Simplification and adaptation of material flow cost accounting (MFCA) for SMEs

Description

The use of MFCA can yield many benefits for businesses, including better evaluation and understanding of the costs related to material inefficiencies, greater emphasis on the economic gains of minimizing waste and production losses and the identification and prioritization of the actions to be undertaken (e.g., input substitution, process modification, internal recycling and the sale of by-products to increase profitability). As a tool, MFCA also has the power to convince business leaders to address environmental issues.

While MFCA is relevant, it requires the detailed modeling of the material flows within a business. The tool entails energy-intensive data collection and a thorough knowledge of production costs. The analysis therefore requires time, resources and expertise that are not always available in-house.

With that in mind, the research project aims to develop a simplified MFCA methodology to be used by SMEs and demonstrate the benefits and impacts of using simplified MFCA.

Themes

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA)
  • Prioritization
  • Processes
  • Production costs
  • Profitability
  • Recycling
  • Small Business
  • SME
  • Waste management

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Collaborators

Julien Beaulieu

CTTEI

Amount granted

$15,000
Recycling plastic accessories produced by 3D printing used in the context of radiation oncology

Description

The project seeks to gain more basic knowledge of the recyclability of the plastic used in a medical context. By focusing on the particular context of 3D printed boluses for radiation therapy in cancer patients, the initiative will assess the influence of recycling processes and radiotherapy treatments on the structure and properties of the material (PLA, polylactic acid) before it is reused in treatment.

The project has three sub-objectives:

  1. Determine the extent to which repeated shredding-extrusion-3D printing shaping affects the properties of PLA.
  2. Determine the influence of radiation treatment (i.e., repeated application of high-energy photons or electrons) and the regular application of cleaning agents on the polymer’s properties.
  3. Evaluate the combined effect of shaping and radiotherapy treatment on the recyclability of PLA.

Themes

  • Medical community
  • Plastic
  • Polymer
  • Processes
  • Recycling

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Member(s)

  • Lucas Hof

    Professor
  • Nicole Demarquette

    Ph.D. Professor

Collaborators

Stéphane Bedwani

CHUM

François De Blois

CHUM

Karim Zerouali

CHUM

Amount granted

$15,000
Development of a metal-infused recyclable raw material for low-cost 3D printing in the context of circular manufacturing

Description

The project focuses on the development of a new recyclable 3D printing feedstock for low-cost printers.

It explores the unique reaction of nickel and iron with carbon monoxide, which form nickel and iron carbonyl, respectively, to provide an ideal mechanism to recycle the metals, as well as nickel- and iron-based products.

The research aims to develop metal-infused recyclable filaments with high concentrations of nickel and iron carbonyl powders to make functional and resistant metal parts using widespread, low-cost 3D printing processes such as fused filament fabrication.

Themes

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Iron
  • Metals
  • Nickel
  • Processes
  • Recycling

Affiliated research axes

Axis 2: Planning Optimization

Axis 3: Resource and Product Maximization

Member(s)

Collaborators

Vladimir Paserin

VPM Research inc.

Daria Strugova

ETS Montréal

Amount granted

$15,000
Involving consumers in the circular economy of plastics

Description

This action research study is led in partnership with the consulting firm 5REDO, which has already created an in-house capacity to facilitate decision making and the assessment and analysis of scenarios with respect to mechanical and chemical recycling technologies, as well as the use of more sustainable plastic materials. But that capacity does not consider how consumers could contribute to recycling efforts.

The main objective of the partnership is to expand 5REDO’s capacity to consider and leverage consumer behaviours when developing circular solutions for plastic. The project will complement and broaden 5REDO’s expertise in the area through three key objectives:

  1. Provide a comprehensive overview of how consumer engagement can be leveraged to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastics.
  2. Estimate the influence of internal and external consumer factors and their interactions to assess how consumers could be involved in initiatives to improve the end-of-life management of plastics.
  3. Prospectively assess plastics flows in Canada to 2030 through different scenarios based on the influence of consumer behaviours and specific consumer engagement initiatives.

Themes

  • Circular economy
  • Consumer behavior
  • Factors
  • Implication
  • Plastic
  • Recycling
  • Scenarios
  • Waste management

Affiliated research axes

Axis 1: Change and Transition Management

Collaborators

Mahdi Takaffoli

5REDO

Ophela Zhang

5REDO
The invisible hands at work in the circular economy: survey of waste sorting in rehiring firms in Québec

Description

Research on the topic of work is very rare, with the exception of some quantitative job creation projections. Yet, the circularization of the economy assumes a significant amount of human effort despite the technological advances—work that is often entrusted to marginalized populations. In Québec, there is an overrepresentation of immigrants and individuals with a disability within the sector, thus raising issues with respect to social and environmental justice. What does this sorting work actually consist of? Who carries out the work? Under what conditions?

The project aims to study the entire household waste processing cycle in Québec with a particular focus on the recycling activities of rehiring firms. Conceptually, it is rooted specifically in research on free work and dirty work and seeks to inform the debate on the public policies that provide the framework for the circular economy and socio-professional integration. From a phenomenological perspective, the research will document workers’ experiences, which provide important information to improve their working conditions.

Themes

  • Disability
  • Division of labour
  • Institutions
  • Recycling
  • Social metabolism

Affiliated research axes

Axis 1: Change and Transition Management

Axis 4: Policy levers

Collaborators

Ambre Fourier

Doctorante, HEC Montréal

Amount granted

$15,000
The RRECQ is supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec.
Fonds de recherche - Québec