• Contact:

    Carina Benz

  • Funding:


  • Startdate:


  • Enddate:



As part of the ZirkulEA project, we collaborate with three research institutes and six industry partners to develop research results and practical solutions for a circular economy of the automotive electric powertrain through intelligent disassembly and tracking.

The shift towards electric drives currently prevailing in individual mobility is characterized by a high demand for raw materials. In the context of the circular economy concept, the aim is for recyclable materials, parts or entire assemblies to be returned and thus reused in high-quality products. Nevertheless, the realization of the cycle mostly fails due to economic and technical challenges. Particular difficulties arise from the large number of parties involved, heterogeneity in terms of their specification and condition, and the lack of permeability of information. Challenges start with the design of the product and extend to the selection of the right recycling strategy and the design of the dismantling processes. In conjunction with this, solutions must also be found for planning and controlling circular value chains, for which software implementation is required. In addition to the operational consideration of the aspects mentioned, information is required with regard to product condition and life cycle, for the transfer of which there are currently no sufficiently defined concepts.

The aim of the research project ZirkulEA is to design a circular value chain that is as economical as possible with the aid of a comprehensive cross-company exchange of information. This goal is to be illustrated in exemplary use cases in order to ensure a timely realization of the developed concepts in industrial practice. The target picture is thus defined by considering three integrated use cases, via which design rules are to be derived. Against the background of the circular economy for EA components, potentials for scalable automation are to be investigated, and a comprehensive view on different levels from process to planning and control is to be realized. The approach is underpinned by the targeted development of concepts for information exchange resulting in an ecosystem.

Within the joint project ZirkulEA, we, the KSRI, focus on the identification and derivation of the necessary information requirements. Suitable technical solutions for data acquisition and data dissemination, as well as software and hardware, will be selected. In addition, an overall concept for data exchange in the form of a partner ecosystem will be developed (including business models and incentive systems for participation).



01.10.2022 - 30.09.2025



The joint project ZirkulEA is funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) within the measure "Auf dem Weg zur nachhaltigen Mobilität durch kreislauffähigeWertschöpfung (MobilKreis)" as part of the program "Zukunft der Wertschöpfung –Forschung zuProduktion, Dienstleistung und Arbeit".



Project website ZirkulEA


Involved DSI Researchers

Carina Benz

Daniel Heinz

Linda Sagnier Eckert

Marcel Fassnacht


Journal Articles
Artificial intelligence for sustainability: Facilitating sustainable smart product-service systems with computer vision
Walk, J.; Kühl, N.; Saidani, M.; Schatte, J.
2023. Journal of Cleaner Production, 402, Art.-Nr.: 136748. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.136748
Conference Papers
Reaching for the Stars: Exploring Value Constellations in Inter-Organizational Data Sharing
Jussen, I.; Fassnacht, M.; Schweihoff, J.; Möller, F.
2024. ECIS 2024, Association for Information Systems (AIS)
Data and Information Sharing for Circularity: An Information Systems Perspective
Heinz, D.; Molz, J.; Finner, A. S.; Fassnacht, M.; Benz, C.
2024, May 16. Circularity Days (2024), Wolfsburg, Germany, May 15–16, 2024
Towards an Effective Design for Data Sharing in Circular Ecosystems
Fassnacht, M. K.; Benz, C.; Heinz, D.
2023. 31st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2023), Kristiansand, Norway, June 11–16, 2023