Scalable Enterprise Systems: An Enabling System for Market-Driven Collaborative Product Design and Recycling

  • Ryan, Sarah S. (PI)
  • Gemmill, Douglas D. (CoPI)
  • Egbelu, Pius (CoPI)
  • Min, Kyung K. (CoPI)
  • Qamhiyah, Abir A. (CoPI)
  • Olafsson, Sigurdur S. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This grant provides funding to investigate how enterprises can use the Internet to collaborate on design for recycling and cooperate in reclaiming valuable parts and materials from retired products. The project's goal is to lay the information system foundation for a new industry sector of return centers for electronic products. These centers would be supported by manufacturer involvement with a management and archival (MA) subsystem and a product design advisory (PDA) subsystem. By subscribing to the MA subsystem, manufacturers could employ independent return centers as their agents for collecting their retired products. The PDA subsystem would archive design principles and disassembly methods for a consortium of manufacturers that collaborate on product design research. The current exploratory phase of research focuses on designing scalable system architectures for the MA subsystem, developing an integrated design database for the PDA subsystem, and choosing methods to ensure systems security. The research tasks include requirements analysis, preliminary functional analysis and requirements allocation, model development, initial prototyping, testing and initial specifications for a conceptual design of the system.

Implementation of the results of this research, if successful, will allow a return center to consult the PDA archive to retrieve methods for disassembly, query the MA subsystem to determine the best market value for components and materials, and track the locations and identities of the products manufacturers and recyclers. The MA subsystem will handle and archive all financial transactions between the return centers and manufacturers who buy back their retired products, components, and materials. The system will encourage manufacturers to collaborate in research on product design for recycling, consumers to return retired products for recycling, and investors to establish retired product collection and recycling enterprises. The results concerning scalability, database design and security will apply to other enterprise computing applications as well.

Effective start/end date8/1/007/31/02


  • National Science Foundation: $180,002.00


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