The Circular Economy (CE) concept has promised to unlock trillions of dollars in business value while driving a significant reduction in the world’s resource consumption and anthropogenic emissions. However, CE mainly lives in ambiguity in the manufacturing domain because CE does not address the changes needed across all of the fundamental elements of manufacturing: products, processes, and systems. Conceptually, CE is grounded in the concept of closed-loop material flows that fit within ecological limits. This grounding translates into a steady state economy, a result that is not an option for the significant portion of the world living in poverty. Therefore, this paper proposes the Helical Economy (HE) concept as a novel extension to CE—one that allows for continued innovation and economic growth by leveraging an Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure and by reimagining products, processes, and systems. This paper intends to be the conceptual overview and a framework for implementing Helical Economy in the manufacturing domain.

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Published in Procedia Manufacturing, v. 33, p. 168-175.

© 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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