Product design for product/service systems : design experiences from Swedish industry

Sundin, Erik and Lindahl, Mattias and Ijomah, Winifred (2009) Product design for product/service systems : design experiences from Swedish industry. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 20 (5). pp. 723-753. ISSN 1741-038X (

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The purpose of this paper is to elucidate how Swedish industry has adapted their products for product/service systems (PSS). Three case study companies that manufacture forklift trucks, soil compactors and household appliances are studied. Interviews with company staff are conducted as well as product analyses in laboratorial environment. The theory is based mainly on previous PSS, design and remanufacturing research. A key factor when developing products for PSS is to design the product from a life-cycle perspective, considering all the product's life-cycle phases, namely manufacturing, use, maintenance and end-of-life treatment. Many of the design improvements deal with the accessibility of parts and components during maintenance and remanufacturing operations, and several of them could reduce the need and cost for maintenance, repair and remanufacturing. Uncovering any additional product requirements needed for a successful PSS not addressed in this paper. For example, it could be interesting to explore which product data could be collected during use in order to improve the products' different life stages. The findings in this paper illustrate and describe many industrial implications for engineering designers to consider when developing PSS. The novelty of this paper is aimed for designers to study how they can adapt their future products used in PSS in a more beneficial way than in traditional product design. The paper shows ideas and general guidelines to follow which have been scarcely published.