How can you determine if your product is "circular"? And how can you assess the potential of the various circular strategies such as Reuse, Repair, Remanufacture, Recycle for your product?
Circular product design helps design professionals to improve the long-term sustainability performance of their products. The key principle of the approach is 'designing out waste': fitting your product in a circular economy where the value of your product, its components and materials are maintained and not wasted.
This course is aimed at helping design professionals such as product architects and industrial design engineers to make their products more circular. By learning how to use unique methods and tools, you will be able to assess the circularity of your product, and to make informed decisions – from minor tweaks to a complete redesign. This course addresses emerging standards for circularity (such as prEN45554) and will be of value both to those working on improving existing products and those creating new ones.
In order to effectively implement circular design strategies, you will learn to use two practical tools to assess products' circularity:
HotSpot Mapping (HSM) – with this tool you will analyze your product architecture through the dismantling of an example product of your choice, and mapping the key properties of all components, such as material, weight, ease of disassembly, likelihood to break, and more. You will spot critical points in your product architecture related to key circularity metrics.
Circularity Calculator (CC) – with this tool you will quantify key circularity metrics and develop circular scenarios based on the data you have in the early stages of product development. These metrics include resource circularity and potential value capture for different circular scenarios. This tool has already been used at various companies pioneering the Circular Economy, from SMEs to international brands.
By using these two tools, you will obtain substantiated criteria and facts to decide which are the most promising circular design strategies for your particular context. The tools will also point to the most significant contributors to the effective implementation of circular strategies.
This is a highly practical course. We will work with a working example (a blender), to guide you through all the activities. You will also apply what you learn to a product of your own. You will be asked to disassemble it and evaluate its circularity using the methods learned.
What You'll Learn:
- Use HotSpot Mapping (HSM) to identify the product components that affect circularity.
- Use HSM to support improvements in product architecture appropriate for different circular strategies.
- Analyze resource flows and obtain a "circularity instinct" at component and at product level using the Circularity Calculator (CC).
- Assess and quantify the potential circularity and value capture of different strategies using CC.
- Learn how to document and discuss circular assessment results and action points to improve the circularity level of the product.
Your Learning Platform
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Introduction to circular assessment: In the first week, we will cover key concepts of the circular economy, different circular strategies to capture value, and upcoming directives and legislation.
Episode 2 (spans over 2 weeks)
HotSpot Mapping: You will dismantle the product you selected and identify which of its parts need to be prioritized based on circularity metrics such as embodied value, ease of disassembly, likelihood to break and environmental impact.
Circularity Calculator: You will use the CC to calculate the resource and value flows of your product in a linear model. Based on the outcomes, you will develop circular scenarios that aim to capture value and improve circularity metrics.
Outlook, implications and reflection: Based on the assessment results, you will reflect and discuss circular assessment results and find action points to improve the circularity level of the product.
If you successfully complete this course you will earn a professional education certificate and you are eligible to receive 3.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
This course is primarily geared towards working professionals.
In order to follow this course, you should have a basic understanding of the circular economy, circular business models and business value in a circular economy*. You also need to bring a product for your own case study and a bill of materials that includes common data about the product such as costs per component, quantities, total costs, etc.
*If you want to expand or refresh your current understanding, we recommend you complete the (free) EdX MOOC "Circular Economy: An Introduction" prior to this course on circular assessment.
If you have any questions about this course or the TU Delft online learning environment, please visit our Help & Support page.