The project Circle of Tools addresses the objective of a circular economy, according to which waste should be avoided as far as possible and raw materials kept in the economic cycle as long as possible. In the metal goods sector, a specific recycling of material is hardly possible at present; the remelting of collected scrap leads to the loss of high-quality tool steels. The central concern of the Circle of Tools project is to close regional material cycles in the metal processing industry with a focus on (hand) tools and cutlery. The aim is to extend the service life of the metals produced with high energy and resource consumption by following products through re-manufacturing and re-engineering. The approaches are to be set up company-wide and require a digitally supported logistics chain. As a result of the joint project, the cascade uses as well as suitable business models will be developed, evaluated and implemented as models with the industrial partners TKM, KIRSCHEN-Werkzeuge, P.F. FREUND & CIE. and Plan Consult as well as with the research partners Bergische Universität Wuppertal and the Wuppertal Institute. A guideline enables transferability to other industries and regions in order to successfully initiate and establish further cascade utilisation models, e.g. in the "Bergisches Land".
The Circle of Tools project was launched on 1 July 2019 for a period of three years, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).