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FR6_Mechanical Design Department - I2M LAB_Nicolas Perry / Thecle Alix

Nicolas Perry & Thecle Alix (UBx - ENSAM)

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Group description

The research areas of the I2M Mechanical Design Department (IMC) address design methods and tools (for products, services or production systems) and the links between products and processes (industrialization) over the whole lifecycle, from of technical efficiency and environmental evaluation perspective. The research themes addressed for industrial applications focus on considering the end-of-life for ecodesign and the integration of environmental constrains in the product design, manufacturing stages and end-of-life: recycling of polymers and composite is a main application for this activity. Ecodesign is a way to improve circular economy and the valorization of product et their end-of-life (subparts and elementary components) to improve recycling solutions.

The proposed topic(s) aim at improving the circularity of end-of-life products (identification and disassembly: topic 1), using reconfigurable manufacturing systems (topic 2) to improve the end-of-life treatment of physical products (maybe with a focus on electric or mechatronic products) in a perspective of product valorization based on cost or criticality (topic 3).

Reconfigurable production systems are an issue to make circularity viable in the sense that their physical and logical structure can be changed quickly and at all levels of system composition, to adjust the production capacity and functionality around a family of products in response to changes (market, quantity, type, etc.) and at lower cost and effort.

Today challenges are based on automated disassembly and sorting solutions to improve product recovery or material sorting and reduce time and costs for this operation. One way to tackle this is to work on both disassembly solution, and reconfigurable assembly lines that could be changed for disassembly, even repair or reassembly based on recovered components.

Challenges include the definition of:

Robotics / cobotics / manual with VR to AR solution for disassembly / repair / reassembly / sorting (topic 1);

Reconfiguration possibilities and solutions to switch from manufacturing to disassembly (topic 2);

Definition of the information system for product evaluation (value), for operator support (robot or human), for components testing before and after disassembly, in connection with residual value recovery (topic 3).


  • Reconfigurable manufacturing systems
  • Assembly /disassembly line
  • System engineering
  • Operational management
  • End of life treatment
  • Industry 4.0
  • Circular economy
  • Material flow analysis (MFA)
  • Resource depletion control
  • Reconfiguration process

Team Description

  • Nicolas Perry (Co-Principal Investigator)

    ORCID: 0000-0003-3215-4867

  • Thècle Alix (Co-Principal Investigator)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-9632-184X

  • Bertrand Laratte (Co-Principal Investigator)

    ORCID: 0000-0002-9169-4305

  • Stéphane Pompidou (Co-Principal Investigator)

    ORCID: 0000-0003-2208-3372

  • Robin Chavanne (Post-Doctoral Researcher)


  • Kick REDLED

    Pl: B. Laratte, T. Alix, S. Pompidou

    Funding Agency*: EU

    Ongoing: yes


    Pl: N. Perry, T. Alix

    Funding Agency*: NAT

    Ongoing: yes


    Pl: N. Perry, T. Alix

    Funding Agency*: NAT

    Ongoing: yes


    Pl: N. Perry, T. Alix, R. Chavanne, A. Parvizi

    Funding Agency*: RE

    Ongoing: yes

  • SOLR2

    Pl: N.Perry / T.Alix

    Funding Agency*: RE

    Ongoing: no

* INT - International EU - European NAT - National RE - Regional


  • J. Martinez Leal, S. Pompidou, C. Charbuillet, N. Perry, = Design for and from Recycling: A Circular Ecodesign Approach to Improve Circular Economy, Sustainability, 12(23), p.9861, 2021

  • R.Horta Arduin, F.Mathieux, J.Huisman, G.A. Blengini, C.Charbuillet, M.Wagner, C.P.Baldé, N.Perry (2020), = Novel indicators to better monitor the collection and recovery of (critical) raw materials in WEEE: Focus on screens, Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Vol 157 (2020) 104772,, 2020

  • R.Horta Arduin , G.Grimaud, J.Martinez Leal, C.Charbuillet, S.Pompidou, B.Laratte, T.Alix, N.Perry, = Influence of scope definition in recycling rate calculation for European e-waste extended producer responsibility, J. of Waste Management, Vol. 84, pp.256-268, 2019

  • T.Alix, Y.Benama, N.Perry,, = A framework for the design of a Reconfigurable and Mobile Manufacturing System, Procedia manufacturing, 35, 304-309, 2019
    DOI 10.1016/j.promfg.2019.05.044

  • Y.Benama, T.Alix, N.Perry,, = Framework definition for the design of a mobile manufacturing system. In : Advances on Mechanics, Design Engineering and Manufacturing., Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book, Springer,, 2017

Research Lines


Reconfiguration process of assembly / disassembly lines

  • Topic 1: reconfigurability from manufacturing to end-of-life recovery of components
    • reconfiguration / reconfigurability criteria

    • reconfiguration process

    • reconfigurable supply chains characterisation and design

    • reconfiguration effort quantification.

Operation planning and control of assembly / disassembly lines

  • Topic 2: production planning and control of a new kind of mix production
    • Operational control and planning of reconfigurable manufacturing systems
    • Simultaneous planning of assembly and disassembly activities


Interconnectivity of product/process/organisation digital twins

  • Topic 1: Information system for value recovery optimisation
    • Automatic product recognition and testing
    • Information structuring to evaluate the residual performance of products based on demand, markets, components and subcomponents elementary performances
    • digital environment to support disassembly / sorting / separation operations
    • components or second life products qualification / requalification
    • three-dimensional design of second life product/design process /manufacturing organisation digital twins


Circular Economy and residual value optimisation of End-of-Life Product through semi-automatic cells

  • Topic 1: automatic/semi-automatic cell for disassembly / repair / re-assembly and sorting.
    • Definition of a framework for coupling linear economy and circular economy in a mature production context, integrating economic, environmental, and societal constraints
    • proposal of residual value models (combining cost and environmental criteria)
    • definition of an adaptable multi-technology cell to treat end-of-life products
    • definition of adaptability criteria to fit the product families to be disassembled
    • definition of test/diagnostic procedures before / during / after disassembly to qualify and quantify the residual value of the products.

Cross-border Collaboration (if any)

N.Perry is teacher in the UPV Master degree (lead by Pr. F. Girot) in a course on Sustainable Manufacturing and Ecodesign

IMC research group has for long time relationship with researcher from Estia Recherche on topics linked with environmental evaluation and sustainability (Pr G. Legardeur and Dr. I. Lizarralde), and also on production system design and information systems (Pr. C. Merlot).