Remanufacturing E-Marketplace for a Circular Digital Supply Chain (REMP)

About

Remanufacturing returns end-of-life (EOL) products to a ‘like-new’ functional state, extending product service life and providing economic and environmental benefits. Remanufacturing can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce new material requirements, and create employment.

However, despite these triple-win benefits, the UK remanufacturing industry is still at its infancy. The ratio of remanufacturing to manufacturing is strikingly low, only at around 2%, and almost 98% of remanufacturers are small and medium-sized enterprises that struggle with inadequate resources to establish their brand and limited access to cores (used products as starting material for remanufacturing). Crucially, the sector also has an image problem and customers do not trust the quality of remanufactured products.

This project aims to establish an Electronic Marketplace (EMP) that will facilitate the supply of EOL products for remanufacturing and the subsequent resale of the remanufactured products, with built-in quality assurance mechanisms to gain customer trust.

Research Approach

With an initial focus on automotive components, this project will study and test the concept of a novel Remanufacturing Electronic Marketplace (REMP) that is embedded with blockchain enabled track and trace capability, data analytics and quality assurance to address key challenges in the remanufacturing supply chain management.

The system will include:

  • An online platform for trade in end-of-use products as the feedstock for remanufacturing (cores).
  • An online B2C/B2B platform for the trade of remanufactured products to address the current absence of trusted sale channels.
  • A quality assurance (QA) mechanism (As Good as New) to be embedded in the REMP in order to address lack of confidence in remanufactured products by consumers.
  • Data analytics that analyse customer behaviour, trends, and identify the remanufactured products that are most popular and most profitable.
  • Blockchain that will improve supply chain information sharing, traceability, transparency and reliability, making SCM more trustworthy and secure.

Further Information

The project builds on a survey of 65 remanufacturers and the complementary expertise of 5 consortium members:

  • lntelivita (e-marketplace development and data analytics)
  • Circular (blockchain)
  • Innovation Action (marketing and business engagement)
  • University of Brighton (remanufacturing)
  • University of Sussex (digital supply chain)

The Sussex lead on the project is Professor Nachiappan Subramanian.

The project is funded for 6 months by Innovate UK, starting in April 2021.