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New tools support manufacturers to design products for a circular economy

October 20, 2017

A four year project which officially concludes at the end of October, has seen the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as one of 12 consortium partners from academia and industry, supporting manufacturers to adopt a systemic approach to applying circular economy principles, in their product designs.

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The Resource Conservative Manufacturing (ResCoM) project started in Autumn 2013, to help manufacturers ‘close the loop’ and capture value through rethinking the relationships between materials, product design, supply chains, business models, and technology.  

Co-funded by the European Commission, ResCoM has developed and tested an innovative methodology and software platform for the industrial implementation of closed-loop manufacturing systems. This helps designers and manufacturers understand how collection, remanufacturing, and reuse of products can lead to more profitable, resource-efficient, and resilient business practices, compared to the current predominantly linear manufacturing system.

Today, the ResCoM consortium makes the new platform, methodology, and supporting case studiesavailable.

The ResCoM tools and methodologies have successfully supported Gorenje to identify opportunities to capture value from circular business models. Having developed a service-based concept for our ASKO washing machine throughout ResCoM, we have now moved beyond theory and into implementation with an application of a large-scale industrial pilot of this model with EU Horizon 2020 funding. We are looking forward to new challenges.

- Janez Uplaznik, Executive Vice President for Joint R&D - Gorenje

The methodology and tools support manufacturers in transitioning to closed-loop products that are designed for multiple life cycles. The tools help guide company decisions by illustrating the benefit of products designed in this way, highlighting economic impact, resource efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy use.

Four industrial pilots have been conducted through ResCoM to test and develop tools. The evidence gathered strongly suggests that circular business models should be employed in the early stages of a company's product development process, and manufacturers can use the ResCoM methodology and tools to make this happen in practice.

These new tools and methodologies allow organisations to move beyond ideation to implementation of circular economy, encouraging new product design and the development of alternative business models. Built on four years of research and innovation, the ResCoM tools will support manufacturers in designing products for a circular economy. 

- Andrew Morlet, CEO - Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Click to view the ResCoM website and explore the tools, platform, and case studies, now available. You can also watch a short video series featuring individuals from the ResCoM Consortium discussing their experiences and learnings from the four year project. The project officially concludes on 31st October 2017.

Visit www.rescoms.eu to find out more and explore the new platforms and tools.