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Circular Economy Concept

1. A systematic understanding of the activities of industrial organisations at all points of the product life-cycle from raw material extraction to disposal and a critical awareness of current approaches to mitigating the associated environmental impacts.

2. A comprehensive understanding of assessment and analysis techniques that can be applied to the student's own research into ways to reduce the environmental impact and energy consumption of industrial organisations.

3. A conceptual understanding of the energy requirements of the components of common industrial processes such as motors, pumps, heaters and compressors that will allow students to critically evaluate research methodologies and outputs from a range of related academic disciplines.

4. Originality in tackling the problems of meeting consumer demand for products and associated services in a competitive globalised industrial context while minimising the associated life-cycle energy consumption

5. The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment in tomorrow's low-carbon industries, specifically the skills of decision making in unpredictable situations and the ability to research and learn independently, required for continuing professional development. This coursework is: (delete as appropriate) Individual Group If other or a mixed ... explain here: This coursework constitutes 70% of the overall module mark.

Date Set: 31st January 2018 Date & Time Due: 14th May 2018 at 12:00 midnight Your marked coursework and feedback will be available to you on: If for any reason this is not forthcoming by the due date your module leader will let you know why and when it can be expected. The Head of Studies should be informed of any issues relating to the return of marked coursework and feedback. 14th June 2018 When completed you are required to submit your coursework to:

1. Blackboard via Turnitin. Late submission of coursework policy: Late submissions will be processed in accordance with current University regulations which state: “the time period during which a student may submit a piece of work late without authorisation and have the work capped at 40% [50% at PG level] if passed is 14 calendar days. Work submitted unauthorised more than 14 calendar days after the original submission date will receive a mark of 0%. These regulations apply to a student’s first attempt at coursework.

Work submitted late without authorisation which constitutes reassessment of a previously failed piece of coursework will always receive a mark of 0%.” Academic Offences and Bad Academic Practices: These include plagiarism, cheating, collusion, copying work and reuse of your own work, poor referencing or the passing off of somebody else's ideas as your own. If you are in any doubt about what constitutes an academic offence or bad academic practice you must check with your tutor. Further information and details of how DSU can support you, if needed, is Tasks to be undertaken:

Electric Mobility Scooter Manufacturing and Sustainability

You are the sustainability manager for a manufacturer of electric mobility scooters for the disabled. At present, your material and energy flows are entirely linear (no reuse or recycling). Your CEO has seen a presentation on ‘The Circular Economy’ and has asked you to investigate the extent to which this concept could be applied to the company and its products. You are primarily responsible for the sustainability of the manufacturing activities of the company, but your role also involves you in the planning of future products and the business model of the organisation, since all these also affect industrial sustainability.

1. Describe the different components used in your product and comment on the degree to which their material flows can be made circular. The main types of component are:

• Structural parts (chassis, wheels, suspension, seat assembly, etc.)

• Electrical parts (motors, switches, wires, circuit boards, batteries) and

• Miscellaneous parts (tyres, transmission, bodywork, upholstery, etc.)

Note: Some of the components are manufactured by your suppliers and simply assembled in your factory. This includes most of the electrical parts.

2. Describe a future sustainable industrial system in terms of the stages in the lifecycle of a typical product after the company’s material and energy flows have been made as ‘circular’ as possible.

3. For each of the types of component above, describe the short term and longer term steps that the company should take to get to the sustainable system you described above. Where possible, illustrate your arguments from case studies in the literature and indicate briefly any relevant policy implications. Deliverables to be submitted for assessment: Your report should be no more than 3000 words. Use appendices to include additional charts, illustrations and data as necessary. Appendices should be no longer than 5 pages in total. The document should be produced in the style of a technical report (formal, factual and to the point). You should use a font of size no less than 10 points. How the work will be marked:

Assessment will be based on the extent to which the learning outcomes listed above have been met, and the extent to which the above instructions, notes and guidance are complied with (for example regarding word limit, style, structure, referencing and citation, etc.). The criteria below relate to the current pass mark of 50%.

• To achieve a marginal pass of 50% to 54%, you should list the main processing steps for the three types of components, outline a future circular scenario and list a set of initiatives that the company should undertake to make the transition from a linear to circular operations, indicating the timescales over which they might be practically applied.

• To achieve a pass of 55% to 59%, in addition to the above you should suggest a bold and innovative approach to the supply, maintenance and disposal of mobility scooters, indicating how this affects the product design, manufacturing processes and business model of the company. You should also indicate the extent to which your changes are feasible in the short and longer term, highlighting any trade-offs between different approaches to industrial sustainability, for example the trade-off between longevity and ease of disassembly.

• To achieve a good pass of 60% to 69%, you should demonstrate the ability to critically compare different approaches to manufacturing in order to make a transition from a linear to a circular economy. You should demonstrate an ability to synthesise knowledge from relevant literature to construct responses that reveal good skills of critical analysis and insight.

• To achieve an excellent pass of 70% or greater you must demonstrate an authoritative grasp of the conceptual context of the assignment and show insights into current debates around this subject. You should demonstrate the ability to express your arguments clearly, concisely and accurately, with a high degree of technical competence. Work that is deficient in most of the respects outlined above, showing no evidence of critical analysis will be awarded an outright fail of 44% or less. A marginal fail of 45% to 49% may be awarded to work that demonstrates some understanding of the problem but where the understanding, accuracy, organisation and critical analysis fail to justify a marginal pass.

Circular Economy Concept

This research paper involves the understanding of energy requirements of the electrical, structural, and miscellaneous components for the industrial processes performed during the manufacture of electric mobility scooter for the disabled. As a sustainability manager, there is need of evaluating the extent to which the Circular Economy concept can be implemented to the company and to the electric mobility scooter. There is also need of planning the future business model and products of the organization which may affect the sustainability of the organization. The description of the future sustainable industrial system in terms of the steps in the lifecycle of the electric mobility scooter after the energy and components flows have been made circular.

Manufacturing industries account for an important part of the generation of waste and consumption of resources globally. These industries have the potential of creating a sustainable economy through designing and implementing integrated suitable practices and development of services and products which contribute to better performance of the environment.  Companies have recently made positive efforts towards improvement of management systems and environmental strategies and also taking larger environmental responsibilities in the entire value chains. The adoption of more systematic and integrated approaches to improve the sustainability performance has laid the foundation for new modes of provision and business models which can possibly result in significant benefits to the environment (Allwood, 2011).

A circular business model is as the way in which the electric mobility scooter manufacturing company captures, delivers, and creates value with the designed value creation to promote efficiency of material components by contributing to prolonging useful life of the parts and the mobility scooter product and closing the material loop. Efforts to implement circular flow of materials and closed-loop systems have been specifically focused on revitalizing materials and products disposed into new production resources as illustrated in the figure below:In the manufacture of electric mobility scooter fro be disabled, some of the components that are required include tyres, chassis, wheels, wheels, suspension, batteries, seat assembly, bodywork, motors, transmission system, upholstery, and switches. These components can be dividend based on their sources or physical properties, namely, electrical, structural, and miscellaneous components (Bocken, 2016).

Electrical Parts

The electrical components required in the manufacturing the electric mobility scooter for the disabled include circuit boards, wires, batteries, switches, and motors. Majority of these components are manufactured by the suppliers and then sent to the company to be assembled when manufacturing the electric mobility scooter. This makes their reuse and recycle a problem since the company lack the necessary equipment and expertise to handle such products. The major concern of the electronic components is the high energy consumption of the parts such as the electric motor and batteries. The company should also seek for more effective methods of dealing with the disposal of these components. Currently, these are numerous electronic companies that are considering different technological advances in the form of process or product modification and re-designing these electronic components so that they can be recycled (Boothroyd, 2009).

Electric Mobility Scooter Manufacturing and Sustainability

During the first step of disassembly of damaged or damped mobility scooter, the batteries, safe stock, and other hazardous components are removed. The flow of batteries can be made to be circular by replacing the lithium batteries with lead acid batteries since the lead batteries are well known technologies with efficient collection and recycling chain while the lithium batteries are a new technology with no efficient chain of recycling.The motors can first be dismantled to remove the components of the powertrain especially the permanent magnet. The permanent magnet is made up of boron, iron, and neodymium and the latter is the most significant component. This component can directly be reused in other powertrains. The recycling of neodymium can be done through hydrogen decrepitation through breaking up the permanent magnet to become powder and then obtaining ferrous material by heating. The flow of motors can be circular by first being sorted and then dismantled and the copper windings removed and shredded to recover copper. The assumption made is that the electric motor disassembly to remove the permanent magnet provides opportunity also to select copper wining of the stator (Commons, 2010).

Structural Parts

The structural components used in the manufacture of electric mobility scooter for the disabled include seat assembly, suspension, wheels, and chassis. Majority of these structural components are manufactured within the company, this makes it easy to reuse or recycle them since the company has equipment for their manufacture. There have been significant increase of environmental performance of these structural components in the recent years through red-designing of numerous production processes and energy-saving modifications. This has been as a result of pressures to minimize pollution and increase the scarcity and prices of raw materials. Numerous industries have engaged in many arrangements in the institution for developments, while other initiatives have focused on technological process and product advances (Daan, 2010).

The company can also ensure sustainability in the system components by reducing the weight and size of the structural components, this will promote energy efficiency and reduce the road construction and repair. During disassembly process, the valuable parts should be removed after the removal of hazardous parts. These cost-effective structural materials include suspension, bodywork and chassis and are significant since are metals that can easily be recycled to recover significant metal such as aluminium, copper, and magnesium (Gutowski, 2017).

These structural parts may also be used as spare parts for the damaged but operational mobility scooters which require their major structural parts to be replaced. These spare parts can be repainted and repaired before being sold to the dealers where customers who wish to have their damage components be replaced can easily access them. The structural components made of polymers such as seat assembly can be sorted to remove the polymer and recycled or thermal recovery. Seat assembly is made of numerous components assembled together to make a seat that is more comfortable to the disabled. The seats of the vehicles as suitable for the physically handicapped riders ergonomically and provides a riding and seating comfort, making it comfortable and easy to ride (Hagelüken, 2010).

Components required for the Electric Mobility Scooter Manufacturing

The materials used in the assembling of the seats can be recycled by first sorting the seat to remove its compositions. The upholstery is used in the covering the outer surface of the seats to make them last longer and also for beautification purposes. The upholstery can be reused as mats or recycled and used in manufacturing carpets (Hauschild, 2009).

Miscellaneous Parts

The miscellaneous components that are used in the manufacture of electric mobility scooter include transmission system, tyres, upholstery, and bodywork. Due to the growing demand of the mobility scooters, the manufacturing companies should take initiatives focused on improving the overall energy efficiency of mobility scooters, while increasing the safety during its operation. The company should also consider eco-innovation through technological advances, normally in the form of process or product modification and re-design, such as optimization of painting processes, energy-saving tyres, and better power management systems (Hollander, 2016).

The first step towards circular flow of materials is disassembly of damped or damaged mobility scoter by removing the hazardous components such as batteries and transmission fluid. This used transmission oil can be reused as a lubricant to reduce friction on moving parts of other mobility scooters. The bodywork and tyres are then removed for easy access of the internal structure of the mobility scooter. The tyres can be reused through retreading waste tyres that are repairable since it is an efficient and safe process that entails the removal of exterior treads of the tyres and then replacing them with new treads by the use of pressure and heat (Johansson, 2012).

This process has some be repeated on waste tyres until their structure break down. After breaking down, the rubber in the tyres can be reclaimed through grinding down to into fine powder and then mixing with additives to break down sulfur into rubber. The bodywork of the mobility scooter is majorly made of plastics and this material can be recycled by meting and then designing artifacts with the liquid solution (Laubscher, 2014).

Material and Energy Flows

This section discusses the life cycle of the electric mobility scooter for the future industrial system, after the energy and materials flow have been made as circular as possible. The life cycle of the electric mobility scooter begins with input materials (Notter, 2010).

Input materials

The internal components of the mobility scooter such as electric motor and chassis are comparable to the passenger car. However, some components strongly differ in both material and proportion. The housing of the mobility scooter is made up of plastic materials and the suspension and handle bars are made of aluminium. The latest mobility scooter models use LiMn2O4 battery with a mean weight of 32kg and also a wheel hub motor of weight 11kg (Richards, 2009).

Circular Flow of Electrical Components

Energy demand and Processing

The manufacturing process of the electric mobility scooter is similar to the passenger car manufacturing. Apart from the current steps of manufacturing, there is addition of injection moulding since majority of the plastics components are formed by the use of this approach. The total fuel and electricity consumption for every sites of production is shown in the environmental report below:

The unit process data of electric mobility scooter and manufacturing of scooter is as shown in Appendix A (Robèrt, 2010).

Maintenance

There is need of replacing majority of the need to be replaced after some duration of operation since their life expectancy is shorter than the one of the whole electric mobility scooter. Some of the components of the mobility scooter that need to be replaced after a specific duration include brakes, motors, tyres, and chains. 50% of the plastic components used in the scooter need to be replaced at least once in the entire life time of the vehicle. 10% of the steel components have to be replaced in the life time of the mobility scooter since the chassis is contains more steel. The scooter tyres have a life span of at least four years with a corresponding distance of 5000km (Roome, 2009).

The percentage of materials adapted for replacement of parts in the scooter relative to the composition of materials on the scooter. The lithium battery can be recharged for more than 500 times and the average life span of the electric mobility scooter is approximately 3 to 4 years over the life span of 15000km. Therefore, the lithium battery has to be replaced 2.75 times in the entire lifespan of the mobility scooter. The unit process raw data of electric scooter compared to the bicycle maintenance is shown in the appendix B (Scheepens, 2016).

Disposal

Numerous raw materials of electric mobility scooter can easily be recycled after the implementation of the proposed sustainability system. All metals used in the manufacture of structural and miscellaneous components are fully recycled. Identification of process of disposal of the mobility scooter can be done by making cut-off allocation for metal materials and allocate every environmental effects to the secondary components generated by the process of recycling. The tyres are reused through retreading waste tyres that are repairable since it is an efficient and safe process that entails the removal of exterior treads of the tyres and then replacing them with new treads by the use of pressure and heat (Scheepens, 2016).

Circular Flow of Structural Components

Plastic components can be incinerated and the tyres can also be exported to the companies dealing in the process of cement production. The environmental effects from the final life treatment of the lithium battery is attributed to the transport life cycle of the mobility scooter. The metal residues from the metal shredder after shredding the metal components such as chassis, suspension, set assembly, and wheels are accounted for using extrapolation from the disposal of mobility scooter (Stahel, 2013).

Short term and Long term steps towards Sustainability

This section evaluates the potential business model strategies for long term and short term steps that can be adopted by the company to ensure system sustainability. Business models define the manner in which the company performs business and is viewed as a significant driver for innovation. Numerous streams of research have contributed to the development of sustainability steps, principles, and the steps implementation that trigger the system sustainability. These include design engineering for functional sales, ecodesigns, product-service system, and industrial ecology (Staudinger, 2009).

Researches in the fields stated above have studied and developed long term and short term strategies for varying flows in materials to improve value preservation and resource efficiency. These strategies can be implemented at different phases of life cycle of the electric mobility scooter such as use and production phase. The figure below shows the short term and long term strategies and their frameworks categorization and the relevant stages of life cycle at which they may impact (Sullivan, 2010).The figure above shows the long term and short term steps for recycling the structural, electrical, and miscellaneous components used in the manufacture of electric mobility scooter that have been established to enable efficiency improvement of the product in the end-of-life and use phases. This circular strategies steps involves enabling a second life for components such as chassis, tyres, suspension, batteries, and motors through remanufacturing or repair and permitting component recycling after attainment of irreversible end-of-life. Through the integration of the recovered secondary components in the chain value, this sustainability strategies set also tackles effects taking place at the commencement of the life cycle of the component (Teece, 2010).

Most of these short term and long term steps can also be assumed as a degree to prolong the valuable life of the component. The set of the steps above is imagined to promote a more radical and systemic change compared with steps that attain incremental improvement if efficiency of the components. This is because these steps can result to closed loop of components that can uphold productivity and quality over time, hence minimizing the flow speed of materials and products used in the manufacture of the electric mobility scooter through the economy. However, despite the sustainability steps potential to contribute to a greater change in system, it should be observed that they do not possess greatest effectiveness gains of components performance in every circumstance (Transport, 2015).

Circular Flow of Miscellaneous Components

            For example, in case the use phase is prevailing concerning water usage and energy, the steps for efficiency use are likely to possess the greatest components potential efficiency. Similarly, sustainability steps addressing the production and material processing stages are not regarded as sustainability steps yet they may be critical to permit sustainability at later phases of life cycle. Some of the present components efficiency sustainability steps can be achieved at the level of company within its own product and processes development such as reduced use of structural components in the manufacture of mobility scoter and reduced leakage of materials (Webster, 2017).

Conclusion

As a sustainability manager, there is need of evaluating the extent to which the Circular Economy concept can be implemented to the company and to the electric mobility scooter. The major concern of the electronic components is the high energy consumption of the parts such as the electric motor and batteries. Currently, these are numerous electronic companies that are considering different technological advances in the form of process or product modification and re-designing these electronic components so that they can be recycled. Numerous industries have engaged in many arrangements in the institution for developments, while other initiatives have focused on technological process and product advances. The company can also ensure sustainability in the system components by reducing the weight and size of the structural components, this will promote energy efficiency and reduce the road construction and repair.

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