The ResCoM platform and tools

The ResCoM Platform will bring together software applications and descriptive (i.e. non-software) tools and methods together in one place to support decision-making and implementation of closed-loop product systems. 

The ResCoM platform will consist of four connected parts:

ResCoM descriptive tools and methods: to support companies in exploring business models and understanding best design practices for multiple lifecycles.

ResCoM collaborative software platform: consisting of economic and design decision-making tools, and further tools to support implementation of new closed-loop products.

User interface: containing additional information about the tools and methods as well as providing access to the software platform.

Use cases: demonstrating the benefits of implementing ResCoM for manufacturers.

Some of the ResCoM descriptive tools and methods under development are listed below.

Analytical Tool           

The Analytical Tool helps OEMs compare the potential profitability and environmental performance of conventional linear models with that of potential closed-loop scenarios. A number of parameters related to cost (e.g. production costs, forward and reverse logistics costs) and critical factors (e.g. remanufacturing success rate, return rate) can be modified to test different cases. Investment costs for design, reverse engineering, or facilities can also be included where needed. CO2 calculations provide insights into product scenario environmental performance.

Circular Pathfinder

The Circular Pathfinder is a starting tool for companies interested in circular economy thinking, allowing them to explore and identify the most suitable circular pathways for their products, by answering just a few questions. Informed by the best-practices of other companies, the Circular Pathfinder guides the user towards circular pathways that have potential in their specific case. It explains why certain pathways, such as product remanufacturing, life extension, or recycling are of interest, with examples from companies that have already applied them, and suggests further steps to take.

Circularity Calculator

The purpose of the Circularity Calculator is to help designers that work in the fuzzy front end of product development to obtain a ‘circularity instinct’: an understanding of how strategic design decisions influence the degree of circularity of resource flows and potential value capture within the product-service-system. 

The Circularity Calculator tool displays the potential mass and value flows of a product, based on whether the different parts are either reused, remanufactured and/or recycled. With this tool designers can model different conceptual design solutions and business models to explore and compare design scenarios and see their impact on performance indices such as overall circularity, recycling rate and value recovery potential. Both high level and more detailed analyses are possible to help generate ideas and recommendations and provide timely results.

​MI:BoM Analyzer (Eco Audit Reports)

MI:BoM Analyzer enables assessment of environmental, regulatory, and supply chain risks, and can support increased resource efficiency for products. By importing a bill of materials (BoM) the tool can instantly run reports that apply an extensive database of materials, process, and environmental data to assess product risk and guide design decisions. Enhanced Eco Audit reports assess environmental impacts and cost across multiple use cycles, providing detailed information on reverse logistics and estimating the break-even point for closed loop remanufacturing against linear production, in terms of both environmental impacts and lifecycle cost.

Multiple Lifecycle Product Design

Modular design is a key enabler of circular business models that rely on exchange of components between products.The tool uses the existing Modular Function Deployment (MFD) method and extends it for multiple lifecycles, allowing companies to plan their chosen product modules along multiple use-cycles and lifecycles. MFD helps to determine the module interfaces and how they are to be standardised to support multiple lifecycle value propositions.

Multimethod Simulation Tool

The Multimethod Simulation Tool is capable of assessing the economic and environmental performance of circular products from an overall system perspective. The tool considers over 120 variables simultaneously using system dynamics and agent based modelling. The output helps designers and manufacturers to consider the effects of, and to address challenges related to customer acceptance and expected demand of new business models, effects of product design alternatives, and supply chain design to respond to the needs of new business models.

Part Planning

When designing for long product lifetimes and good reparability, the availability of spare parts is a key issue to address within a Circular Business model. A solution for offering spare parts in a way that is economically viable is to design for spare part compatibility across product generations.

Strategic planning of carry-over parts should happen very early in the design process. The Part Planning tool is geared towards this design stage, providing designers a fast and simple tool for part planning. Via an interdisciplinary workshop session, the tool supports designers to analyse and plan for carry-over parts across multiple product use-cycles

Reman Design Checklist

Many durable products are already being remanufactured, as it allows companies to use their high-quality parts again and offer customers products that perform as well as the originals. With Design for Remanufacturing, designers already take future remanufacturing into account when designing the product. 

The Reman Design Checklist helps product engineers explicitly consider the remanufacturability of a product design by analysing and scoring the remanufacturability of its components: information that allows the team to track progress between design iterations. The output of the tool includes an evaluation of product components and recommendations for further improvements.

Upgrade Forecast

Many products, such as televisions and mobile phones, are subject to rapid technological improvements. As a consequence they are frequently replaced before they break down in favour of a new product with new capabilities. For this type of product, a business model can aim to extend the life of a product that has been designed to be upgraded. By allowing new features to be added to the product, its useful lifetime can be prolonged and it can offer better value for money to customers

The Upgrade Forecast tool is designed to help OEMs determine what upgrade specifications to include in product design. The tool facilitates interdisciplinary teams involved in product development to visualise future trends, demands and disturbances, to select the product features that will require upgrading, and to determine the specifications of these future upgrades.