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Design for Sustainability—Axiomatic Design Science and Applications

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 10173

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA
2. Director of the Park Center, Boston, MA, USA
Interests: design engineering and science; axiomatic design; complex systems design

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Science and Technology, NOVA University Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: HVAC systems; energy engineering; design of complex systems; axiomatic design

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Guest Editor
Mechanical Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
Interests: axiomatic design; surface metrology; sports engineering
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Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Science and Technology, Industrial Engineering and Automation, Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Bolzano, Italy
2. Director of Fraunhofer Italia Research, Bolzano, Italy
Interests: artificial intelligence in manufacturing; smart factory; digital transformation; lean and agile production; axiomatic design

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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering Science, Guglielmo Marconi University, 00193 Rome, Italy
Interests: design for Six Sigma; Lean Six Sigma 4.0; axiomatic design; design of experiments
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
Interests: industry 4.0; industry 4.0 for SMEs; smart manufacturing; manufacturing systems; cyber-physical production systems; sustainable production
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, there has been a remarkable increase in our awareness of the need for more sustainability to save our planet. Contrary to earlier goals, which were mainly aimed at economic aspects or quality aspects, today we also need to integrate ecological and social aspects in all our thoughts and actions. This also requires engineers to rethink the design of systems, processes, and products. As engineering is at the interface between science, technology, and society, it is also the responsibility of engineers to create a better and more sustainable world based on a long-term oriented and thoughtful engineering design.

Sustainable design aims to use economically viable processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources. This includes the use of environmentally friendly materials or energy-efficient manufacturing processes, as well as the reduction of CO2 emission due to transportation of our products.

Sustainable design also improves the health and safety of employees and humans in general. We are therefore also looking for contributions of how engineering design can strengthen the well-being of people in our factories and in society.

By integrating sustainability into engineering education, we can promote awareness for sustainability also among the next generation of engineers. To this end, it is important to find the right teaching methods and approaches to sensitize young engineers to this topic.

Further, such changes in engineering design thinking also imply the need for more ethics in the context with design and especially with new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.

These are just a few examples of how design for sustainability can be applied to engineering.

To make a contribution to the sustainable shaping of our Earth, this Special Issue represents a collection of theoretical models as well as practical case studies related to engineering design for sustainability. 

Submissions to the Special Issue could relate but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Design of complex systems
  • Innovative design
  • Industry 4.0
  • Open design
  • Engineering design education
  • Advances in axiomatic design
  • Advances in design theories
  • Engineering design for sustainability
  • Ethical issues in engineering design

Prof. Nam N. P. Suh
Prof. Miguel Cavique
Prof. Christopher Brown
Prof. Dominik Matt
Prof. Gabriele Arcidiacono
Dr. Erwin Rauch
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2400 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.

Keywords

  • Design
  • Sustainability
  • Axiomatic design
  • Industry 4.0

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 5879 KiB  
Article
An Application of Axiomatic Design to Improve Productivity in the Circular Economy Context—The Salt Production Example
by António Gabriel-Santos, João Fradinho, António Mourão, Alberto Martinho, Miguel Cavique, Gonçalo Vieira and António Gonçalves-Coelho
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7864; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137864 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1683
Abstract
Sustainability and a circular economy (CE) are crucial for the development of society. The CE approach should start by designing new products or processes or retrofitting existing ones to achieve the best efficiency and extend their life cycle. Designs that enable CE require [...] Read more.
Sustainability and a circular economy (CE) are crucial for the development of society. The CE approach should start by designing new products or processes or retrofitting existing ones to achieve the best efficiency and extend their life cycle. Designs that enable CE require the guidance of a design theory. Axiomatic design (AD) theory allows for the classification of designs and achieving the targets if appropriate requirements are adopted. This paper aimed to show that sustainability and productivity can be made compatible by ensuring functional independence, as defined in AD and using the circular economy concept. The paper presents how a salt washing machine could be improved concerning its performance. The analysis of the existing design showed fewer design parameters than the functional requirements. A viable enhancement was the addition of one design parameter, which made it possible to control the separation and washing independently. The resulting machine retrofitting increased the production rate by 20% to 30%—the productivity and the quality of the final product was also improved. The washing process now used less water and energy. Moreover, the brine feeding system was also redesigned, so that the brine was now reused, the land use was reduced as was the operating time, and the operators now worked in a more friendly environment. The industrial case study presented in this paper is an example of how innovative engineering design that fits the design science research (DSR) with the generation of knowledge. The objective of this design solution was to increase the efficiency of the entire process and consequently increase the productivity and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Sustainability—Axiomatic Design Science and Applications)
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15 pages, 1260 KiB  
Article
Energy Sustainability—Rebounds Revisited Using Axiomatic Design
by João Flores, Miguel Cavique and Júlia Seixas
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6737; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116737 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1110
Abstract
Energy Sustainability has been addressed through advancing technology efficiency, which may increase the impact of the use of natural resources. However, the increase in efficiency makes services cheaper, which causes a rebound effect, direct or indirect, on energy consumption and materials. Moreover, the [...] Read more.
Energy Sustainability has been addressed through advancing technology efficiency, which may increase the impact of the use of natural resources. However, the increase in efficiency makes services cheaper, which causes a rebound effect, direct or indirect, on energy consumption and materials. Moreover, the popular concept of recycling seems insufficient to reduce the use of critical raw materials to provide energy services. From the perspective of the Earth’s limited resources, the sustainability problem needs a design approach to tackle the rebound effect from efficiency. This work aims to create a theoretical holistic review regarding energy use linked to technology efficiency, to understand how rebound effects may be prevented. In this work, the Axiomatic Design (AD) theory creates the framework that defines the Energy Sustainability functions and identifies the couplings that create the rebounds. According to AD, cycles occur on coupled designs, classified as poor designs. Decoupling the design clarifies two possible and complementary policies to achieve sustainability goals regarding the use of resources. The first is the circular economy, with constraints on energy and raw materials. The second is the massive use of local renewable energies. Plausible solutions come from mandating efficiency and taxation, dematerializing the economy, and reducing, reusing, remanufacturing, and recycling materials from products and systems. These solutions impact economic, environmental, and societal behaviors. The novelty of this approach is the definition of a system model for Energy Sustainability in the frame of AD, while tackling the rebound effect from technological efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Sustainability—Axiomatic Design Science and Applications)
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16 pages, 2836 KiB  
Article
Digitally Sustainable Information Systems in Axiomatic Design
by Fabrizio Pecoraro, Elaheh Pourabbas, Fernando Rolli and Chiara Parretti
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2598; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052598 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1524
Abstract
Nowadays, information systems are evolving towards increasingly interconnected, smart, and self-adaptive models. This transformation has led to the representation of the systems themselves in terms of natural ecosystems. Similar to the natural environment, the virtual world can be threatened by specific forms of [...] Read more.
Nowadays, information systems are evolving towards increasingly interconnected, smart, and self-adaptive models. This transformation has led to the representation of the systems themselves in terms of natural ecosystems. Similar to the natural environment, the virtual world can be threatened by specific forms of pollution, such as illegitimate access to the system, unwanted changes to data, and loss of information, which affect the only resource it possesses, i.e., data. In order to provide proactive protection of data integrity and confidentiality, in this paper we consider the well-known principles of privacy by design and privacy by default in the design phase of system development. To this end, we propose an approach based on axiomatic design, which allows us to implement these two principles through an appropriate reinterpretation of the information axiom, in terms of privacy impact assessment. We illustrate our approach by a case study, which implements the process of managing patients in home care. However, the proposed method can be applied to processing systems that provide services. The main result achieved is to select the most digitally sustainable design solution, i.e., the one that best prevents the threats mentioned above. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Sustainability—Axiomatic Design Science and Applications)
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20 pages, 1887 KiB  
Article
Reviewing Interference for All Modes of Products for Failure Avoidance
by Kenji Iino and Masayuki Nakao
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1743; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031743 - 02 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1341
Abstract
Industrial products today often go through reuse or recycle for extended times and sometimes are even taken through different environments. Our product development needs to be more sustainable than ever to meet such needs. Insufficient sustainability often leads to exposing interferences that the [...] Read more.
Industrial products today often go through reuse or recycle for extended times and sometimes are even taken through different environments. Our product development needs to be more sustainable than ever to meet such needs. Insufficient sustainability often leads to exposing interferences that the designer overlooked and causes accidents like the three cases we discuss in this paper. Axiomatic design is a tool to aid the designer in identifying design interferences during the early design stage so the designer can remove them and create higher values through sustained use of the product. One of the three failures we discuss is a new safety feature of locking the handle shaft of a parked bicycle that accidentally kicked in while riding. The design posed a threat to the sustainability of society. The second, an automated train that started in the wrong direction and collided with the bumping post, causing societal and economic damages. The third is about conflicting functions of a part that the designers overlooked in the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant-1, Unit-1. This disaster was and still is a threat to the social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Despite no direct fatalities, these accidents all caused serious injuries, and in the case of Fukushima, many indirect deaths. Squeezing out flaws from our designs is important in protecting people, the economy, and the environment now and for our future for sustainability. The designer should carry out failure analysis for all parts of a product in all modes of operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Sustainability—Axiomatic Design Science and Applications)
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16 pages, 2799 KiB  
Article
Integration of Environmental Issues in Axiomatic Design to Pursue Sustainable Products
by Sergio Rizzuti and Luigi De Napoli
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031387 - 26 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Product design is an activity that must be supported by information in order to allow designers to conceive solutions to real problems that do not introduce further issues, first of all, environmental concerns. Axiomatic design is an approach that provides the possibility to [...] Read more.
Product design is an activity that must be supported by information in order to allow designers to conceive solutions to real problems that do not introduce further issues, first of all, environmental concerns. Axiomatic design is an approach that provides the possibility to check whether a design solution is functionally valid and it can also be extended considering eco-design elements. In a synthetic representation of 1D and 2D arrays, it can inform designers about the level of sustainability of the product on which they have been working on since the first phase of design when they start to embody functionalities by introducing real components, and first assemblies appear. To achieve this task, the domains considered in the original formulation of Axiomatic Design have been revised, and a new domain has been introduced. This allows designers to take into account all the phases of product life and improve design solutions to avoid introducing structures, components, and functionalities that might be the cause of environmental problems. The paper describes such new mapping among domains and applies it to design a daily life device. The contents of the new data structure will be presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Sustainability—Axiomatic Design Science and Applications)
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18 pages, 1935 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Manufacture of Bearing Bushing Parts
by Adelina Hrițuc, Laurențiu Slătineanu, Oana Dodun, Gheorghe Nagîț, Margareta Coteață, Marius Andrei Boca and Vasile Ermolai
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10777; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910777 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1517
Abstract
Bearing bushing parts are used to support other rotating moving parts. When these bearing bushings are made of bronze, their inner cylindrical surfaces can be finished by turning. The problem addressed in this paper was that of identifying an alternative for finishing by [...] Read more.
Bearing bushing parts are used to support other rotating moving parts. When these bearing bushings are made of bronze, their inner cylindrical surfaces can be finished by turning. The problem addressed in this paper was that of identifying an alternative for finishing by turning the inner cylindrical surfaces of bearing bushing parts by taking into account the specific sustainability requirements. Three alternatives for finishing turning the inner cylindrical surfaces of bearing bushings have been identified. The selection of the alternative that ensures the highest probability that the diameter of the machined surface is included in the prescribed tolerance field was made first by using the second axiom of the axiomatic design. It was thus observed that for the initial turning alternative, the probability of success assessed by using a normal distribution is 77.2%, while for the third alternative, which will correspond to a Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, the probability of success is 92.1%. A more detailed analysis was performed using the analytic hierarchy process method, taking into account distinct criteria for assessing sustainability. The criteria for evaluating the sustainability of a cutting processing process were identified using principles from the systemic analysis. The application of the analytic hierarchy process method facilitated the approach of some detailed aspects of the sustainability of the alternatives proposed for finishing by turning the inner cylindrical surfaces of bearing bushings, including by taking into account economic, social, and environmental protection requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Sustainability—Axiomatic Design Science and Applications)
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