This thesis reports on research carried out into development of a systematic approach to
support the integration of the product supply and product end-of-life recovery processes.
The principal objective of the research is to generate knowledge and generic solutions to
facilitate the realisation of end-of-life product recovery as an extension to the product
supply chain processes.
The research contribution is divided into three major parts. The first part reviews the most
relevant publications and categorises the contemporary approaches to end-of-life product
recovery to identify the most relevant research directions. The second part has investigated
the novel concepts related to an integrated view of a `product supply and recovery chain'
and the development of systematic approach to the implementation of product recovery
procedures. These concepts are then supported by the design and development of an
information management system for end-of-life product recovery activities. The third part
of the thesis explores the application of the research concepts using a case study of
recovery of cutting tools in machining applications. This is illustrated through the design
and development of a web based information system to support end-of-life recovery of
The concept of an integrated product supply and recovery chain has provided a powerful
perspective for a holistic view of business, technological, information and management
requirements for implementation of product recovery activities within different industrial
applications. The application of a Product Recovery Implementation Methodology
developed by the research has shown significant potential for gaining tactical insights into
the decisions involved in adoption of product recovery procedures. The geographical
spread of various actors involved in a product supply and recovery chain highlights the
requirements for a distributed information system providing a simple, simultaneous, and
secure access to information. This has been achieved by the utilisation of a web based
information support system.
The case study formulated within the context of systematic recovery of cutting tools has
effectively demonstrated the applicability and the significant potential of the research
concepts and has demonstrated that the web based distributed information system provides
a powerful tool for the integration of processes involved in product supply and recovery.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.