A holistic relook at engineering design methodologies for smart product-service systems development

Jing chen Cong, Chun Hsien Chen, Pai Zheng, Xinyu Li, Zuoxu Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid development and implementation of smart, connected products have triggered a promising manufacturing paradigm of servitization, i.e. smart product-service systems (Smart PSS). Unlike existing product development or service design process, Smart PSS owns the unique design characteristics of IT-driven value co-creation, closed-loop design, and context-awareness enabled by the advanced information and communication technologies. Nevertheless, to the best of authors’ knowledge, there is scarcely any discussion on its design theories, which serves as the fundamental basis. To identify the limitations of current design approaches in supporting Smart PSS development and suggest some future research directions, this paper conducts a systematic literature review at existing engineering design methodologies to verify its appropriateness for the Smart PSS development. 9 typical design methods have been chosen based on the systematic review of 101 representative items published ever since the coin of PSS to date (04/05/2020) and 48 supplementary works. They are further compared and evaluated from three aspects, including “smart design” objects, enabling smart technologies and smart application fields. Not surprisingly, the investigation results indicate that none of the existing methodologies can fully meet the design characteristics of Smart PSS, while three research directions of Smart PSS design methodology are provided as the potential solution at last. It is hoped this paper can attract more open discussions and offer useful insights to both academics and industries in their development of Smart PSS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122737
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Design methodologies
  • Engineering design
  • Review
  • Smart product-service systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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