Enabling Repurposing - Product Transformation and Connected Collaboration
This Smart Expertise Project is supported by the Welsh Government and Welsh European Funding Office.
It explores the value of repurposing products and components in secondary applications through business collaboration, and its contribution to the circular economy.
The project aims to reduce material and carbon footprints while creating new value streams across supply chains.
The traditional linear, make-use-dispose way of thinking is giving way to a revolutionary circular, make-use-reuse model. New legislation is no longer instigating slow change but pushing firms to radically reduce their carbon emissions (net-zero targets).
Repurposing is a circular economy strategy that adapts end-of-life products for use in different applications and markets. Its goal is to retain or add value (up-cycling) rather than simply recycle at a material level (down-cycling). Some examples include conversion of clothing to carpet tiles, airline seats to bags and wind turbines to bike sheds!
What’s the situation?
Supply chains operate independently with no experience or access to potential markets. There is little guidance on how to connect and manage inter-dependent supply chains.
The answer comes through supply chain collaboration and making use of increasingly available digitalised information.
From our industrial network, we are building a picture of contemporary repurposing projects with partners acting as case studies to identify opportunities, issues, and critical success factors.
We need information, data, and ideas to understand structural parameters that influence daily operations and future strategy.
The industrial partners
DSV – A Cardiff University Strategic Partner and one of the world’s largest logistics providers. They bring access to digitalised information across supply chains and link repurposing activities.
Interface – A global leader in developing and manufacturing sustainable flooring products (such as using repurposed plastics to make carpet tiles). They build their strategy around sustainability.
Greenstream Flooring – A Welsh specialist flooring recovery business dealing with reused and repurposed floor tiles.
3dGBIre – A 3D printing company who use repurposed filament in their 3D printing product line up.
CREATE Education – Science education specialists with a focus on bringing circular economy design and manufacturing technologies to the classroom and the community.
Rj-Alpha Advisory Services Ltd. – An advisory firm operating in the tech start-up and scale-up domain, with an established network of companies engaged in deep tech, industry 4.0 and circular supply chain.
The project team
Professor Aris Syntetos, Dr Thanos Goltsos, Dr Daniel Eyers, and Dr Tim Ramjaun, project managed by Dr Andy Treharne-Davies of Cardiff University, and co-led by DSV’s Professor Mike Wilson and Peter Tuthill.
If you would like to be involved or discuss other circular economy projects, please contact us: