IEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing, Vol. 22. No. 2, pp. 105-108, April 1999.

A Model for Optimizing the Assembly and Disassembly of Electronic Systems

Peter A. Sandborn
CALCE-Electronic Products & Systems Center
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

Cynthia F. Murphy
Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC)


This paper presents a methodology that incorporates simultaneous consideration of economic and environmental merit during the virtual prototyping phase of electronic product design. A model that allows optimization of a product life cycle, which includes primary assembly, disassembly, and secondary assembly using a mix of new and salvaged components, is described. Optimizing this particular life cycle scenario is important for products that are leased to customers or subject to product take-back laws. Monte Carlo simulation is used to account for uncertainty in the data, and demonstrates that high-level design and process decisions may be made with a few basic metrics and without highly specific data sets for every material and component used in a product. A web-based software tool has been developed that implements this methodology.

Index Terms: Design-to-cost, design-for-environment, virtual prototyping, disassembly, end of life, electronics product take-back, recycling.

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