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An assessment of how Circular Economy can be implemented in the Aerospace Industry
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
En bedömning på hur Cirkulär Ekonomi kan implementeras inom Flygindustrin (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Circular Economy can provide support and is significance to society for the direction towards a more sustainable economical and ecological environment. In contradiction to use a product and then discarding it is reuse, remanufacturing and recycling important pieces in recourse optimized process where materials are not systematically leaving the loop. But what should these actions and business models be for a company in the manufacturing industry that focuses on Circular Economy.This master thesis will present a case study for the manufacturing industry, GKN Aerospace Sweden. The study argues for a combination of multiple business models, evaluating and finding critical metal alloys and investigates manufacturing technologies for Circular Economy. The data was collected from conducted interviews with managers at different departments ranging from treasury, product development, production, after market, quality and material-handling.Rare and expensive metal alloys, long lead times for productions and long lifecycles for the produces components are the purpose for the implementation of solutions for how to reach a Circular Economy within the aerospace industry. These challenges are not only a financial risk but also make a company vulnerable for external threats. There is a need for more knowledge about sustainable development and material handling for product development to avoid dependence on rare, expensive core materials.We found, during the benchmarking of GKN Aerospace Sweden current business models, that the solution to reach Circular Economy must include a combination of sustainable awareness, technical innovation platform and a value proposition to customers, which consist more than physical products. Our suggestions to the company for them to implement Circular Economy are the following; i) actively try to get an overview and own a larger part of the products lifecycle, from development, production and maintenance; ii) continue the development of additive manufacturing because of its cost efficient potential and its efficient use of metal powders; iii) use recycled metal chips from manufacturing as input material to new production and maintenance. These changes together are a solution for GKN Aerospace Sweden to contribute to a financial as well as ecological sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-10374OAI: diva2:839020
Educational program
IEACI Master of Science in Industrial Management and Engineering
Available from: 2015-07-02 Created: 2015-07-01 Last updated: 2015-07-02Bibliographically approved

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