CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart

EOL Treatment

  • Katherine Ortegon
  • Loring Nies
  • John W. Sutherland
Reference work entry



The end-of-life (EOL) of a product has traditionally been recognized as the point when a product no longer satisfies the needs or expectations of a user. The phrase “end-of-life” is a misnomer since a product at this point may still have considerable functional or material value. A product that someone no longer wishes to use should be thought of as having reached the end of a use cycle, i.e., an end-of-use (EOU) product. An end-of-use product often still has significant functional and material value remaining that can be recovered through reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, or recycling. The value of an EOL product varies considerably depending on its condition, quality, and cost to recover the product. At the true end-of-life of a product, any materials of value might be recycled while the remainder is incinerated or disposed in a landfill (Fig. 1).
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Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Ortegon
    • 1
  • Loring Nies
    • 2
  • John W. Sutherland
    • 3
  1. 1.Ecological Sciences and EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Civil EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Environmental and Ecological EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA