Recycling 4.0 - Digitalisation as key for the Circular Economy for innovative vehicle systems



Unprecedented amounts of useful data can be gathered along supply chains with the proceeding digitalisation of industrial processes. Industry 4.0 is the keyword for the potential of connecting this data with innovative tools for data analytics, predictions and new planning methods. The recycling industry has a need to catch up in this regard, especially since increasingly complex products need to be recycled, resource prices are increasing and material reserves are decreasing. Therefore, the digitalisation, effective methods of allocating information and the connection of the different partners to closed-loop supply chains may help achieving an efficient recycling industry.


Thus, this project aims at analysing existing problems of the recycling industry, developing solutions and implementing these in prototypical manner. The project will focus especially on innovative vehicle systems like traction batteries, since these systems may rely particularly on recycled resources in the future. The goal is to develop a Recycling 4.0. This will be achieved by developing technologies and methods for the digitalisation of information gathering and processing steps within the closed-loop supply chain and use the obtained knowledge within manufacturing and recycling processes.


Central to the project will be an information market place, which connects all partners of the involved supply chains and enables them to trade information. The market place will be complemented by methods of reverse supply chain management and by joining manufacturing and recycling systems to circular factories. The IWF will be working in particular on the developement of a method for planning, evaluating and controlling these circular factories (retro-production systems).

Project Partners:

TU Clausthal

  • Department of Informatics (IFI), Chair of Software Systems Engineering
  • Institute of Mineral and Waste Processing, Waste Disposal and Geomechanics (IFAD), Chair of Mineral and Waste Processing


  • Institute for Distributed Systems (IVS)
  • Institute for Production Technology (IPT)

TU Braunschweig

  • Institute of Automotive Management and Industrial Production (AIP), Chair of Production and Logistics
  • Institute of Machine Tools and Prodution Technology (IWF), Chair of Sustainable Manufacturing and Life Cycle Engineering

Project Info:

Project duration:



Steffen Blömeke, Julian Rickert, Mark Mennenga

Funding: Europäischer Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE)

  last changed 14.11.2019
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