Circularity: Bridging the Gap
presentationposted on 22.10.2018 by Okechukwu Okorie
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3 Minute Thesis presented at the Cranfield Doctoral Network Annual Event 2018.
The world economy is only 9.1% circular leaving a vast “Circularity Gap”. The linear economy model favored by economies is characterized by resource scarcity, price inflation and degraded ecosystems. Implementing remanufacturing as a circular approach is a viable way to prolong the useful life of an end-of-use product or its parts, conserving the raw material content and the value added during the processes required to manufacture new products. Despite its environmental and economic benefits, remanufacturing is associated with many challenges. According to the European Remanufacturing Network, key challenges of remanufacturing includes lack of accurate, timely and consistent product knowledge, as highlighted in a 2015 survey of 188 European remanufacturers. Another key challenge with the concepts of remanufacturing is the limited availability of theory and literature on strategic decision-making. With more data being produced by electric vehicles, this adds to the information complexity already experienced in remanufacturing.It is therefore difficult to implement real-time and accurate remanufacturing for the shop floor; there are no papers that focuses on this within the context of electric vehicle environment. To address this problem, a novel data-driven remanufacturing decision-making framework (d-RDMF) was developed for the remanufacturing of fuel cells (FCs) in electric vehicles. The development of this d-RDMF was based upon extensive literature review and case studies with representatives of selected remanufacturing companies. Parameters required for FCs remanufacturing were identified via interviews and ranked via Pareto Chart. A simple CLD and SFD were modelled in order to simulate and understand data and information driven-schemes in remanufacturing. Findings show that a greater collaboration is needed between remanufacturers and the OEM throughout the remanufacturing process to achieve the optimal value of remanufacturing. Also, average capacity utilization increases from 56% to 81% with sensor enabled components on FCs. The research findings were validated by respondents.