Special Issue "Design and Management of Sustainable Products, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Yoshiki Shimomura
Website
Guest Editor
Department of System Design, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan
Interests: service enginineering; product–service systems
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shigeru Hosono

Guest Editor
School of Computer Science, Tokyo University of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Interests: service design; development and management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

While the pursuit of productivity and efficiency in industry has resulted in the development of infrastructures, our social interests have shifted to sustainability, which respects environmental issues, people’s fundamental rights, cultural diversity, human well-being, and equality of human life. Manufacturers need to expand their views from competitive product development to their systemic transformation in a way that can satisfy these new interests and demands. To achieve this, manufacturers should contribute to realizing sustainable socio-technical systems, which are dynamic and self-organizing relationships on personal, organizational, and social levels.

For this Special Issue titled “Design and Management of Sustainable Products and Industrial and Manufacturing Systems”, we invite the submission of articles that foster discussion on the design and development of products, product–service systems, and manufacturing systems that will contribute to a sustainable society, management strategies for sustainable development, and the design and innovation of resilient socio-technical systems. This topic also includes servitization using smart technologies, such as cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and cyber physical systems (CPS).

Articles selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer-review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

Prof. Dr. Yoshiki Shimomura
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shigeru Hosono
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable product design
  • Design for sustainability
  • Product–service systems
  • Manufacturing system
  • Servitization
  • Smart technology and cyber physical systems
  • Socio-technical system design
  • Sustainable system innovation
  • Well-being

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Ecologically Embedded Design in Manufacturing: Legitimation within Circular Economy
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104261 - 22 May 2020
Abstract
Circular economy has gained momentum since the 1970s as a regenerative alternative to the traditional linear economy. However, as the circular economy has gone mainstream, circularity claims have become fragmented and remote, consisting of indirect contributions, such as the life extension of other [...] Read more.
Circular economy has gained momentum since the 1970s as a regenerative alternative to the traditional linear economy. However, as the circular economy has gone mainstream, circularity claims have become fragmented and remote, consisting of indirect contributions, such as the life extension of other products and the use of waste as feedstock, without addressing the actual cause of waste. The present study aims to identify the strategic motivations of manufacturers participating in the circular economy and the corresponding relationship to ecological embeddedness. This paper explores the circular economy in manufacturing through existing products on the market and their relationship to eco-design by considering the product, packaging, and its production. Legitimacy is found to be a decisive factor in whether the type of circular economy strategy manufacturers adopt yields ecological benefits. The results from the case study of products clearly indicate the superiority of ecological embeddedness, as a form of circularity supporting strong sustainability. Finally, a novel template is proposed to support the implementation of ecological embeddedness in manufacturing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Simulation Modeling Approach for Collaborative Workplaces’ Assessment in Sustainable Manufacturing
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4103; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104103 - 18 May 2020
Abstract
The presented manuscript represents a new simulation modeling approach, which evaluates the impact of collaborative workplaces on manufacturing sustainability in terms of workplaces’ cost, flow times and electrical energy consumption. The impact of collaborative workplaces on the manufacturing system and on its sustainable [...] Read more.
The presented manuscript represents a new simulation modeling approach, which evaluates the impact of collaborative workplaces on manufacturing sustainability in terms of workplaces’ cost, flow times and electrical energy consumption. The impact of collaborative workplaces on the manufacturing system and on its sustainable viability as a whole has not yet been explored, despite the fact that collaborative workplaces are increasingly present in different manufacturing systems. In the past, researchers have devoted a lot of time to research individually examining the collaborative machines, workplaces and various aspects of Sustainable Manufacturing. Investigating the impact of collaborative workplaces on an enterprise’s financial, social and environmental points of view is a very complex task, since we are talking about a multicriteria evaluation of manufacturing systems. The simulation approach is based on a newly proposed block diagram structure that allows for an evaluation of the impact of collaborative workplaces on Sustainable Manufacturing in its entirety. Using the input data of the real-world manufacturing system characteristics and Eurostat statistical values, numerical and graphical results of the proposed simulation evaluation are given, which, with a high degree of evaluation credibility, influences the introduction of collaborative workplaces in manual workplaces. The results obtained show a 20% reduction in the cost of collaborative workstations compared to manual assembly workstations, a 13.2% reduction in order throughput times, a negligible increase in energy consumption in operation mode of 3.28% and a 4.57% reduction in the idle mode. The new evaluation approach allows for a comprehensive consideration of the influence of the collective workplace when developing new or modernizing existing manufacturing systems from a financial, social and environmental point of view. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Analysis of a Novel PV/T Panel with PCM and Heat Pipes
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1710; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051710 - 25 Feb 2020
Abstract
A new design for the use of photovoltaic and thermal (PV/T) technology with thermal storage is reported in this work. In the new design, a phase change material (PCM) tank is added to the backside of the photovoltaic panel. The advantages of this [...] Read more.
A new design for the use of photovoltaic and thermal (PV/T) technology with thermal storage is reported in this work. In the new design, a phase change material (PCM) tank is added to the backside of the photovoltaic panel. The advantages of this design are the storage of thermal energy and the efficiency improvement of the photovoltaic (PV) panel as a result of the temperature control of the PV cell during the phase change process. In addition, a perimeter with a black surface surrounds the PV panel to increase the absorption of thermal energy. The thermal energy is then transferred to the backside of the PCM tank by heat pipes. One prototype with lauric acid as PCM was tested under two different operating configurations and resulted in an overall daily efficiency of 50% coulding be improve by controlling the PCM temperature during the day. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrated Detection of a Complex Underground Water Supply Pipeline System in an Old Urban Community in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041670 - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
An underground water supply pipeline system is an integral part of urban infrastructure. The safety, stability, reliability, and efficiency of this water system are critical for the daily work and livelihood of the people dependent on it. However, with the development of cities [...] Read more.
An underground water supply pipeline system is an integral part of urban infrastructure. The safety, stability, reliability, and efficiency of this water system are critical for the daily work and livelihood of the people dependent on it. However, with the development of cities in China, the water supply systems in urban communities require constant re-building and improvement, which complicates the system. Considering the defects of obsolete design, lack of information, and irregularity of the constructions over the years, the maintenance of underground pipelines in older communities is onerous and arduous. In this work, the older pipeline system at the Taibai campus of Northwest University, Shaanxi Province, was taken as one typical old urban community and investigated by different measures. Detection was performed from the available concentrated water supply wells to surrounding areas combining electromagnetic induction, geophysical method by ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and acoustic detection methods. Applying the integrated detection method and considering known pipeline network designs, the properties and complex relationships of different pipeline materials (cast iron, polyethylene (PE), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)) were determined. In addition, a spatial distribution map of the pipes from wells and the main input water supply pipelines was achieved. The results suggest that the integrated detection scheme combining these three methods provides an effective approach to analyze complex water supply pipelines in older communities, in which each single detection method has more uncertainties. The study provides valuable references for similar communities in many developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Module-Based Product Configuration Decisions Considering Both Economical and Carbon Emission-Related Environmental Factors
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031145 - 05 Feb 2020
Abstract
With an increasing demand for green and environmentally friendly products, configuring a customized product from modular product design to satisfy both individualized customer requirements and environment restrictions has become a vital task for mass customization. In this paper, we addressed a module-based product [...] Read more.
With an increasing demand for green and environmentally friendly products, configuring a customized product from modular product design to satisfy both individualized customer requirements and environment restrictions has become a vital task for mass customization. In this paper, we addressed a module-based product configuration problem under carbon emission regulation, i.e., carbon cap-and-trade schema. The configuration problem under carbon cap-and-trade schema was formulated as a mixed-integer programming problem. Due to the NP-hard characteristics of the model, a genetic algorithm was employed to solve the configuration problems under carbon cap-and-trade. Experiments were carried out to analyze the effects of carbon emissions on product configuration decisions and carbon purchasing decisions. As a result, the range for carbon emission cap is suggested for both manufacturers and government agency, which provides the decision supporting for both customized and low-carbon production and green manufacturing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Creation and Diversified Applications of Plane Module Libraries for Prefabricated Houses Based on BIM
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020453 - 07 Jan 2020
Abstract
In recent years, due to the advantages of high construction efficiency and less environmental pollution, prefabricated housing has been of increasing interest and vigorously promoted. However at present, most prefabricated houses simply pursue an increase in assembly rate, and the floor plan design [...] Read more.
In recent years, due to the advantages of high construction efficiency and less environmental pollution, prefabricated housing has been of increasing interest and vigorously promoted. However at present, most prefabricated houses simply pursue an increase in assembly rate, and the floor plan design still continues to follow the traditional design method of housing, which does not meet the requirements of industrialization and cannot achieve the goal of product diversification. This paper puts forward a method for floor plan designs of prefabricated houses whose core is building plane module libraries. The modules in module libraries all conform to standardized and refined designs. A new residential floor plan can be obtained by selecting and recombining modules in module libraries. The richer the module library, the more diverse the results will be under the same combinatorial logic, which can greatly improve design efficiency. In addition, this paper probes the method of creation and applications of plane module libraries in detail, so as to provide a new idea for floor plan designs of prefabricated houses. This research is of great significance for improving the efficiency of floor plan design of prefabricated housing and realizing goals of standardization and diversification of prefabricated housing development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of the Induction Process on Light Gauge Steel Profiles Used in Metallic Framed Sustainable Eco-Constructions
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6686; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236686 - 26 Nov 2019
Abstract
Ecological steel framed sustainable and anti-seismic constructions have been highly developed in America, Asia and Europe. Following this trend, Romania has the opportunity to build houses, flats, offices and storage halls using the light gauge steel (LGS) framing system. For reasons of efficient [...] Read more.
Ecological steel framed sustainable and anti-seismic constructions have been highly developed in America, Asia and Europe. Following this trend, Romania has the opportunity to build houses, flats, offices and storage halls using the light gauge steel (LGS) framing system. For reasons of efficient and economic building, sustainable development and requirements from builders of steel framed constructions in Romania, it has been considered an issue to improve some of the steel mechanical characteristics. The metallic profile, which is the basic component of the steel framed system, is manufactured by cold roll forming from laminated low carbon steel strips, galvanized for good corrosion protection. Improving the material’s hardness and tensile strength stands as a challenge caused by the limitations that follow: Reduced material thickness, low carbon content of the material (required for the cold deformation process), estimated profile thermal deformation and customized profile section to harden. This research is focused on the optimization of the induction process (by high frequency current) applied to the LGS material. The advantages and benefits of improving the light gauge steel profile’s hardness are pointed out towards the end of this article. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Human Resource Abilities and Skills in TQM for Sustainable Enterprises
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6488; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226488 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Total quality management (TQM) is a lean manufacturing tool that focuses on ensuring the production of goods that meet design specifications and give customer satisfaction, both attractive benefits highly appreciated by managers. However, there are several factors involved in the success of TQM [...] Read more.
Total quality management (TQM) is a lean manufacturing tool that focuses on ensuring the production of goods that meet design specifications and give customer satisfaction, both attractive benefits highly appreciated by managers. However, there are several factors involved in the success of TQM programs, many of which are cultural aspects associated with human resources (HR). This article presents a structural equation model that integrates three latent variables related to internal HR: “managerial commitment,” “employee integration,” and “training and education,” which are linked to the operational benefits of a manufacturing system. The variables are connected through six hypotheses that have been validated with information obtained from 398 responses of a questionnaire applied to manufacturing industry professionals. In addition, a sensitivity analysis was carried out to describe the probabilities of occurrence for the variables at low and high levels. The hypotheses were statistically validated with the partial least squared technique, where the results showed that human factors play an essential role in the success of TQM, since the direct, indirect, and total effects of managerial commitment, employee integration and training, and education processes on the benefits obtained from the implementation of TQM were statistically significant at 95% confidence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inclusion of Workers with Disabilities in Production 4.0: Legal Foundations in Europe and Potentials Through Worker Assistance Systems
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5978; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215978 - 28 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The inclusion of employees with disabilities in production is an issue that has rarely been addressed by scientists from the manufacturing sector. In this article, we examine to what extent the trend towards Industry 4.0 offers potential for the inclusion of people with [...] Read more.
The inclusion of employees with disabilities in production is an issue that has rarely been addressed by scientists from the manufacturing sector. In this article, we examine to what extent the trend towards Industry 4.0 offers potential for the inclusion of people with disabilities in Production 4.0. First, we examine relevant legal foundations and restrictions in Europe and in more detail in Austria, Italy, and Norway. Next, based on a literature review, we examine which technological aids in the form of worker assistance systems derived from Industry 4.0 can make jobs in the manufacturing sector accessible for people with disabilities. Three types of assistance systems have been examined: sensorial aid systems, physical aid systems, and cognitive aid systems. In a concluding discussion of the results, we finally summarize the implications on management and policies as well as the potential and limitations of identified worker assistance technologies. On the one hand, the study is intended to draw the attention of researchers and industrial companies to new technological possibilities for the inclusion of people with disabilities in production. On the other hand, difficulties and grievances due to the legal foundations are pointed out to stimulate a critical discussion here as well. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Enhanced MOPSO Algorithm for Energy-Efficient Single-Machine Production Scheduling
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5381; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195381 - 28 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In recent years, the concerns on energy efficiency in manufacturing systems have been growing rapidly due to the pursuit of sustainable development. Production scheduling plays a vital role in saving energy and promoting profitability for the manufacturing industry. In this paper, we are [...] Read more.
In recent years, the concerns on energy efficiency in manufacturing systems have been growing rapidly due to the pursuit of sustainable development. Production scheduling plays a vital role in saving energy and promoting profitability for the manufacturing industry. In this paper, we are concerned with a just-in-time (JIT) single machine scheduling problem which considers the deterioration effect and the energy consumption of job processing operations. The aim is to determine an optimal sequence for processing jobs under the objective of minimizing the total earliness/tardiness cost and the total energy consumption. Since the problem is NP -hard, an improved multi-objective particle swarm optimization algorithm enhanced by a local search strategy (MOPSO-LS) is proposed. We draw on the idea of k-opt neighborhoods and modify the neighborhood operations adaptively for the production scheduling problem. We consider two types of k-opt operations and implement the one without overlap in our local search. Three different values of k have been tested. We compare the performance of MOPSO-LS and MOPSO (excluding the local search function completely). Besides, we also compare MOPSO-LS with the well-known multi-objective optimization algorithm NSGA-II. The experimental results have verified the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. The work of this paper will shed some light on the fast-growing research related to sustainable production scheduling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ergonomics-Based Factors or Criteria for the Evaluation of Sustainable Product Manufacturing
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4955; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184955 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
The issue of sustainability has received substantial attention internationally. It is spreading widely through policy, industry, commerce, research, academia, and other arenas. However, most previous studies on product sustainability were conducted based on a consideration of environmental protection, economic prosperity, and social wellbeing [...] Read more.
The issue of sustainability has received substantial attention internationally. It is spreading widely through policy, industry, commerce, research, academia, and other arenas. However, most previous studies on product sustainability were conducted based on a consideration of environmental protection, economic prosperity, and social wellbeing criteria, but there was less representation of specific social wellbeing criteria. The main objective of this study was to formulate well-defined ergonomics-based criteria for product sustainability evaluation and to validate the importance of the identified factors using a fuzzy Delphi method. In this paper, ergonomics-based product sustainability factors are organized by sustainability categories and grouped into employee wellbeing, the economy, and the environment. In the context of manufacturing, evaluating product sustainability from an ergonomics perspective provides more comprehensive social dimension criteria by addressing human characteristics, behavior, performance, human interaction with a product, workplace, working environment, and the product across its life cycle. In addition, a Delphi questionnaire, designed with a nine-point scale, was applied to obtain expert opinions on the importance of each factor; the opinions were combined for each factor by considering the degree of importance assigned to the experts, and the similarities and differences between expert opinions. Finally, high-priority factors were screened from the sustainability categories based on their respective threshold value. Knowing these high-priority factors will help manufacturing industries allocate their resources accordingly for sustainability improvement. Full article
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