Special Issue "Sustainable Product Lifecycle: The Role of ICT"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Eng. Francesco Galati
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 181/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Interests: innovation and technology management; digital business; knowledge management
Prof. Dr. Barbara Bigliardi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 181/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Interests: Innovation management, open innovation, sustainable innovation, industry 4.0, Technology transfer
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Alberto Petroni
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Parma, 43121 Parma PR, Italy
Interests: social finance; technology transfer; industrial innovation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Eng. Claudia Pinna
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering (DIG), Politecnico di Milano, Via Lambruschini, 4/B, 20156, Milano, Italy
Interests: product lifecycle management for product development, focusing on the food industry
Eng. Monica Rossi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering (DIG), Politecnico di Milano, Via Lambruschini, 4/B, 20156, Milano, Italy
Interests: product lifecycle management and industrial engineering
Prof. Sergio Terzi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milano 20133, Italy
Interests: product lifecycle management; Industry 4.0
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Several definitions of sustainable development have been proposed over time (Belkadi et al., 2015), characterizing a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, and the orientation of technological development are made consistent with future as well as present needs. Sustainability became one of the most important challenges for managers and scholars, given the great impact of its outcomes on the quality of life and the wide variety of fields in which the concept has been applied (Rosen & Kishawy, 2012; Ma et al., 2018). Markets are increasingly demanding sustainable products and services, as well as additional information about the environmental qualities of the products and services consumers use (Buxel et al., 2015; Kim et al., 2018). To meet such expectations, modern management needs sophisticated tools that can improve the monitoring of the environmental traits of products and services in order to understand how these products and services can be made more sustainable. According to several authors (e.g., Hauschild et al., 2005; Accorsi et al., 2015; Martin et al., 2018), the optimization of the environmental impacts of products and services along their lifecycles, from design to disposal stages, represents the main issue of sustainability. Considering the entire lifetime of products, it can be noticed that their environmental impact is caused not only by industrial processes or product usage, but also by natural traits of raw materials and other inputs, extraction methods, transportation, and storage processes, as well as final disposal (Belkadi et al., 2015). A common key factor of the variety of methods and frameworks designed for a successful sustainability strategy concerns the availability and the sharing of relevant data and knowledge, which must be integrated and managed (Gmelin & Seuring, 2014; Zhang et al., 2017). Creating an integrated product information environment is an important determinant of a company’s capacity to manage the life cycle of their products (Terzi et al., 2010). Despite the pressure for environmental issues incorporation and the consequent growing demand for information, most firms still know very little about the potential environmental and social impacts of their production networks. Therefore, better data and decision support tools are needed to predict and prevent unsustainable practices (de Camargo Fiorini & Jabbour, 2017). Consequently, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become essential as accurate and reliable sources of information to support decision-making and information flow management (e.g., Urwin & Young, 2014; Arsenyan & Büyüközkan, 2016; Favi et al., 2018). Several studies emphasized the role of ICTs, stressing their crucial supporting role for:

  • sustainable supply-chain management practices (e.g., Green et al., 2012; Lai et al., 2012; de Camargo Fiorini & Jabbour, 2017);
  • sustainable new product development processes (e.g., Kalish et al., 2018; Sinclair et al., 2018);
  • (more in general) sustainable lifecycle management (e.g., Borsato, 2014; Gmelin & Seuring, 2014; Belkadi et al., 2015), with particular reference to Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions (Pinna et al., 2018).

While the importance of ICTs for the sustainability of products and supply-chains is clear, several unaddressed or poorly addressed research questions remain. Just to cite a few (de Camargo Fiorini & Jabbour, 2017; Notarnicola et al., 2017; Centobelli et al., 2018):

  • What is the set of ICTs that could support the individual firms and the entire supply-chain towards energy-efficient and environmental objectives?
  • What are the trade-offs in integrating sustainability in New Product Development (NPD) or PLM?
  • How can the use of ICTs support environmental practice in the service sector?
  • How can ICTs support each of the green supply chain management practices?
  • How can the use of ICTs in sustainable supply chain management affect the social performance of organizations?
  • How can the customer requirements be mined in terms of sustainability and how can the results be incorporated into product design through PLM solutions?
  • How can big data analytics architectures for cleaner manufacturing be developed and implemented?

On such grounds, this Special Issue aims to gather theoretical and practical contributions on the role of ICTs in enhancing supply-chain, product development, and product lifecycle sustainability, thus contributing to extending previous knowledge from both managerial and academic viewpoints. Therefore, we welcome articles regarding, but not limited to, the above-mentioned open research questions.

References

Accorsi, R., Versari, L., & Manzini, R. (2015). Glass vs. plastic: life cycle assessment of extra-virgin olive oil bottles across global supply chains. Sustainability, 7, 2818-2840.

Arsenyan, J., & Büyüközkan, G. (2016). An integrated fuzzy approach for information technology planning in collaborative product development. International Journal of Production Research, 54,

3149-3169.

Belkadi, F., Bernard, A., & Laroche, F. (2015). Knowledge based and PLM facilities for sustainability perspective in manufacturing: A global approach. Procedia CIRP, 29, 203-208.

Borsato, M. (2014). Bridging the gap between product lifecycle management and sustainability in manufacturing through ontology building. Computers in Industry, 65, 258-269.

Buxel, H., Esenduran, G., & Griffin, S. (2015). Strategic sustainability: Creating business value with life cycle analysis. Business Horizons, 58, 109-122.

Centobelli, P., Cerchione, R., & Esposito, E. (2018). Environmental sustainability and energy-efficient supply chain management: A review of research trends and proposed guidelines. Energies, 11, 275.

de Camargo Fiorini, P., & Jabbour, C. J. C. (2017). Information systems and sustainable supply chain management towards a more sustainable society: Where we are and where we are going. International Journal of Information Management, 37, 241-249.

Favi, C., Germani, M., Mandolini, M., & Marconi, M. (2018). Implementation of a software platform to support an eco-design methodology within a manufacturing firm. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 1-18.

Gmelin, H., & Seuring, S. (2014). Determinants of a sustainable new product development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 69, 1-9.

Green Jr, K. W., Zelbst, P. J., Meacham, J., & Bhadauria, V. S. (2012). Green supply chain management practices: impact on performance. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 17, 290-305.

Hauschild, M., Jeswiet, J., & Alting, L. (2005). From life cycle assessment to sustainable production: status and perspectives. CIRP Annals-Manufacturing Technology, 54, 1-21.

Kalish, D., Burek, S., Costello, A., Schwartz, L., & Taylor, J. (2018). Integrating Sustainability into New Product Development: Available tools and frameworks can help companies ensure that sustainability is embedded as a fundamental building block of new product development. Research-Technology Management, 61, 37-46.

Kim, M. K., Sheu, C., & Yoon, J. (2018). Environmental Sustainability as a Source of Product Innovation: The Role of Governance Mechanisms in Manufacturing Firms. Sustainability, 10, 1-14.

Lai, R. S., Hsu, L. L., & Chen, J. C. (2012). Green supply chain management systems: A case study in the textile industry. Human Systems Management, 31, 111-121.

Ma, W., Cheng, Z., & Xu, S. (2018). A Game Theoretic Approach for Improving Environmental and Economic Performance in a Dual-Channel Green Supply Chain. Sustainability, 10, 1-18.

Martin, M., Røyne, F., Ekvall, T., & Moberg, Å. (2018). Life Cycle Sustainability Evaluations of Biobased Value Chains: Reviewing the Indicators from A Swedish Perspective. Sustainability, 10, 547.

Notarnicola, B., Sala, S., Anton, A., McLaren, S. J., Saouter, E., & Sonesson, U. (2017). The role of life cycle assessment in supporting sustainable agri-food systems: A review of the challenges. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 399-409.

Pinna, C., Galati, F., Rossi, M., Saidy, C., Harik, R., & Terzi, S. (2018). Effect of product lifecycle management on new product development performances: Evidence from the food industry. Computers in Industry, 100, 184-195.

Rosen, M. A., & Kishawy, H. A. (2012). Sustainable manufacturing and design: Concepts, practices and needs. Sustainability, 4, 154-174.

Sinclair, M., Sheldrick, L., Moreno, M., & Dewberry, E. (2018). Consumer Intervention Mapping-A Tool for Designing Future Product Strategies within Circular Product Service Systems. Sustainability, 10.

Terzi, S., Bouras, A., Dutta, D., Garetti, M., & Kiritsis, D. (2010). Product lifecycle management- from its history to its new role. International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, 4, 360-389.

Urwin, E. N., & Young, R. I. M. (2014). The reuse of machining knowledge to improve designer awareness through the configuration of knowledge libraries in PLM. International Journal of Production Research, 52, 595-615.

Zhang, Y., Ren, S., Liu, Y., Sakao, T., & Huisingh, D. (2017). A framework for Big Data driven product lifecycle management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 159, 229-240.

For any further information, please visit the journal website or contact us.

Eng. Francesco Galati
Prof. Barbara Bigliardi
Prof. Alberto Petroni
Eng. Claudia Pinna
Eng. Monica Rossi
Prof. Sergio Terzi
Guest Editors  

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Sustainable product lifecycle
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • ICT
  • Green supply-chain
  • New Product Development

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Sustainable Product Lifecycle: The Role of ICT
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7003; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247003 - 08 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, we introduce the themes addressed and the approaches used in the Special Issue entitled “Sustainable Product Lifecycle: The Role of ICT”. Specifically, by offering multiple perspectives of analysis, this work increases our comprehension and understanding of the role of information [...] Read more.
In this paper, we introduce the themes addressed and the approaches used in the Special Issue entitled “Sustainable Product Lifecycle: The Role of ICT”. Specifically, by offering multiple perspectives of analysis, this work increases our comprehension and understanding of the role of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in enhancing sustainable product lifecycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Product Lifecycle: The Role of ICT)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Role of ICT in Supporting Spent Coffee Grounds Collection and Valorization: A Quantitative Assessment
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6572; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236572 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
As never before, there is nowadays the will to consider alternative energy sources from renewable and waste materials so as to preserve planet and society. One of the possible elements suitable for this purpose is every day in our houses: Coffee. Or rather, [...] Read more.
As never before, there is nowadays the will to consider alternative energy sources from renewable and waste materials so as to preserve planet and society. One of the possible elements suitable for this purpose is every day in our houses: Coffee. Or rather, spent coffee grounds. Indeed, many studies in recent years have addressed its potential exploitation, especially for biodiesel production; recent works also pointed out its possible thermal valorization for industrial processes. In light of this, this paper proposes a new sustainable use of spent coffee grounds, converted into combustible pellets; this source can then be used not only for industrial heaters, but also for public or private buildings. To this end, a feasibility study of a pellet production plant fed by waste collected by vending companies operating in the North of Italy is developed, including the logistic model supported by an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system to help gather spent coffee grounds from the different companies and collect them into the pellet production facility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Product Lifecycle: The Role of ICT)
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Open AccessArticle
Smart and Sustainable eMaintenance: Capabilities for Digitalization of Maintenance
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3553; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133553 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
In the era of Industry 4.0, researchers have begun to more thoroughly examine digital maintenance, i.e., eMaintenance, as digitization is increasingly affecting today’s society. This area is particularly interesting in the case of long-life components such as those used in the mining and [...] Read more.
In the era of Industry 4.0, researchers have begun to more thoroughly examine digital maintenance, i.e., eMaintenance, as digitization is increasingly affecting today’s society. This area is particularly interesting in the case of long-life components such as those used in the mining and transport industries. With eMaintenance, the correct type of maintenance can be utilized and the frequency for device maintenance can be reduced through real-time diagnosis. This leads to reduced costs for companies that implement eMaintenance as well as environmental benefits through improved resource utilization. Advantages of eMaintenance have been described in the literature; however, the capabilities necessary to implement eMaintenance lack proper research. The purpose of this study is to develop a framework that presents the required capabilities and their connection when an organization wants to implement eMaintenance, as well as to identify the outcomes of the transition to eMaintenance. The study is based on an exploratory case study that includes 26 interviews with a digital railway maintenance development company and its main customer, the traffic agency. The study findings are presented in a framework, including five main capabilities for implementing eMaintenance and its relationship within the noted industries. The required capabilities are, namely, digital technology development, organizational development, change of work routines, compliance with regulations, and assuring information security. The framework also analyzes the outcomes of implementing digital maintenance, which demonstrate a variety of economic, environmental, and social benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Product Lifecycle: The Role of ICT)
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Open AccessArticle
A Simplified Model for Assembly Precision Information of Complex Products Based on Tolerance Semantic Relations
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4482; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124482 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Assembly precision analysis (APA) plays an important role in the whole life cycle of complex products design, manufacturing, assembly and even remanufacturing. Assembly precision information model (APIM) is usually complex since it is affected by many factors, such as design tolerance of parts, [...] Read more.
Assembly precision analysis (APA) plays an important role in the whole life cycle of complex products design, manufacturing, assembly and even remanufacturing. Assembly precision information model (APIM) is usually complex since it is affected by many factors, such as design tolerance of parts, assembly process scheme, assembly sequence planning and tolerance of positioning tooling, etc. Therefore, it is of practical significance for APA to reasonably reduce the workload of assembly precision information (API) modeling. A semantic simplification approach for APIM is proposed in this paper, which mainly takes semantic relations between APIM and design tolerance of parts into consideration. Initially, ontology of structure knowledge of APIM is constructed according to a tolerance standard. Furthermore, simplification rules are respectively established by considering two semantic relations: one semantic relation between deviation change direction and deviation accumulation direction and the other semantic relation among multiple geometric characteristics on the same geometric feature. Additionally, by utilizing ontology reasoning function, the simplified semantic APIM is generated. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated by a practical example of engine front auxiliary drive equipment. It is expected that our work would lay the foundation for APA of complex products based on actual measured data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Product Lifecycle: The Role of ICT)
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