Industrial circular economy offers an opportunity for companies to act more sustainable and to produce in a more resource-efficient way. In order to close the cycle successfully, companies must be able to disassemble used parts easily and cost-effectively. New methods of automated and flexible disassembly have to be developed: The DREAMS project aims to investigate how existing assembly lines can be used to disassemble used products for circular economy.
The DREAMS project consists of two fundamental work packages: In the first step, the challenges and potentials for companies that want to use the same lines for assembly and disassembly are investigated. It will also assess the constraints and requirements for the lines. In a second step, the integrated assembly and disassembly lines will be simulated and optimized mathematically in order to make statements about possible utilization and capacity.
- Using already existing resources: Existing assembly lines are to be used for the disassembly of the products. This way, idle times can be exploited and expensive downtimes avoided.
- Creating independence from suppliers: The coronavirus crisis clearly shows that we cannot afford to be completely dependent on remote suppliers. Instead, independent material flows must be created by taking back used products after the use phase. Back at the company, the used products are disassembled into parts and further remanufactured. The aim is to produce without interruption, even without being connected to globalized suppliers.
Enabling sustainable production: Moreover, the multiple use of parts for remanufacturing can help to save energy and thus CO2 by eliminating energy-intensive material extraction and manufacturing processes.