Special Issue "Sustainable Product-Service Systems (PSS) Solutions for Product Development and Management under Governmental Regulations"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mario Fargnoli
Guest Editor
Department Chemical Engineering Materials Environment (DICMA), Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; Department of Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fishery, Rome, Italy
Interests: occupational health and safety; machinery safety; quality function deployment (QFD)
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Prof. Dr. Tomohiko Sakao
Guest Editor
Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
Interests: Ecodesign; Design for Sustainability; Product-Service System (PSS); Circular Economy; Intelligent Systems; Customization
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Prof. Dr. Mara Lombardi
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Materials, Environment, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
Interests: risk analysis; fire safety engineering (FSE); occupational safety; territorial resilience; sustainable risk management
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Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Fedele
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
Interests: safety; maintenance; management; artificial intelligence; innovative technologies; industrial systems; infrastructures; aerospace vehicle dynamics
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Dr. Giulio Di Gravio
Guest Editor
Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rome, Italy
Interests: supply chain management; industrial operations and management; compliance and risk management; resilience engineering; performance variability in complex systems; product-service system (PSS)
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Product–service systems (PSS) have emerged in the industrial sector as a novel business approach able to augment customer satisfaction and value, while reducing the manufacturers’ costs and improving environmental performances of the product’s life cycle. Such an approach relies on the design and development of solutions merging both the physical characteristics of a product and the immaterial services related to its whole life cycle, contributing to a Circular Economy (CE) and resource-efficient business.

Numerous studies in the field have shown that the development of PSSs has great potentials for companies to realize more environmentally preferred business models, producing innovative solutions and expanding customer segments. Based on this, “service engineering” has emerged as a means of improving the development of services related to the whole product’s life-cycle, implementing solutions that put together goods, services, and knowledge in order to add value to the core offerings. This is especially true in the case of application-oriented systems, such as high-tech and heavy investment equipment, when the redesign options of the physical parts of the PSS are limited and the provision of some services should be included in the offering due to governmental regulations. This is the case of medical equipment, which is recognized as one of the sectors where the combination of tangible and intangible goods is more likely to offer possibilities for innovation and value creation due to its special characteristics. Another example is represented by the sector of building equipment, such as elevators and escalators, where maintenance services and periodic checks guaranteeing the respect of safety and environmental legislation are mandatory. Additionally, the provider’s interventions to optimize the use phase of the product and its disposal can be very beneficial for both the company and the customers in all those market segments undergoing public procurement rules.

Although these types of market segments make the implementation of PSS solutions promising, practical studies to support companies and managers in overtaking product-based approaches in favor of more advanced servitization models are not numerous in the extant literature. Advanced studies in this context can also help governments to refine regulations in order to provide preferred actions for sustainable innovation. Such an issue is particularly relevant because governmental regulations play an important role in moving our society towards CE.

Hence, the present Special Issue aims to augment the PSS body of knowledge in these kinds of specific markets, inviting authors to submit original research works, case studies, and review papers addressing these issues.

Prof. Dr. Mario Fargnoli
Prof. Dr. Tomohiko Sakao
Prof. Dr. Mara Lombardi
Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Fedele
Prof. Dr. Giulio Di Gravio
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 1900 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.


  • Design management for sustainability
  • Life-cycle design and modeling
  • PSS in healthcare engineering
  • PSS in elevator/escalator engineering
  • Serviceability of medical equipment
  • Decision making tools for the PSS implementation
  • Sustainable management of maintenance operations
  • PSS with governmental regulations
  • Functional integration of product–service offerings
  • PSS for Circular Economy.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Conceptualising Design Fixation and Design Limitation and Quantifying Their Impacts on Resource Use and Carbon Emissions
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8104; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198104 - 01 Oct 2020
Viewed by 420
Design for sustainability needs to apply a societal perspective. The purpose of this paper is to combine the concept of design fixation with higher levels of analysis. Design fixation is used to describe a blind adherence to known concepts during the design process. [...] Read more.
Design for sustainability needs to apply a societal perspective. The purpose of this paper is to combine the concept of design fixation with higher levels of analysis. Design fixation is used to describe a blind adherence to known concepts during the design process. It is used mostly at the micro level of design with the focus on the activities of an individual designer or a group of designers. In this paper, design fixation gets conceptually lifted to the levels of the organisation and the institution. We ask how the understanding of design fixation helps to achieve higher resource efficiency. Examples of organisational and institutional design fixations are presented. A System Dynamics model is used to simulate the impacts of design fixation on resource use of a sociotechnical laundry systems. Applying this lens suggests that in order to solve societal design fixations, systemic parameters like infrastructure, business models, or policies need to be considered design parameters. The simulation results show that high-level design fixations can have significant impact on resource use. Full article
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