There are considerably high numbers of products, transportation vehicles, packages and waste materials released in connection with the processes taking place in supply chain management. Their backflows must be provided as far as the organizational, information, communication and financial aspects are concerned, and the manipulation, storage and transportation aspects up to their dismantling, separation, reworking with the aim of resale, recycling or disposal must be secured as well.
The main reason is the consumers´ behaviour in the "advanced" western world - the products have shorter and shorter lifespan or the desire to be "in" will, for example in case of technical incompatibility of computers, force the consumers to put the products among useless junk.
That is why the logistics approach expanded, including the back flows, and the term reverse logistics was introduced. The collection, classification, disassembly and processing of the used products, components, side products, superfluous stock and packaging material represent the main scope of reverse logistics. The main objective of this method is to secure their new use or material appreciation in a way which would be environment friendly and interesting from the economic point of view.
The authors are interested in the used products (end of use returns). From the point of view of reverse logistics processes, the attention is focused on their sorting and processing, in particular, on the suggested methodology for analysis and evaluation of sorting and processing logistics of used products in case of waste processing companies.
Methodology for analysis and evaluation of sorting and processing logistics of used products
The suggested methodology objective is to analyse and evaluate the current state of sorting and processing processes with regards to used products from the point of view of logistics, to define the main problems in this area, and to suggest the basic measures leading to their elimination, i. e. leading to icreased capacity of the researched processes.
The methodology can be dividend into two stages:
1. Entry analysis of the sorting and processing processes of used products.
2. Evaluation of the current status and definition of the suggestions for increase in capacity of the researched processes.
The following analytical tools can be used for the entry analysis of sorting and processing process of used products:
Analysis of used products feed
Analysis of space arrangement and layout of the individual work sites and sorting and storage areas
Material flow analysis
Sorting level analysis
Analysis of sorting and processing of the used products capacity
Surveys of employee's working days
Surveys of manipulation technology working day
Surveys of sorting and processing of the used products operations
The acquired outputs serve as information base for the realization of the evaluation of the stage current status and for defining the suggestions aimed at increasing the capacity of the sorting process and the processing of the used products. The evaluation concept results from Lean principle originating in Toyota Production System philosophy (for more information see for ex. ). This principle uses maximum effort to eliminate all the activities which do not add value to the processed products and, at the same time, it tries to shorten, as much as possible, the realization time of the activities adding value, thus shortening the time of the entire production process. The following procedure can be recommended for the actual evaluation of the sorting and processing of the used products process:
1. Definition of the starting position - identification of value-added activities and activities not adding value and the definition of the outputs of realized analysis which are decisive for further evaluation.
2. Definition of the potential dismantling capacity - setting the theoretic capacity for the monitored process.
3. Identification and quantification of losses - definition and analysis of the current losses and the problematic areas.
4. Suggestion for eliminating the losses - a set of preliminary recommendations for minimizing the identified losses, including the tips of the anticipated benefits and costs.
5. Suggestions for reducing the realization time of the activities adding value - in similar way as in point 4.
The suggested methodology was verified and developed by a concrete waste processing company using two processes:
1. Sorting the bulky waste.
2. Disassembling scrapped electronic equipment.
The next part includes the main application outputs of the methodology created for analysis and evaluation of disassembling the scrapped electronic equipment process.
Artykuł pochodzi z czasopisma "Logistyka" 5/2009.