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An Innovative Approach to Teaching Sustainable Design and Management

September 30, 2015

For many years the market leadership was driven by offering better price on more product functions and services. The world is currently shifting towards social responsibility thinking. This changes the market behaviour, and leads to more innovations, such as designing new product/service/system using re-usable parts, new electric motor concepts, or inventing new chemical production procedures generating less waste, and many more opportunities. This paper introduces a research valorisation activity that aims at developing a program of training and coaching to prepare students and industry partners to this emerging innovation wave. The most outstanding particularity of this program is that it combines management and engineering aspects of sustainability in a form that empowers trainees to deploy sustainable approaches in practice. The particular target group of design engineers get equipped with fundamentally important sustainability knowledge enabling them to include sustainability considerations in their products and systems design. Eco-design is positioned as a key lever towards achieving sustainable product-service systems.

Industrial Product Service System: A Case Study From the Agriculture Sector

July 2, 2015

Recent research shows that manufacturers' contribution to sustainable development can be improved by adopting a product service system (PSS). It is argued in this paper that such non-traditional business strategy is a crucial decision to the enterprise. Metrics need to be identified at different levels: industry, enterprise, and product. The objective of this research is to identify PSS metrics for agriculture industry. PESTEL analysis is carried out to determine these metrics. A case study of a grain spreader is used to derive the appropriate metrics. Decision model is developed and its can be implemented by the PSS partners.

Territory Based Industrial Product-Service System Design

May 14, 2015

The research field of Industrial Product-Service Systems (IPS2) is not fully mature and there is a need to expand research directions to improve design models. Despite the current IPS2's potential as a business model for a more sustainable production and consumption system, a generic model at global level does not necessarily brings improvement in sustainability. One way of giving a more accurate meaning to sustainability is the territorial understanding of the term. Thus, shifting design level from global to regional or local levels could interpret sustainability more articulate, current, and pragmatic. The present paper discusses territorialisation as a new approach for supporting the design of Industrial Product–Service Systems. To respond to such a need, designers need to access geographical information that able them to integrate territorial specifications in a proper way. In such a context, ontology could play a relevant role to analyse and discover the relation of geographical information system (GIS) in the life cycle of a product and the related service networks. Improvement in sustainability could be a result of this integration. The focus of this paper is just on environmental pillar.

Leveraging the Sustainability Potential of Mass Customization Through Product Service Systems in the Consumer Electronics Industry

May 14, 2015

Companies experience an increasing importance for implementing sustainability concerns into their processes and product offerings. In the consumer electronics industry, traditional manufacturing-focused initiatives to minimize the environmental impacts of products are currently still far from satisfactory. The European research project SMC-Excel aims at enhancing the ecological sustainability in the consumer electronics industry through the integration of new business models based on the ideas and concepts of mass customization. In this paper, first insights of the project revealed during a Business Model Innovation workshop are presented. The main hypothesis derived in this workshop – the suitability of product service systems as a lever for the sustainability potential of mass customization– is discussed with the help of an analysis of the state-of-the-art literature on product service systems and mass customization. The paper concludes that the combination of mass customization patterns and product service system patterns carries a significant potential to foster the environmental sustainability of the full business model, but that this potential is highly context dependent. The insights of this paper set up the basis for further empiric research in the consumer electronics industry.

Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Different IPSS Deployment Scenarios for the Light Commercial Vehicle Industry

May 14, 2015

IPSS are popular in different fields of transport, mainly for personal use (car-sharing, bike-sharing). Their usage in urban goods transport is not still generalized but those systems present a good potential. This paper proposed to assess and analyze four different scenarios for urban goods transport to compare IPSS configurations to a business as usual situation, in terms of environmental impacts. Those impacts will be estimated via a life cycle analysis (LCA) method. First, the four scenarios are presented. The first scenario is the reference one, i.e. the business as usual situation. The other three scenarios represent possible IPSS configuration, i.e. a vehicle leasing system, a vehicle sharing system and an urban consolidation system. Second, the methodology for scenario assessment using LCA is described, and the main proposed indicators defined. Third, the main results of the scenario assessment are presented, analyzed and discussed. Finally, future researches are proposed.

Decision Support for Environmental-friendly Vehicle Relocations in Free- Floating Car Sharing Systems: The Case of Car2go

May 14, 2015

Current market figures from Europe seem to indicate that recently introduced free-floating car sharing (FFCS) systems can be a breakthrough for the car sharing idea. Regardless of their success, FFCS systems face significant regional demand fluctuations, raising the need for vehicle relocations with novel requirements for the product–service system (PSS). This study aims to introduce an integrated decision support approach for cost and emission efficient vehicle relocation in FFCS based on real-world data from car2go. The proposed approach appears to be effective and have a significant potential to reduce costs and related emissions.

Review Of The Modelling Approaches For Availability Contracts In The Military Context

May 1, 2015

The defence context more recently has been experiencing a significant shift towards servitization. As competition has increased, commercial strategies are increasingly moving towards providing through-life solutions for complex engineering products such as submarines. Within such a context value for money is an essential driver in a life cycle sense for selecting a bid. The defence sector has largely been affected by this change in the business environment. Industrial Product Service System (IPS2) is a model of providing services that satisfy industrial customers and aims to reduce lifecycle impacts of products and services through product servicing, remanufacturing and recycling. This approach has proved to be an effective solution to enhance the services support in military projects. IPS2 offers client value by responding more efficiently to the client demands with reduced prices; it is delivered in the form of contracting approaches between Ministry of Defence (MoD) and industry; these contracts can differ in several aspects as risk sharing, application level, ownership policy and supportability specifications vary. This research focuses on Contracting for Availability (CfA), which is a particular approach of IPS2.The paper aims to present the review of literature in designing support strategies for CfA, identifying the good practices and challenges, and to propose a systematic approach to fill the industrial and academic gap towards an optimization of the current modelling process. This work starts by presenting a literature review in IPS2; it then moves into the optimization processes, describing how contractors currently design a long term service support contract in the military context with better value for money and high level of system readiness. The key cost and performance drivers are identified and a framework is presented to enhance the design process of CfA. The methodology of the paper relies on literature. This research aims to extend the work of several authors in predicting the cost of services in the military contracts.

Product-Service Systems as a Promising Approach to Sustainability: Exploring the Sustainable Aspects of a PSS in Brazil

January 1, 2015

Product-Service Systems (PSS) represent a business proposition with potential to provide a wide range of economic, environmental, and social benefits, allowing achieving the sustainability. However, PSS does not necessarily lead to sustainable solutions and this potential must be assessed in each case. In this sense, the aim of this paper is to investigate sustainable aspects of a "result oriented PSS" (a reverse osmosis water filter system) available in Brazil and compares it with the conventional product, the bottled water. Some aspects from the literature, mentioned as important in each sustainability dimension, were selected to analyze the PSS under study. A qualitative analysis was performed and demonstrates that in comparison with bottled water, the water filter PSS is competitive, satisfy customer needs, and has a relatively lower environmental impact. However, besides conceiving sustainable solutions, is necessary to identify which factors drive the implementation and diffusion of PSS. Some findings of this study suggest that the effects caused by unexpected consumer behavior and incorrect PSS application may compromise PSS sustainable performance during operational phase. An analysis of these effects during transition process is essential to successful sustainable strategies. The study aimed to contribute to the PSS empirical knowledge and to assist building a theoretical basis regarding PSS and sustainability.

Product-Service-Systems for Heavy-Duty Vehicles - an Accessible Solution to Material Efficiency Improvements?

January 1, 2015

Previous research has investigated transitions of individual firms to PSS business. It has identified barriers and enablers and specified organizational capabilities needed. However, the transition to PSS has seldom been approached from a product-chain perspective. In addition, previous research has indicated the need for more assessments of environmental gains related to PSSs. This study aims at contributing to these perceived knowledge gaps by means of a case study. Questions posed include: Does the study's case company and one of its suppliers have the capabilities needed to adopt a PSS business model? and Could a PSS really contribute to material efficiency in their product-chain?

Investigating Sustainability Assessment Methods of Product-Service Systems

January 1, 2015

Product services systems (PSS) provide a promising opportunity for industries to propose both prosper and eco-friendly solutions to fulfill consumer needs. By shifting from traditional offer, comprised of physical products, to an integrated solution of product and services, it is assumed that PSS may reduce the environmental impact and provide benefits for the PSS provider and the consumer in economic and social ways. However, sustainability is not intrinsic characteristic of PSS. Operational methods and tools are needed to help companies develop such business models and support customer choices relating to PSS contracts. Although there are already well established assessment methods in literature, such as Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing, there is still a lack of evidence from the particular field of PSS. Further on, most of existing methods and tools dealing with PSS assessment are based on qualitative parameters, which are subjective and hard to evaluate, and do not provide detailed views of the results.This paper analyses this piece of literature (i.e. relating to PSS assessment) to emphasize similarities and differences between available methods and tools. The aim is to identify the issues underpinning the development of methods for sustainable design in the particular case of PSS.

Sustainability Indicators for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Transition to Provide Product-Service Systems (PSS)

January 1, 2015

Product-Service Systems (PSS) were developed as more sustainable alternatives to traditional product sales, especially through better and more intensive use of materials. Some companies currently use this business model successfully, while others are still in the process of transforming to PSS. The change from providing a product to providing a service has proved to be rather difficult and actual sustainable benefits have been questioned. The research described in this paper was part of the ServINNOV project.The initial idea was to find out if, and how, indicators could help in the move to PSS. Indicators could give a clearer picture of the situation and monitor progress during the transition period. Indicators could also help companies focus on their core activities, and determine whether a PSS offering really helps them to become more sustainable. The study covers an overall view of sustainable indicators, with a focus on environmental issues. The research for this paper was carried out through both theoretical and empirical studies. Empirical findings were obtained from interviews with three companies, all of them working with PSS on different levels. The results will guide transition to provide more sustainable PSS.

Advanced Maintenance Services for Promoting Sustainability

October 31, 2014

Ecology and industry, which have been many times considered as antagonists, are now associated together in the sustainability concept to support the three social / economic / environment pillars. In that way, industrial enterprises and more precisely manufacturing ones seek to integrate environment into their strategy by conducting an innovative rationalization of the production as promoted by industrial ecology and circular economy paradigms. This rationalization is favoring the evolution from product to a Product-Service Systems approach (PSS). The continuity of these services is mainly carried out by the maintenance which is no longer an aftermarket service needed for product (system) functionality but rather an inherent service function of the product (system). Thus this paper aims to investigate the role of maintenance to contribute to the development of these paradigms. It is based first on describing the main features of industrial ecology/circular economy transposing the nature concepts to industrial system. It leads to define key principles and levers to be addressed for the development of industrial ecosystems. Then maintenance activity is globally presented allowing, in a second step, to place maintenance services already existing in line with some of these principles and levers (ex. green maintenance), but also to explore advanced maintenance services more able to support promotion of industrial ecosystem by covering others principles and levers. These advanced services can be built from conventional maintenance processes but integrating sustainability goal (ex. prognostics of energy efficiency) or from innovative processes (ex. regenerative management). Finally scientific issues related to these advanced maintenance services are underlining and should concretize future research directions for researchers/practitioners working on maintenance field.