A Unified Model of Product Service Systems Representation

A Unified Model of Product Service Systems Representation

Lujing Yang (School of Engineering, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Australia), Ke Xing (School of Engineering, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Australia) and David Ness (Barbara Hardy Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/ijssmet.2013100104
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This paper proposes a model to represent the structure of different types of Product Service Systems (PSS). The model can fill the current research gap that different types of PSS cannot be represented by a unified expression. In current research studies, PSS is divided into three main categories and each type has different ways to be modelled. Designers have to develop different types of PSS through very different ways. The model is developed on a new concept of Virtual Product, which represent the PSS from a customer's viewpoint. Based on this concept, different types of PSS can be represented in a unified model.
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In current world, a phenomenon named as ‘servicing’ is popular that many manufacturing companies try to transform themselves from pure product providers to service providers (Sakao et al., 2009). Some businesses try to realize ‘servicing’ through mixing their products with service components to integrated solutions for customers (Robinson et al., 2002). To describe this type of mixed solutions, the concept of ‘Product Service Systems’ (PSS) is introduced by the European Union (Mont 2002) to define this type of product-service mixed system. PSS is defined as a system that integrates product and service to meet customer requirements and to decrease the environment impact (Mont 2002). According to the some researches of Cook et al. (2006) and Tukker (2004), the PSS can be classified into three types: Product-Oriented PSS, Use-Orientated PSS and Result-Orientated PSS. Their servicing strategies and structures are very different.

Although they are so different, a significant similarity of them can be identified through analysing these servicing strategies and categories of PSS: From customer perspective, their objective is providing the functions required by the customer in a defined period no matter what type of PSS and what servicing strategies it applies. It means the different types of PSS should be better considered as different solutions to realize a customer’s requirements. Thus, designers should develop a PSS that considers these types of PSS in a unified framework.

In current research on PSS design, the PSS is mainly represented by two types of system. One type is the PSS is modelled as an integrated system including lifecycle model of a specific type of product and the support services related to the product. These services are planned according to product lifecycle requirements. It means designers can identify new opportunities that can be delivered in different stages of a product lifecycle mode. These lifecycle models are product-oriented lifecycle model and divide a product’s lifecycle into different stages such as materials, production, using and end-of-life, etc. (Ramani et al., 2010, Cooper & Vigon 2001, Peças et al., 2009, Khan & Houston 1999). This type of lifecycle model concern on a specific type of product and the service is provided as the product lifecycle management’s activities such as installation, maintenance, repairing and disposal (Aurich et al., 2009, Meier et al., 2010, Komoto & Tomiyama 2008, Sundin et al., 2005).

The other representation of PSS is modelling a PSS as a service system, which includes a number of steps and related products in a complete service process. Hence, a common point of these models is the PSS is represented based on a service model. A service can be modelled by methodologies such as Service CAD (Sakao & Shimomura 2006), service blueprint (Morelli 2006, Boughnim & Yannou 2005), IDEF0 (Morelli 2006) and functional block diagram (Maussang et al., 2009). Based on the service model, a PSS can be represented as a service system.

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