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Product-Process Design
Laboratory of Grenoble for sciences of conception, optimisation and production
Product-Process Design
Product-Process Design

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Contribution to Design for Recovery approaches: taking into consideration disassembly practices from Extended Producer Responsibility schemes


Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes have been stablished in recent years to alleviate the burden of economical, societal, environmental and regulatory pressures. Product disassembly is frequently practiced during the pre-treatment recovery phase. It is one of the first of the recovery of complex products such as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), subject to this research work.

Fig.1 - Main steps of the WEEE recovery network

PhD candidate: Natalia ALONSO MOVILLA
Grenoble-Alpes University,
PhD supervisor:


Problem to be solved

To ensure the best recovery of products, their design has to meet the needs of the different waste management operators. Our literature research shows that Design for Recovery and Design for Disassembly methods are:

  • Very general since they do not consider the diversity of pre-treatment practices nor the reasons that lead products to carry them out
  • Very theoretical since there is a lack of consideration of the situation of EPR schemes.
Design guidelines should be contextualised since they do not meet the needs of the different operators. This is mainly due to the absence of a model allowing to understanding the expertise related to the pre-treatment facilities, which are in constant evolution.

Research process

This research project is divided into 4 main stages:

1. Research clarification
Literature review of Design for Recovery and Design for Disassembly methods. Qualitative study of WEEE pre-treatment operators in France.

2. Descriptive design research
Modelling the expertise of pre-treatment operators. Identifying and defining different types of operators using multivariate statistics (PLS regression, PCA).

3. Case studies
Detailed analysis of the activity of one specific type of operator to support the development of disassembly indicators. Comparison of design rules with other operators through a survey.

4. Development of design support and validation of results
Implementation of the model, the typology and the parameters influencing the pre-treatment operators in an eco-design methodology. Illustration of the intended support through a demonstrator.

Expected results

Our research aims at developing a Design for Recovery and Disassembly methodology to allow designers to:

  • Measure the ability of a product to be recovered by the different pre-treatment operators.
  • Obtain economic, environmental and technological indicators as well as design rules contextualised to each operator type.
Last update: 2015.02.24

Date of update February 24, 2015

Université Grenoble Alpes