Opportunities for redistributed manufacturing and digital intelligence as enablers of a circular economy

Mariale Moreno, Richard Court, Matt Wright, Fiona Charnley
2018 International Journal of Sustainable Engineering  
The linear production of consumer goods is characterized by mass manufacture by multinational enterprises and globally dispersed supply chains. The current centralized model has created a distance between the manufacturer and end user, limiting the opportunity for intelligent circular approaches for production and consumption. Through a mixed method approach opportunities of circularity are explored for the consumer goods sector. The study presents four lenses to analyze three enterprises
more » ... h a multi-case study approach to explore the potentials of digital intelligence and redistributed manufacturing (RDM) as enablers of circular business models. In addition, the study examines whether Discrete Event Simulation can be used to evaluate the circular scenarios identified through quantifying flows of material that determine traditional economic value (cost/tonne). The mixed method approach demonstrates that, a qualitative systemic analysis can reveal opportunities for circularity, gained through implementing 'digital intelligence' and distributed models of production and consumption. Furthermore, simulations can provide a quantified evaluation on the effects of introducing circular activities across a supply chain.
doi:10.1080/19397038.2018.1508316 fatcat:wdowrm5ysbdv3ltqbfxss7bpjy