Remanufacturing for Ireland (ReManIre) – EPA Project Code 2022-GCE-1134

Remanufacturing is an essential part of the manufacturing industry's resource efficiency. Dismantling a product, restoring, and replacing components, and testing individual parts and the entire product to confirm that it meets its original design parameters are all part of the remanufacturing process. The remanufactured product's performance should be identical to the original performance standard and come with an equivalent warranty.

Significant environmental benefits can be achieved by keeping components and their embodied materials in use for longer periods of time. When items and components are reused instead of merely recycling the materials, less energy and material resources are needed, and less waste is produced. This is especially true for high-tech products which include many critical raw materials as the current recycling systems are focussed on mass-based targets and don’t recover many vital materials which are present in small quantities.

The conventional 'linear economy' (consume – make – discard) must be revised as we get serious about combating climate change and meeting our 2030 and 2050 targets, respectively. Inefficient usage and missed chances for repurposing, recycling, and restoration continue to result in high waste output, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and overall rising costs for consumers, businesses, and the government as they try to mitigate the negative consequences.

The circular economy provides valuable solutions for all stakeholders, generating value for society, the economy, and the planet. Based on the principle of engineering waste out of the system, a circular economy preserves the value of materials and resources for as long as feasible while minimizing or eliminating waste production. A circular economy uses products for as long as possible before discarding them. Sustainable design principles, repurposing, restoration, remanufacturing, recycling, and new business models, such as sharing, renting, and selling items as a service, can all help achieve this.

The EPA funded “Remanufacturing for Ireland” project aims to provide a to provide a roadmap to support Ireland’s development as a global centre of excellence for remanufacturing while promoting resilient jobs as part of the circular economy.

This will be achieved through a combination of a desk study and primary data collection. The project is using the triple helix model of innovation and will focus on the three pillars of Business/Industry, Government/Regulation and Education/Research.

The outputs of this project will focus on informing and supporting policy makers and others involved in business supports to establish the conditions for a remanufacturing sector to thrive.

The Primary Investigators for the project are Prof. Colin Fitzpatrick (ECE), Dr Alan Ryan (SoE) and Dr Jason Power (DMT) and the project is being led by Dr Damian Coughlan (ECE).

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