Lead Institution:  Cranfield University
Industrial Partners:  Cisco Systems,  Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse, the Ellen MacArthur FoundationHigh Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute and the Manufacturing Technology Centre
Project Team:  Dr Fiona Charnley (PI) (Cranfield), Prof Ashutosh Tiwari (Sheffield), Dr Mariale Moreno (Cranfield) and Dr Windo Hutabarat (Sheffield)
Project Duration: 12 months (01 June 2017 – 31 May 2108)

Information Sheet

Research Challenge
Digital Intelligence is rapidly becoming a pervasive feature of our economy, where data generated through social-, mobile-, machine- and product-networks are being leveraged through data analytics to create new forms of value. In manufacturing industries, through emerging concepts such as Industry 4.0 and IoT, Digital Intelligence is expected to transform how products are manufactured, sold, used and retained within the value chain.

A Circular Economy (CE)  is an inherently feedback-rich system and Digital Intelligence can provide information feedback throughout a product’s life, opening up opportunities for enhanced repair, reconditioning and re-manufacture. A key challenge is therefore to understand how such opportunities can be enabled for restorative and regenerative CE through application of Digital Intelligence and how the systemic impact of its implementation can be measured and up-scaled.

This feasibility study will investigate how data, acquired through the latest advances in digital technologies can provide Digital Intelligence to shape decisions about the manufacture and utilisation of automotive components for accelerating the implementation of more circular approaches in UK manufacturing. The novelty of this research lies in investigating the application of Digital Intelligence through the lens of a restorative circular economic (CE) model focusing on product life extension and its suitability at a particular point in a product’s life cycle.  This study will aim to demonstrate how service data, acquired through the application of digital technologies, can inform decisions surrounding the implementation of circular strategies, particularly product life extension.