Zero Waste Manufacturing
One way to tackle global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution is by changing modes of production and consumption by sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible.
Returning end-of-life products to the supply chain for remanufacturing into a like-new functional state means that product service life can be extended (by 200%-300%), providing superior economic and environmental gains compared to new production. Remanufacturing is a form of recycling that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% in some sectors, reducing new material requirements (costs) by a similar amount.
India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and the third-largest consumer of high-tech goods after China and the US. However, the remanufacturing industry in India has significantly lagged behind China and most Western countries. One of the key issues is the fragmented sourcing of end-of-life products, in part, due to a lack of tools to assess the quality of these products.
A new project involving Professor Nachiappan Subramanian, Remade India, aims to encourage sustainable use of resources through remanufacturing in India. Building on earlier research which has already developed an e-trading platform that enables the purchase of end-of-life products, the team will use digital technologies to streamline quality control to enable greater uptake of remanufacturing by more Indian corporates - allowing them to greatly reduce their carbon footprint. It will also provide a source of much-needed products for UK remanufacturers via the RemadeUK platform, to be launched in 2022.
Remade India aims to develop an e-marketplace for business-to-business trade of end-of-life products that can be inserted into existing supply chains. The project will focus on two functions:
(i) Introduce a distributed ledger that provides accurate information on the availability, location and condition of end-of-life products to enable trade for remanufacturing. This will provide the information needed for quality assessment and will enhance the value of the products as the feedstock for manufacturers and facilitate resource planning for production.
(ii) Introduce a data-driven automated grading of quality including smart costing of end-of-life products based on multiple criteria analysis tools considering usage, conditions, brand, age and price of new equivalent products etc. This will provide vital information for informed decision-making when bulk buying end-of-life products for remanufacturing, providing data to businesses so they can plan for remanufacturing activities without any shortages and get the right price for the products.
Innovative data-analytics methods will be developed, for improved understanding of consumer behaviour and supply and demand forecasting, thus addressing issues identified with existing remanufacture E-business systems. The project offers an opportunity for manufacturers - specifically Tata Steel and Tata group in India - to create a circular business model. It aims to provide resilience to the industry in India at a time when their supply chains are severely damaged.
Impact and outreach
Remade India aims to lead the transition to remanufactured and away from buying new, generating sustainable income for companies and helping them to facilitate stable businesses.
The introduction of this platform in India will send a strong signal to industry, the policy community as well as the investment ecosystem that new technologies and platforms are being developed to facilitate the growth of circular economy-based business models, particularly remanufacturing. This will further add to the legitimacy, credibility and momentum in the transition from a linear economy to a circular one, in alignment with the vision of long-term sustainable development and one of the many responses needed to deal with the urgent challenge of climate change.
During this project, the team will engage with a wide range of stakeholders in India including government-funded environment bodies, institutions representing the manufacturing and digital industries, and firms who already have remanufacturing plants in India. The aim is to open the way for more widespread acceptance of remanufactured products and practices.
- Innovation Action
- University of Brighton
- University of Sussex
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Through an innovative trading platform, the Remade Group aspires to provide customers with ethical & environmentally friendly products that are of the same quality level as new products.