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Circular Industry 4.0: Redesigning the future

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This chapter will provide insights into how technology can concretely shape and enable the circular economy throughout the supply chain. The industrial revolution offers companies great opportunities in terms of process efficiency, cost reduction, and productivity improvement and to rethink circular products and new services. The different sections in the chapter introduce the reader to more relevant approaches and technologies for narrowing, slowing, and closing resource cycles. Where applicable, the chapter provides brief case examples to help readers better grasp the alternatives available. The approach is based on the product life cycle, from primary or secondary material extraction through resource recovery to start a new product life cycle. The chapter is divided into eight parts (1) Industry 4.0 (2) Urban mining the future of mining industry (3) Intelligent systems: Smart Circular Design; (4) Smart factory, (5) Use and Service in the digital era, (6) Recapture value from users; (7) Recovery strategies and technologies opportunities and (8) Final remarks. The first section explains industry 4.0 and its value and influence on circular product design activities and strategic decisions. Industry 4.0 will include the economic, social, and environmental elements to address the issue and prospects. The reader will understand the chapter’s key technologies and structure in this section. The second section presents how new technologies are revolutionizing the concept of material extraction. The third section introduces how technologies are changing designing products and systems. The fourth section discusses smart factories and technology linked to product manufacture, focusing on how to decrease resource use (e.g., electricity and materials). The most significant advantages of intelligent manufacturing are reduced resource consumption, improved operations across local business networks, and increased access to data for resource reuse. The fifth section of the chapter will present some of the essential digital technologies, particularly digital platforms. In this section, the technologies mentioned play a key role in slowing down resource cycles and promoting maintenance and reuse. The sixth section introduces technologies for obtaining value from consumers. In this phase of the supply chain, reverse logistics begins, leading to the product being properly integrated and reprocessed. The technologies utilized for product reconditioning are introduced in the seventh section. This section summarizes how these technologies may slow down and close resource cycles at the beginning of a new product life cycle. The eighth and last section presents the remarks of the chapter and the key takeaways. This chapter is primarily intended for all stakeholders engaged in decision-making across the supply chain, such as product designers, industrial designers, process design engineers, product development managers, accounting, marketing, distribution, and strategy managers and employees. 

The main SDGs of this chapter are Goal 7: clean and accessible energy, as energy conservation and the utilization of alternative energy are critical in smart manufacturing. Objective 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure directly parallel technology and industrial innovation on a broader scale. Finally, goal 12: To ensure sustainable consumption and production addressed in the chapter via the links between digital technologies and consumers. 

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