We now move past the innovative digital sorting and characterisation technologies that enhance a circular economy at the end of the loop, and instead take a look at digital’s ability to generate detailed information about, and track products across their life cycle. While the above looks at closing the loop from a post-consumption/user perspective, here we take a broader perspective, using a value chain approach. We should be able to monitor the life cycles of materials and products to enable the redirection of materials into their optimal route. Tagging and identification systems can provide part of the solution. Digital twins are used to model and optimise production systems. Their application in product chains is being explored.
Blockchain technology allows tracking of materials across transactions and into new life phases. Accordingly, blockchain technology can develop a track record for products and their parts, providing insights in view of their repair and re-use, or recovery of their parts. This results in the necessary sharing of information to achieve a circular economy. The development of virtual product chains that mimic real product chain
By stressing the importance of communication and information systems, G-STIC 2018 delves deeper into technology’s ability to generate collaboration and trust between, and within businesses. We aim to spark discussion around digital technology’s role in generating a secure supply chain with greater transparency, and what the roles of governments and businesses are in pushing innovative technologies