• Exploring industry 4.0 technologies to enable circular economy practices in a manufacturing context: a business model proposal.

      Nascimento, D.L.M; Alencastro, V; Quelhas, O.L.G; Caiado, R.G.G; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Tortorella, G.L; Federal Fluminense University; Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro; University of Derby; National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV); et al. (Emerald, 2018-10)
      Purpose - The purpose of this study was to explore how rising technologies from Industry 4.0 can be integrated with circular economy (CE) practices to establish a business model that reuses and recycles wasted material such as scrap metal or e-waste Design/methodology/approach – The qualitative research method was deployed in three stages. Stage one was a literature review of concepts, successful factors, and barriers related to the transition towards a CE along with sustainable supply chain management, smart production systems, and additive manufacturing. Stage two comprised a conceptual framework to integrate and evaluate the synergistic potential among these concepts. Finally, stage three validated the proposed model by collecting rich qualitative data based on semi-structured interviews with managers, researchers, and professors of operations management to gather insightful and relevant information. Findings – The outcome of the study is the recommendation of a circular model to reuse scrap electronic devices, integrating web technologies, reverse logistics, and additive manufacturing to support CE practices. Results suggest a positive influence from improving business sustainability by reinserting waste into the supply chain to manufacture products on demand. Research implications/originality – The impact of reusing wasted materials to manufacture new products is relevant to minimizing resource consumption and negative environmental impacts. Furthermore, it avoids hazardous materials ending up in landfills or in the oceans, seriously threatening life in ecosystems. In addition, reuse of wasted material enables the development of local business networks that generate jobs and improve economic performance.