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Optimal disassembly sequencing strategy using constraint programming approach

Xavier Zwingmann (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CIRRIS), Québec City, Canada)
Daoud Ait‐Kadi (Département Génie Mécanique, Centre de recherche sur les Technologies de l'Organisation Réseau (CENTOR), Université Laval, Québec City, Canada)
Amadou Coulibaly (Laboratoire de Génie de la Conception, INSA de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France)
Bernard Mutel (Laboratoire de Génie de la Conception, INSA de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France)

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Article publication date: 28 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework to identify all the feasible disassembly sequences for a multi‐component product and to find an optimal disassembly sequence, according to specific criteria such as cost, duration, profit, etc.


Taking into account topological and geometrical constraints of a product structure, an AND/OR disassembly graph is built. Each graph node represents a feasible subassembly. Two nodes i and j are connected by an arc (i, j), called a transition, if the subassembly j can be obtained from the subassembly i by removing one or several connectors. Constraint programming approach is used to generate the feasible subassemblies and related transitions.


If a cost zij is incurred to perform a transition (i, j), an optimal disassembly sequence can be generated for a given subassembly, using the shortest path algorithm or a linear programming model.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed approach performs very well compared to other approaches published in the literature, even when applied to products requiring parallel disassembly and including a large number of parts.

Practical implications

This approach has been successfully applied to assess the wheelchair maintainability at the design stage and will be implemented in CAD systems. One other application, regarding the disassembly process and total revenue maximization for product recycling, is now under consideration.


Applying constraint programming to efficiently generate the set of the feasible subassemblies constitutes the main contribution in this paper. This process is the hardest step in the disassembly sequencing problem.



Zwingmann, X., Ait‐Kadi, D., Coulibaly, A. and Mutel, B. (2008), "Optimal disassembly sequencing strategy using constraint programming approach", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 46-58.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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