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RENEE: the project that seeks to make the European industry more circular through remanufacturing

The future of the industry is becoming more sustainable and circular. The RENEE project - with INESC TEC as a partner - seeks to use advanced robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support production management and the value chain, in the processes of flexible remanufacturing, i.e., to include the use of products that are not new in the industrial process. Starting in early 2024, the project includes the creation of a digital infrastructure for the management of product remanufacturing processes, as well as a set of tools that will allow industries to enter a new era, in which the circular economy will be the main aspect throughout the production process.

22nd March 2024

Over the next four years, RENEE wants to change the industry paradigm in the European Union.

"One of the main objectives of the project is the implementation of human-centred production systems based on advanced robotics and AI. The idea is for companies to understand the added value of remanufacturing by exploiting the latest technologies, enabling flexible processes, and strengthening workforce skills. We want to demonstrate the technical, financial, and environmental feasibility of this concept in multiple industrial sectors and, above all, highlight the need for reskilling and upskilling in this new context of circular business models", explained INESC TEC researcher António Baptista.

 

Thus, at the end of the project, a set of tools will be made available to the market: production modules for sustainable remanufacturing, digital production planning tools that allow the traceability of products, robot skills libraries, etc. In addition, the project targets the qualification and requalification of the workforce, through the implementation of an educational platform and a set of operators' support technologies.

 

"Through different fields of research, INESC TEC will be responsible for identifying and managing remanufacturing strategies applicable to different circular business models, developing new methodologies and tools for redesigning products and production processes. In addition, the development and implementation of advanced algorithms is planned to allow the automation of tasks (e.g., the disassembly of products) and the development of a digital twin of the factory floor, which will allow greater control of the production environment", added António Baptista.

 

The social impact of this project meets the paradigm of circular economy and sustainable development, by maximising the reuse of products and components in the manufacturing process, reducing pollution and material extraction, and creating (or renewing) technical jobs.

 

RENEE – Flexible Remanufacturing Using AI and Advanced Robotics for Circular Value Chains in EUIndustry - is funded at €6,999,531.25 by the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under agreement no. 10113841. INESC TEC benefits from a funding of around €400K.

 

Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. The outlooks and opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the entity that granted the funding can be held responsible for them.

 

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.