Incorporating design for remanufacturing in the early design stage: a design management perspective

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Adopting design approaches that allow products to last multiple use-cycles supports European Commission objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce primary material impacts. Remanufacturing is an example of an appropriate circular strategy and it can be applied in a variety of industries that are intensive materials users. However, most companies have not yet adopted design strategies facilitating remanufacturing at scale. In this paper, we explored how design management can facilitate the implementation of Design for Remanufacturing, based on a literature review and in-depth interviews. Seven companies active in business-to-business markets were interviewed about the design-related opportunities and barriers they see for remanufacturing. We found that access to technical knowledge is not a barrier, whereas integrating this knowledge into the existing design process is. We conclude that design management can contribute to the uptake of Design for Remanufacturing for the following reasons: by making the value of Design for Remanufacturing to the company at large explicit, by building bridges between internal and external stakeholders, and by embedding Design for Remanufacturing into existing processes by means of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and roadmaps.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Remanufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Circular product design
  • Closed loop supply chains
  • Design for Remanufacturing
  • Design management
  • Implementation
  • Multiple use-cycles
  • Product development

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