Mechatronics and Electronics

Problem description

Nowadays remanufacturers in the automotive and commercial vehicle industry are facing a lack of planning reliability. Due to fluctuating core return rates and changing core quality it is difficult for remanufacturers to predict the inbound cores (used parts) and thus the planning of the production and further supply chain.

Pilot 2 enables a platform for repair manufacturers for reusing obsolete electronic components resulting in an increased overall regeneration rate and reduced landfill.


Increasing the overall regeneration rate concerns the complete process from exchanging the part at the workshop till the reassembly of the remanufactured components. Different parties (e.g. workshops, core selection stations, etc.) within this process need to exchange information. Achieving this requires an early stage sorting in the value chain by developing suitable incentives.

Overall approach

This task will demonstrate that the DigiPrime platform can improve the performance of the current business case targeting the remanufacturing and re-use of complex mechatronics and electronics components for aftermarket applications with a cross-sectorial approach linking the e-mobility and the smart machining systems sectors, specifically focusing on breaking systems, e-drives and Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). The business case will entail the following process steps:

Disassembly of the modules exploiting product information, testing and characterization of the components conditions depending on gathered use phase data, selection of re-usable modules, substitution of non-re-usable modules, remanufacturing for function restore (cleaning, machining, inspection, painting/coating), re-assembly and performance certification. Four use cases will be explicitly demonstrated within this pilot, connecting the targeted sectors with different input-output links.

Use-cases and involved sectors

Use case 1
CE strategy: Remanufacturing
Input sector: Automotive
Output sector: Automotive

Use case 2
CE strategy: Remanufacturing
Input sector: Automotive
Output sector: Automotive

Use case 3
CE strategy: Remanufacturing
Input sector: Automotive
Output sector: Automotive

Use case 4
CE strategy: Remanufacturing/Repair
Input sector: Automotive and electronic industry
Output sector: Automotive and electronic industry

Involved DigiPrime services

The most relevant value-chain oriented services aim to:

    • Define the best reverse logistics configuration in order to maximize the economic and environmental performance of the cross-sectorial value-chain.
    • Forecasting the demand for remanufactured products and the supply of post-products in order to support de- and remanufacturers in their production planning and long-term capacity allocation.
  • Support production planning and control in circular value-chains, able to match the value stream of the production system with the de- and remanufacturing system implications.


The most relevant operational services aim to:

    • Support the optimization of reverse logistics configuration based on economic and environmental performance indicators.
    • Predict the expected quantity and quality of returned products and their components by using the actual data of returning products.
  • Provide strategically planning recommendations for the remanufacturing- and new product-production.

Detailed description of the approach

First, a constantly high and predictable supply of old products (cores), must be ensured. Thus, a higher core return rate can be achieved, which saves resources and increases the viability of circular strategies. To achieve this, information sharing across stakeholders of the value chain as well as incentives for customers and workshops to return cores must be assured. 

Secondly, these information and data from different stakeholders along the value-chain can be used to increase the planning accuracy of remanufacturing or repair processes. Nowadays, much information is not being gathered or lost along the value-chain which are considered to be useful for a more specific and plannable remanufacturing value chain. 

Thirdly, demand planning of remanufactured components versus newly manufactured components relies on accurate and precise information. Moreover, it is required to produce “fake” remanufacturing products (meaning to sell original products but label them as ‘remanufactured’) due to a higher demand of remanufactured products on the market and the insufficient supply of cores. Pilot 2 will focus on improving the core return on European level as well as the data collection to improve the demand planning, which also poses a significant challenge. 

Fourthly, obsolete components, which cannot be supplied anymore, remain a challenge to increase the re-usage rate of cores. Especially when it comes to electronic and electrical components, an information exchange between stakeholders of the value chain as well as cross-sectorial information exchange could reduce the scrap rate.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, DT-ICT-07-2018-2019 “Digital Manufacturing Platforms for Connected Smart Factories” topic, under Grant Agreement ID 873111