A knowledge management system for product End-Of-Life : Application to electronic product recycling

Starting date: 
April 2009
Defense date: 
Wednesday 28 March 2012
Host institution: 
Other institution: 
INDUSTR : Furcom decorative company Limited

The increasing of competition, expanding markets and advanced technology create shorten lifecycle and the development process to improve product performance in terms of time, cost and quality. These shorten products lifecycle have led to increase volumes of waste generation and consequence impact to environment. EU directives have been introduced, such as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS) and guidelines for the treatment of waste batteries (Battery), these directives are used to handle the hazardous substances which are harmful to human health and the environment. These regulations and standards have been put in place to force companies take their responsibilities on managing their products when reach to the end of life. Some companies have found that the returned product can be recycled or reused as an additional source of income (material recycling, or reuse of components after disassembly) in the manufacturing process. Knowledge related to the environmental performance should be captured, evaluated and stored in knowledge base in order to share between users in different phases of the product lifecycle. Therefore, this research proposes a Knowledge Management Architecture based on a Multi-Agent System approach. The objective of this work is to propose a system that focuses on the concept of "sustainability” of products lifecycle by establishing the link between agents, who hold knowledge related to the environmental performances, and PLM system. The connection encourages companies considering the environmental impacts in their decision making at every stage of product lifecycle.


KEYWORDS : Knowledge management, Product Lifecycle Management, Reverse logistics, Multi agent system, Ontology, Sustainability.