Remanufacturing as a Potential Tool for Two-Wheeler Motorcycle Sustainable Maintenance
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Due to rapid population growth, the global economy consumes billions of tonnes of resources each year. However, only 8.6% of the waste gets recycled back into the economy. In sub-Saharan Africa, including Uganda, 2-wheeler motorcycles are rapidly becoming the most popular means of transportation. The motorcycles must be restored and maintained in order to function properly. Maintenance procedures have resulted in the disposing of some old motorcycle parts while also necessitating the purchase of new spare parts. Remanufacturing is one method that can be used to repurpose the old discarded parts of motorcycles with the aim of reducing the demand of the new spare parts which require the use of resources for their manufacture. It is from this background that this study was carried out. In this study, 34 service centers in 24 different locations in central Uganda were visited to identify common worn-out parts returned during two-wheeler motorcycle maintenance. Based on the average monthly returned part quantity, it was discovered that parts commonly returned included bearings, crankshafts, gears, clutch plates, and wheel hubs, among others. Furthermore, it was revealed that 64% of the participants were aware of remanufacturing practices, and 29% of the participants were already engaging in small-scale remanufacturing. Motorcycle parts such as bearings, brake shoes, and cylinder blocks were among the parts already being remanufactured. The fuzzy theory embedded in the basic Analytic Hierarchy Process was proposed and demonstrated for evaluating the remanufacturability of returned 2-wheeler motorcycle parts. The evaluation of these parts involved optimizing samples based on criteria such as wear, cracking, and deformation. Additionally, their suitability for remanufacturing was determined by generating part indices related to technological aspects (such as disassembly, cleaning, inspection, sorting, reconditioning, upgrading, and reassembly), economic factors, and environmental considerations (including costs associated with 2-wheeler parts, processing, and overhead). It was noted that there was a difference in weights for levels of inspection, repair, cleaning, assembly, and disassembly, which affected the technological feasibility. The variation in weights for inspection, repair, cleaning, assembly, and disassembly levels was primarily due to variations in wear levels and failure modes sustained on the parts. Out of the 34-part samples evaluated, 24 had high economic feasibility for remanufacturing, with an economic feasibility index ≤0.5, representing a 70% potential for remanufacturability.