In this paper we present a new general framework for disassembly sequence planning. This framework is a flexible method for the complete disassembly of an object; versatile in its nature allowing different types of search schemes (exhaustive vs. preemptive), various part separation techniques, and the ability to group parts, or not, into subassemblies to improve the solution efficiency and parallelism. This gives the new ability to approach the disassembly sequence planning problem in a truly hierarchical way.
We demonstrate two different search strategies using the framework that can either yield a single solution quickly or provide a spectrum of solutions from which an optimal may be selected. We also develop a method for subassembly identification based on collision information. Our results show improved performance over an iterative motion planning based method for finding a single solution and greater functionality through hierarchical planning and optimal solution search.