Moving towards restorative models of production and consumption presents industry with opportunities to capture more value from products and materials, mitigate the risks of price volatility and material supply, establish more economic resilience, and decouple growth from the increasing demand on finite resources.
The ResCoM (Resource Conservative Manufacturing) project has been set up to help manufacturers capture those opportunities by collecting, remanufacturing and reusing products. The project is co-funded by the European Commission and carried out by a consortium of twelve organisations across research, industry and technology.
A systems approach
ResCoM takes a systems approach using four ‘pillars’ to help manufacturers rethink the relationships between design, business model, supply chain and technology. Shifting away from optimising isolated parts of a system provides companies with an opportunity to make greater returns by addressing the whole system in which their products are made.
What are the results?
The project, which ran for four years until autumn 2017, developed the ResCoM software platform: a collaborative decision-support platform based on product lifecycle management and material information management software modules.
The platform is supported by the ResCoM framework, and takes into account the interactions between the ResCoM pillars, and four industrial case studies using the ResCoM framework and software platform to implement closed-loop production systems in different industries. The pilots include a ‘pay-per-use’ model for washing machines, an upgradable high-end home entertainment system, flexible leasing of pushchairs and strollers, and remanufacturing steering systems.
ResCoM also developed a series of best practice guides, published open access peer-reviewed articles, and created a vibrant community of OEMs, design firms, reverse logistics suppliers and third-party remanufacturers interested in closed-loop product systems.