A production line is a sequence of processes and operations applied to a workpiece to create a product.

Now consider another line that tries to decompose a given product, and extract raw materials from it.

For example, an old car gets in. In the first workstation, tires are removed. In the second station, glass is removed. In the third station, wires are removed and so on.

What would be the name of this line?

  • $\begingroup$ How about tear down? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 12:50
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ How about disassembly line $\endgroup$
    – NMech
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 13:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think most people use the term recycling. $\endgroup$
    – Eric S
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ Disassembly is the term used in design - eg a sustainable product should be "designed for disassembly" to allow materials to be separated for recycling, rather than glued together $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ @JonathanRSwift shame things are no longer designed for repair... a useful part of the lifecycle before recycling... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 13:49

2 Answers 2


A production line works because it is a line producing a product.

There is no equivalent decomposition line.

The equivalent would be a recycling system because it depends on breaking down individual products into components and reusing the components in new products.

Products are different and require similarities to allow cost-efficient recycling. Recycling a Ford F150 is not the same as a Tesla. They are similarities, but fundamental differences. But there is no single or planned end-of-life for all one type of product, so you cannot have a decomposition line.

The simpler and the more common a product, the easier to recycle. Drink cans. But cars are broken down in scrap yards and components compressed and send to factories for reuse. If there is no value that someone can recover, components are scrapped, with no reuse.

Dissassembly is only the first step in a process that requires the recycled components to be reused.


My first option would be disassembly line.

The second choice would be recovery line.

A more mouthful would be Disassembly & Recovery for Recycling


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