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From resource efficiency to resource conservation: Studies, developments and recommendations for industrial implementation of circular manufacturing systems
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5826-8670
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Manufacturing industry is under permanent pressure to maintain its economic growth and profitability as strong societal backbone. At the same time pressures of waste generation and resource consumption are increasing as result of manufacturing operations. Since manufacturing industry is one of the major consumers of natural resources it is therefore essential to reduce dependency on natural resources by decoupling economic growth from consumption. Resource efficiency approaches can improve the performance of production systems by reducing resource losses. However, the fundamental assumption at the basis of resource efficiency approaches is that resources are available infinitely. As a consequence, challenges of sustainability and resource scarcity remain inadequately addressed. The objective of this research is to develop analysis methods and decision support tools for manufacturing industry to facilitate its transition from linear production systems to circular manufacturing systems, which are economically viable and environmentally sustainable. The initial scope of study focuses on industrial resource efficiency assessment in production systems. Expanding the view to a manufacturing system perspective, the current research is explored with regard to circular manufacturing systems in the context of economic benefits, resource scarcity and waste generation. Systematic analysis methods and decision support tools are developed for industrial companies to facilitate the adaption of circular manufacturing systems. These developments are supported by industrial case studies. The analysis methods are to the largest extent based on agent-based simulation approaches. The tools are capable of assessing the economic and environmental impact of different business models, design strategies as well as supply chains settings. Moreover, the tools are able to determine whether introductions of new (circular) business models will be adopted by customers. One empirical market study is performed to investigate value propositions of a circular business approaches based on customer decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. , p. 97
Series
TRITA-IIP, ISSN 1650-1888 ; 17-08
Keywords [en]
Circular economy, Circular manufacturing systems, Resource conservative manufacturing, ResCoM, Agent-based modelling, Multi-method modelling
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Production Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-212923ISBN: 978-91-7729-489-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-212923DiVA, id: diva2:1135859
Public defence
2017-09-22, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Note

QC 20170825

Available from: 2017-08-25 Created: 2017-08-24 Last updated: 2017-08-31Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Resource Efficiency Assessment System
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resource Efficiency Assessment System
2012 (English)In: Leveraging Technology for a Sustainable World: Proceedings of the 19th CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, USA, May 23 - 25, 2012 / [ed] David A. Dornfeld and Barbara S. Linke, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2012, p. 423-427Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Resource efficiency has become a topic of greater importance due to dramatic increase of world-population and globalization. A company that is not able to efficiently utilize its resources is less sustainable and competitive. This paper introduces an assessment approach as a tracking and analyzing system to facilitate improvement of resource efficiency particularly for SMEs. The approach supports common economic KPIs of producing companies using resource-based measures. Two main elements are used. One for tracking resource efficiency measures (REC) and one for analyzing efficiency losses (REF). A tool has been designed to support the application and interpretation of the system elements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2012
Keywords
Sustainable development, energy efficiency, KPI
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
SRA - Production
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-98553 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-29069-5_72 (DOI)2-s2.0-84926160776 (Scopus ID)978-3-642-29068-8 (ISBN)
Conference
19th CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, USA, May 23 - 25, 2012
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Note

QC 20130114

Available from: 2012-06-27 Created: 2012-06-27 Last updated: 2017-08-24Bibliographically approved
2. Towards circular economy implementation: a comprehensive review in context of manufacturing industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards circular economy implementation: a comprehensive review in context of manufacturing industry
2016 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 115, p. 36-51Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of circular economy (CE) is to an increasing extent treated as a solution to series of challenges such as waste generation, resource scarcity and sustaining economic benefits. However the concept of circularity is not of novel as such. Specific circumstances and motivations have stimulated ideas relevant to circularity in the past through activities such as reuse, remanufacturing or recycling. Main objectives of this work are: to provide a comprehensive review of research efforts encompassing aspects of resources scarcity, waste generation and economic advantages; to explore the CE landscape in the context of these three aspects especially when they are considered simultaneously; based on an idea of a comprehensive CE framework, propose an implementation strategy using top-down and bottom-up approach in a concurrent manner. To fulfill this objective a comprehensive review of state-of-the-art research is carried out to understand different ideas relevant to CE, motivation for the research and context of their recurrence. Main contributions of this paper are a comprehensive CE framework and a practical implementation strategy for a regenerative economy and natural environment. The framework emphasizes on a combined view of three main aspects i.e. environment, resources and economic benefits. It also underlines that joint support of all stakeholders is necessary in order to successfully implement the CE concept at large scale. The proposed framework and implementation strategy also identify new avenues for future research and practice in the field of CE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keywords
Circular economy, Framework, Implementation, Resource scarcity, Environmental impact, Economic benefits
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184541 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.12.042 (DOI)000371187500004 ()2-s2.0-84957849870 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160406

Available from: 2016-04-06 Created: 2016-04-01 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
3. Multi-method simulation based tool to evaluate economic and environmental performance of circular product systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multi-method simulation based tool to evaluate economic and environmental performance of circular product systems
2016 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 139, p. 1261-1281Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The transition from linear to circular product systems is a big step for any organization. This may require an organization to change the way it does business, designs product and manages supply chain. As these three areas are interdependent, bringing change in one area will influence the others, for instance, changing the business model from conventional sales to leasing will demand changes in both product design and the supply chain. At the same time, it is essential for an organization to anticipate the economic and environmental impact of all changes before it may decide to implement the circular product systems. However, there is no tool available today that can assess economic and environmental performance of circular product systems. The purpose of this research is to develop a multi-method simulation based tool that can help to evaluate economic and environmental performance of circular product systems. Method: The conceptual models that are used to develop the tool have been formulated based on review of the state-of-the-art research. System Dynamics (SD) and Agent Based (AB) principles have been used to create the simulation model which has been implemented in Anylogic software platform. Originality: This research presents the first multi-method simulation based tool that can evaluate economic and environmental performance of circular product systems. Findings: Multi-method simulation technique is useful in designing dynamic simulation model that takes into consideration mutual interactions among critical factors of business model, product design and supply chain. It also allows predicting system's behaviour and its influence on the economic and environmental performance of circular product systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-198948 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.08.122 (DOI)000386991600115 ()2-s2.0-84995646374 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170113

Available from: 2017-01-13 Created: 2016-12-22 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
4. Towards Circular Economy Implementation: An agent-based simulation approach for business model changes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Circular Economy Implementation: An agent-based simulation approach for business model changes
2017 (English)In: Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, ISSN 1387-2532, E-ISSN 1573-7454Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper introduces an agent-based approach to study customer behavior in terms of their acceptance of new business models in Circular Economy (CE) context. In a CE customers are perceived as integral part of the business and therefore customer acceptance of new business models becomes crucial as it determines the successful implementation of CE. However, tools or methods are missing to capture customer behavior to assess how customers will react if an organization introduces a new business model such as leasing or functional sales. The purpose of this research is to bring forward a quantitative analysis tool for identifying proper marketing and pricing strategies to obtain best fit demand behavior for the chosen new business model. This tool will support decision makers in determining the impact of introducing new (circular) business models. The model has been developed using an agent-based modeling approach which delivers results based on socio-demographic factors of a population and customers’ relative preferences of product attributes price, environmental friendliness and service-orientation. The implementation of the model has been tested using the practical business example of a washing machine. This research presents the first agent-based tool that can assess customer behavior and determine whether introduction of new business models will be accepted or not and how customer acceptance can be influenced to accelerate CE implementation. The tool integrates socio-demographic factors, product utility functions, social network structures and inter-agent communication in order to comprehensively describe behavior on individual customer level. In addition to the tool itself the results of this research indicates the need for systematic marketing strategies which emphasize CE value propositions in order to accelerate customer acceptance and shorten the transition time from linear to circular. Agent-based models are emphasized as highly capable to fill the gap between diffusion-based penetration of information and resulting behavior in the form of purchase decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-212057 (URN)10.1007/s10458-017-9365-9 (DOI)000412341500005 ()2-s2.0-85019120254 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170816

Available from: 2017-08-15 Created: 2017-08-15 Last updated: 2017-10-31Bibliographically approved
5. Towards circular economy implementation in manufacturing systems using a multimethod simulation approach to link design and business strategy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards circular economy implementation in manufacturing systems using a multimethod simulation approach to link design and business strategy
Show others...
2017 (English)In: The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, ISSN 0268-3768, E-ISSN 1433-3015, Vol. 93, no 5-8, p. 1953-1970Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The recent circular economy movement has raised awareness and interest about untapped environmental and economic potential in the manufacturing industry. One of the crucial aspects in the implementation of circular or closed-loop manufacturing approach is the design of circular products. While it is obvious that three post-use strategies, i.e., reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling, are highly relevant to achieve loop closure, it is enormously challenging to choose “the right” strategy (if at all) during the early design stage and especially at the single component level. One reason is that economic and environmental impacts of adapting these strategies are not explicit as they vary depending on the chosen business model and associated supply chains. In this scenario, decision support is essential to motivate adaptation of regenerative design strategies. The main purpose of this paper is to provide reliable decision support at the intersection of multiple lifecycle design and business models in the circular economy context to identify effects on cost and CO2 emissions. The development of this work consists of a systematic method to quantify design effort for different circular design options through a multi-method simulation approach. The simulation model combines an agent-based product architecture and a discrete event closed-loop supply chain model. Feasibility of the model is tested using a case of a washing machine provided by Gorenje d.d. Firstly, design efforts for reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling are quantified. Secondly, cost and emissions of different design options are explored with different business model configurations. Finally, an optimization experiment is run to identify the most cost-effective combination of reused, remanufactured, and recycled components for a business model chosen on the basis of the explorative study results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017
Keywords
Business model Circular economy, Closed-loop manufacturing system, End-of-life design strategy, Multi-method simulation, Supply chain
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-212058 (URN)10.1007/s00170-017-0610-9 (DOI)000412953600038 ()2-s2.0-85021198542 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170816

Available from: 2017-08-15 Created: 2017-08-15 Last updated: 2017-11-02Bibliographically approved
6. A conjoint analysis of circular economy value propositions for consumers: using “washing machines in Stockholm” as a case study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A conjoint analysis of circular economy value propositions for consumers: using “washing machines in Stockholm” as a case study
Show others...
(English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Background: In industrial practice a transition from a linear (take-make-dispose) to a circular product system (considering reuse/remanufacturing/recycling) requires the change of business models through new value propositions. In doing so the focus of the value proposition shifts from selling a physical product to providing access to functionality through business innovation. One key factor related to circular business transitions is market acceptance. It is particularly challenging to understand what complexity a new concept like circular economy (CE) brings to established businesses where the success and the failure of the business is dependent on customer's acceptance of new value propositions. Purpose: This paper empirically explores the opportunities of a circular business approach for washing machines in the city of Stockholm by quantifying and assessing customer preferences for CE value propositions for a business to customer (B2C) scenario. Method: This study uses the method of choice-based conjoint analysis to investigate preferences based on the attributes price and payment scheme, environmental friendliness as well as service level. Originality: This paper is the first of its kind to assess customer preferences from the CE market acceptance point of view using a conjoint approach and provides insight to what extent new CE value propositions may be adopted. Findings: Results indicate that there is general interest in paying for access rather than for ownership. Service levels have the strongest impact on customer utility of a washing machine offer. If associated with reduction in CO2 emissions the number of remanufacturing cycles can increase purchase probability. As a method choice-based conjoint analysis is highlighted as beneficial to break down CE value propositions and to identify to what extent particular service-related attributes and product-related attributes contribute to overall customer utility. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords
Circular Economy, Customer preferences, Customer acceptance, Business models, Conjoint analysis, Washing machines
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-212988 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.10.147 (DOI)000423001900025 ()2-s2.0-85038882786 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170825

Available from: 2017-08-25 Created: 2017-08-25 Last updated: 2018-02-20Bibliographically approved

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