Many Swedish manufacturers will be required in the next 5-10 years to become more circular, and are for this reason investing in remanufacture (industrial repair), proactive maintenance, and reconditioning. A transition to more sustainable operations can be experienced as risk-filled, and many companies hesitate to start moving towards a circular business model.
In this project, we provide manufacturers with a decision-support system, Remometer™, to determine how remanufacturing can become a key part of their business model. Remometer™ helps manufacturers to start remanufacturing by investigating the suitability (remanufacturing readiness level) to start remanufacturing, and the social, economic and environmental benefits that they can achieve.
Sustainable production through remanufacture
Sustainable production is one way in which manufacturing companies can carry out their activities in an economical and eco-friendly manner. Higher resource-efficiency can be achieved by ensuring that the manufactured products can also be remanufactured. Remanufacture is the process by which used products or components are prepared for a further phase of use by an industrial process. Remanufacture preserves the value of the product and restores it to the same or better (if it can be upgraded) quality as it had when it was new. Remanufacture allows the manufacturer to save resources in the form of, for example, materials and energy, and in this way reduce the impact of the products on the climate. Today, many industries are getting to grips with the challenge to become more circular, and the need of industry to test its remanufacturing potential will increase.
Global sustainable development goals and remanufacture
Sweden lags far behind most EU countries and has an unused remanufacturing potential. However, more support is needed if Swedish industry is to become more competitive. This project supports the introduction of remanufacturing into industry. Based on theoretical work and case studies (in collaboration with Husqvarna AB and other industries), the project has developed the “Remometer™” tool, which can provide guidelines to manufacturers about how to start the remanufacture of their products. The tool contains four important steps that are carried out in the form of workshops with the industry. The core of tool is the determination of the company’s remanufacturing readiness level (RRL), which measures the company’s readiness and potential to start remanufacture. The Remometer will in the long term contribute making a larger degree of remanufacture possible in Sweden, and to the spread of remanufacture throughout the world.
An increased spread of remanufacturing within Swedish industry will make it possible to:
- provide greater numbers of consumers, independent of sex, status and income, with high-quality products (Goal 5)
- create new decent jobs and increase the net welfare of society (Goal 8)
- establish new sustainable infrastructure and new sustainable companies and partnerships between actors during the life cycle of the product (Goals 9, 12)
- improve resource use and reduce the amount of pollutants and waste during the complete life cycle of the product (Goals 11, 13).