Newsletter 2 – ECOBULK does design

ECOBULK - first year's progress toward circular composite products

The ECOBULK consortium met for the 3rd time, this time hosted by partner TOMRA in Koblenz, Germany. During the visit, the partners also had a chance to see the inside of TOMRA’s innovation and testing centre, a report on which you can read here.

This occasion also marks 1 year of the ECOBULK project.  In that context, it was time for a more explicit consensus among the partners as to the ultimate goals. This resulted in a new vision statement which you can read here.

After a thorough investigation of the baseline scenario [download here], the pilot products to be redesigned and made more circular were selected. The project can now enter its design phase, and to present the process of incorporating circularity into products, MicroCab shared [see here] how they have been doing just that. To support the design research conducted by TUDelft, part of the meeting was dedicated to a design workshop which tested the new Circular Design Framework [read more]. 

Of course, circularity is not just about products, but also about processes. The work has begun on designing the information systems to support the level of data needed to be stored and exchanged during the prolonged life-cycle of the new circular products and materials. Open API architectures will enable relevant databases to implement micro-services that can be used to find and combine the correct data. However, the complexity of the decision tasks might be better suited to machine learning techniques – AI systems might be able recommend courses of action to maintain circularity quickly and effectively.

The next six months promise to be very busy for our partners, as they gear up to prepare for the demonstrations, the re-design of the pilot products and their manufacture. ECOBULK will also be holding more workshops and events towards the end of this year. To stay updated with the project follow our Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin profiles or, if you haven’t yet, subscribe to our mailing list.