Implementing Circular Design In The Manufacturing Process
Global resource scarcity has become not only an issue for environmentalists, but has also reached the attention of the business environment. Business models based on the circular economy approach is a possible alternative that can reduce resource intensive production; even Google started using this definition for its business model optimization.
A circular economy is inspired by living systems, meaning there is no such notion as waste. One species’ waste is another’s food, and accordingly, every waste piece should be a resource for the next production step. Recovering and reusing as many products and materials on the one hand, and development of the product design that considers future material recovery on the other hand, are essential for the circular business models. This mindset opposes to the traditional linear “take, make, dispose” system, introducing instead “make/remake, use/reuse” economy.
Moving from theory to practice
All developed solutions try to foster system effectiveness by revealing and designing from the negative externalities, preserving and enhancing natural capital, and optimizing resource use by circulating products, components, and materials. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation recently issued a report covering different implication areas of Circular Economy in agriculture, food circulation, automotive cars, renewable energy, and of course manufacturing.
Development of the new technology shortens the product lifecycle significantly. Annual gadget updates foster us to update the device with the same speed; the most known example is our phone. Nevertheless the product itself consists of the valuable materials that could ensure its functionality for at least the next 10 years. So, it seems very logical that we just need to decouple valuable and long-lasting materials from the previous product that would be in the traditional system identified as waste, and re-use it in the production of the new technologically updated version ensuring as well the same quality standard.