products. The research reported in this paper has developed a five-stage methodology to support product end-of-life management within manufacturing companies. The modelling and design of appropriate product recovery information systems, which constitute the main core of this methodology, are also described. The paper concludes with the description of an application of this methodology and information system design for the recovery of cutting tools at the end of their useful life in metalworking applications.