Schaller, Vincent; Jonasson, Christian; Engblom, Tom; Bogert, Björn; Lindén, Hanna
In regard to circular economy in the automotive industry, remanufacturing is an efficient strategy to close-the-loop on automotive parts by extending their useful lives. The process consists of restoring used parts to like new condition by disassembling, inspection and assembling. The ability to exploit the economic and environmental benefits of remanufacturing practices depends, among other factors, on the uncertain condition of the components at the End-of-Life (EOL) of the vehicle. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest to collect and process sensor data from across the vehicle’s lifecycle for prognostics and health management purposes. However, the potential to further utilize this data at the end-of-life of the vehicle has been largely overlooked so far. The aim of this study is to address this gap by investigating how on-board sensor data can be used to support the process of inspection and condition assessment of parts from EOL vehicles. The method considered in this study is based upon using logged vehicle data and diagnostic trouble codes that are obtained via the vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system to extract relevant insight into part’s condition. The potential of this lifecycle approach to support enhanced remanufacturing of automotive parts will be illustrated with a case study focused on the powertrain’s rear axle (incl. electric motor) of a plug-in hybrid car.