Remanufacturing represents one of the most promising strategies for promoting circular economy (CE) principles and achieving economic and environmental sustainability goals. The implementation of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) enabling technologies such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things in the classical remanufacturing process provides the opportunity to define a new approach called Cloud Remanufacturing, which realises a distributed system in which remanufacturing resources, located at different geographic sites, are shared and managed in a centralised environment. This paper aims to introduce the new concept of Cloud Remanufacturing by proposing a framework to explain its logic and characterise its main features. Furthermore, the mathematical relationships for evaluating the costs and the times for completing the remanufacturing process enhanced by I4.0 technologies will be developed, and, relying on them, the model will be tested for 2 scenarios involving different extended areas. In detail, the problem of activity scheduling in Cloud Remanufacturing will be addressed using two metaheuristic approaches. The results show the effectiveness and theoretical applicability of the model, even if a comparison with a real case study is not possible due to the lack of a real centrally managed remanufacturing distributed system.
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