Applying tools for end of use outlook in design for recirculation
Paper in proceeding, 2021
Circular economy is widely embraced as one major path towards sustainability goals by contributing to resource efficiency and reaching climate targets. The research need at hand lies in how to implement changes. To achieve a circular system, design for recirculation is advised when introducing new products and production processes. However, in practical applications it is a challenge to foresee the complex nature of a real circular production system with many stakeholders in a system in transition. Product systems are embedded in a use context, where the user is a key stakeholder. Collection and systematization of experience and ideas from the field is here a key. This research draws on the experiences of assessing and improve circulation in industrial practice deploying the Recirculation Strategies Decision Tree and the Eco-design-strategy-wheel. Through two case studies, practitioners have been supported in action to evaluate their products and production processes in term of circularity. Cases showed a process from current status and recirculation challenges to a more circular future state in production and end of life was scrutinized. As a result, emphasis differed between the two tools. The Eco strategy wheel supported product design phase with an engineering perspective, The Recirculation Strategies Decision Tree on end-of-life phase with a market perspective. Common for both tools was the dependency on user or operator's handling. Outcome from this study is to emphasise the importance on social dimension in CE/user role in a circular product system. The interactive, user centered research with manufacturing companies is suggested for development to effectively close product loops.
end of use
design for recirculation