Remanufacturing is a key pillar of a circular economy and helps in recovering used products by extending their life cycle via remanufacturing them into new products. A vital aspect in a remanufacturing system is the quality assessment of incoming worn-out products (cores) prior to remanufacturing to ensure that non-conforming cores are discarded at an early stage in order to avoid unnecessary processing. Therefore, quality sorting plays an important role in core acquisition for remanufacturing systems when attempting to mitigate uncertain incoming core quality as an immediate solution. The main problem is that it is difficult to acquire the important information required to decide on the sorting of incoming cores, such as the core quality. The data are also com-monly limited, not always available, or inaccurate. Grey systems are powerful methods in decision making when handling uncertainty with small data. In this paper, we consider the usefulness of grey systems for handling uncertain quality information for sorting incoming cores in a remanufac-turing system. For this reason, we propose a multi-criteria quality sorting model based on an analytical hierarchy process (AHP)-entropy model that is coupled with grey clustering using possibility functions. The quality criteria for sorting the incoming cores are considered according to the tech-nological, physical, and usage conditions. To demonstrate the practical contribution of this research, a case study of the quality sorting problem with a heavy-duty equipment remanufacturer is pre-sented. The proposed model consistently classifies the quality of used hydraulic cylinders into two grey classes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2731
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021


  • Analytical hierarchy process
  • Core acquisition
  • Grey decision making
  • Quality grading


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