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Content archived on 2024-06-10

Elimination of end-of-life cost through a standardised simultaneous design methodology for SME supply chains


EU, a trend-setter in environmental legislation and the environmental awareness of the customers, will force manufacturers to be responsible for their products and to take back out-of-use products at end-of-life (EOL). The corresponding take-back legislation in member countries is enacted or anticipated. This additional responsibility for their products at EOL is causing concern for the whole manufacturing industry as it is unsure how it will finance such a responsibility, particularly with regard to the disposal and recycling cost. Only economical recycling can be the ultimate incentive for companies to support Circular Economies. However, product design intended to eliminate recycling cost and generate end-of-life value requires simultaneous and standardised optimisation of the entire product, including the numerous components and modules from suppliers, which are mainly SMEs. ElectSME will deliver an integrated 2nd generation DFR- methodology to European industry, based on and going clearly beyond the 1 st generation tools developed in the frame of Brite-EuRam like DEMROP and TOPROCO, combining and expanding the core consortia of both projects. The methodology will be generic and adaptable to other technical products, even though it uses Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) as a test bed.

ElectSME will provide innovations on:
- how to co-operatively and simultaneously eliminate EOL cost over entire supply chains;
- how to bridge the gap between designers and recycling companies' know-how by providing multiple recycling databases for reliable EOL optimisation;
- how to include all available recycling technologies from material down- cycling all the way to product or component refurbishment, re-utilisation and reuse;
- how to reflect future recycling technologies by means of a technology driven database;
- how to provide context sensitive support in finding the optimal recycling strategy;
- how to support early design phases, where the effort to be put into required design changes is still low, and then transfer the optimised product model from this phase into any CAD / PDM environment, using a standardised format;
- how to cast the methodology into a low-cost software tool, offering multi- user capabilities for design optimisations along the entire supply chain using multiple distributed databases. The validation of the methodology will be done by means of a prototype tool, to be commercialised after project end, making the methodology available to all manufacturing supply chains. Through the development and evaluation process, proof will be delivered to the entire manufacturing supply chain of the economic benefit of properly designed products for EOL. Satisfying this criteria will lead the way to its commercial development and ultimate adoption as the industry standard practice. BE97-4630

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Mann (UK) Organisation
EU contribution
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Ashburton Industrial Estate
HR9 7BW Hereford - Herefordshire
United Kingdom

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Participants (7)