Digitalisation, sustainability and servitisation: Consequences on product development capabilities in manufacturing firms
Paper in proceedings, 2018
This paper builds on a conceptual literature review to identify relevant information about the three trends regarding their impact on design and societal development. In addition, a semi-structured interview study was conducted to investigate possibilities and challenges that four different types of manufacturing companies perceive today with respect to the mega-trends, and more specifically how these trends impact the design and development capabilities in the studied companies.
Results from this empirical study show that digitalisation is viewed as an opportunity to find new solutions to meet customer needs and be competitive at the future market. Sustainable Product Development (SPD) was instead primarily to fulfil requirements and legislation. However, it was clear that some manufacturers start to see market forces as a driver. PSS can be seen as a means to create new solutions, often with digital tools as facilitator. Altogether, the literature study and the empirical data show that increasingly, designers are expected to design entire solutions, as opposed to merely artefacts. This implies that designers need to consider not only the product performance and cost, but products’ and solutions’ behaviour and impact over complete life cycles, developed and organized by business networks together with several suppliers and other partners with different capabilities. The basis for the designer is a technology mix comprising services, software, electronics and hardware, bundled into offerings in new business models, interlinked with new digital opportunities. Moreover, it is clear that the three trends do not represent stand-alone perspectives but affect one another in an intertwined way. To achieve long-term effects, the sustainability issues need to be integrated with many other subject areas, and implemented simultaneously as digital solutions, e.g. digital twins to physical artefacts are conceived, and value creating networks are being built up. Obviously, these three trends affect the need for change in product design capabilities and escalate the challenges of the integrated product development viewpoint, in a way that is difficult to master for individual engineers. Support for design and development work is needed that takes into account the mega-trends digitalisation, sustainability, and servitisation.
Trends, Digitalisation, Sustainability, Servitisation, Product-Service Systems
Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development
Sophie I. Hallstedt
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, BTH
Luleå University of Technology
Linköping, Sweden, Sweden,
RIQAM - Radical Innovation and Qualification using Additive Manufacturing
Swedish National Space Board, 2017-08-01 -- 2018-12-31.
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Other Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Advance