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Article

A Review of Circular Economy Research for Electric Motors and the Role of Industry 4.0 Technologies

1
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK
2
National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, University of Strathclyde, Inchinnan PA4 9LJ, UK
3
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lin Li
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179668
Received: 9 July 2021 / Revised: 11 August 2021 / Accepted: 16 August 2021 / Published: 27 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Distributed and Sustainable Manufacturing)
The market for electric motors is experiencing a step-growth due to their adoption across a range of industrial sectors. This increased demand also highlights the importance of end-of-life management of electric motors and a requirement for appropriate strategies for the high value materials embedded in them. This paper aims to offer a holistic view on the circular economy research for electric motors and the role of Industry 4.0 technologies by presenting the state-of-the-art available in literature and comparing it with the industrial perspective. The literature review revealed the absence of a methodology for selecting the best end-of-life scenario for industrial electric motors. Recycling, which is an end-of-product-life strategy, was found to be the key focus area of research. Reuse, which is a better strategy in terms of waste hierarchy, was the least researched area due to lack of information about the condition and availability of returned products. In order to capture the current landscape within the UK for the repair, remanufacture and recycling of electrical machines, a structured survey of UK based companies was conducted. The survey revealed that nearly half of the companies do not undertake any repair strategies for electrical machine components; however, there was an aspiration from the respondents to migrate their companies towards more sustainable activities. The industry survey and the review of existing literature led to the identification of research trends, challenges and recommendations for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrical machines; circular economy; remanufacturing; Industry 4.0 electrical machines; circular economy; remanufacturing; Industry 4.0
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tiwari, D.; Miscandlon, J.; Tiwari, A.; Jewell, G.W. A Review of Circular Economy Research for Electric Motors and the Role of Industry 4.0 Technologies. Sustainability 2021, 13, 9668. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179668

AMA Style

Tiwari D, Miscandlon J, Tiwari A, Jewell GW. A Review of Circular Economy Research for Electric Motors and the Role of Industry 4.0 Technologies. Sustainability. 2021; 13(17):9668. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179668

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tiwari, Divya, Jill Miscandlon, Ashutosh Tiwari, and Geraint W. Jewell. 2021. "A Review of Circular Economy Research for Electric Motors and the Role of Industry 4.0 Technologies" Sustainability 13, no. 17: 9668. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179668

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