An Integrated Product Development Approach to Improving Sustainability Using Simulated Experiments: Manufacturing Case Study

  • Joseph AxiakEmail author
  • Paul Refalo
  • Emmanuel Francalanza
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 52)


Sustainable Manufacturing (SM) and Integrated Product Development (IPD) have both been identified as important drivers of an organization’s competitiveness and agility. However, their multi-faceted nature requires organizations to make manufacturing decisions without compromising any of the pillars contained within SM (economy, environment and society) and IPD (product, production and business). Achieving the aims of both IPD and SM increases this complexity even further and results in the need for high-level tools and systems for decision-making. This paper presents the use of digital factory simulation, as a tool to support the integrated development of sustainable products and processes. To evaluate this approach, a case study involving an existing manufacturing line was performed. The aim of the study was to generate a platform for the testing of experimental scenarios giving predictive results on the impact of IPD decisions on the manufacturing sustainability of the process. Together with the limitations and difficulties encountered, the validity and feasibility of using digital factory simulation for the integrated development of sustainable products and processes is discussed.


Sustainable manufacturing Integrated product development Simulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Axiak
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Refalo
    • 1
  • Emmanuel Francalanza
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing EngineeringUniversity of MaltaMsidaMalta

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