Scholarly article on topic 'Interactions between Service and Product Lifecycle Management'

Interactions between Service and Product Lifecycle Management Academic research paper on "Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries"

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Abstract of research paper on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, author of scientific article — Stefan Wiesner, Mike Freitag, Ingo Westphal, Klaus-Dieter Thoben

Abstract The adoption of advanced manufacturing intelligence technologies requires managing the interaction of information in Product-Service Systems (PSS) by combining Product (PLM) and Service Lifecycle Management (SLM). While up to now no sound methodology exists, there is a strong need to have bi-directional coordination and interaction between PLM and SLM in a systematic way. A further challenge is to close loops, for example feedback from service delivery to the beginning-of-life phase of products. The objective of this paper is therefore to identify the interactions between SLM and PLM in manufacturing firms, based on expert interviews and illustrated in PSS use cases.

Academic research paper on topic "Interactions between Service and Product Lifecycle Management"

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Procedía CIRP 30 (2015) 36 - 41

7th Industrial Product-Service Systems Conference - PSS, industry transformation for sustainability and


Interactions between Service and Product Lifecycle Management

Stefan Wiesnera*, Mike Freitagb, Ingo Westphalac, Klaus-Dieter Thobena,c

aBIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbH at the University of Bremen, Hochschulring 20, 28359 Bremen, Germany bFraunhofer IAO, Nobelstraße 12, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany cFaculty of Production Engineering, University of Bremen, Badgasteiner Straße 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +49-421-218-50169; fax: +49-421-218- 50007. E-mail address:


The adoption of advanced manufacturing intelligence technologies requires managing the interaction of information in Product-Service Systems (PSS) by combining Product (PLM) and Service Lifecycle Management (SLM). While up to now no sound methodology exists, there is a strong need to have bi-directional coordination and interaction between PLM and SLM in a systematic way. A further challenge is to close loops, for example feedback from service delivery to the beginning-of-life phase of products. The objective of this paper is therefore to identify the interactions between SLM and PLM in manufacturing firms, based on expert interviews and illustrated in PSS use cases. © 2015 The Authors. PublishedbyElsevierB.V This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Peer-reviewunderresponsibility of the International Scientific Committee of the 7th Industrial Product-Service Systems Conference - PSS, industry transformation for sustainability and business

Keywords: Service Lifecycle Management; Product Lifecycle Management; PSS design

1. Introduction

In the manufacturing domain, over the decades various technological and organizational upheavals have changed dramatically the way of producing goods. After the mechanization of production and the industrial mass production, now digitization enables an intelligent Smart Factory. Such a Smart Factory makes it possible to establish a more personalized and flexible mass production in a combination of IT-communication, automation, sensor technology and services. Cyber-Physical Systems are a tangible evidence of this trend.

Digitization in this context requires managing and shaping the interaction of information with technical support for customized Product Service Systems (PSS) [1]. To this end, both data from the manufacturing side as well as the service side must be recorded in an appropriate way, brought together and delivered, in order to offer an attractive product-service bundle to the customer [2,3]. A prerequisite for the companies to handle this is to combine Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) with the Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) by using IT-Technology [4,5]. Up to now there is no sound

methodology about the interaction between the concepts of PLM and the SLM [6].

The basic assumption of many PLM approaches is that services and their lifecycles are aligned to the product. However several examples, e.g. remote maintenance for machines, household appliances that are controlled remotely over the internet or smart phones, show that there is a strong need to have bi-directional coordination and interaction between PLM and SLM in a systematic way. This coordination gets even more important when different partners are involved in the development and production, respectively service delivery.

Collaborative design of integrated PSS is heavily based on the exchange of engineering knowledge like user and system requirements, design specifications or processing instructions between different stakeholders. Knowledge sources and targets in PSS design have to be identified. The relevant types of knowledge and appropriate exchange mechanisms and standards have to be defined [7]. A further challenge is to close loops between PLM and SLM, for example feedback from service delivery to the beginning-of-life phase of products. This has to be enabled despite the fact that these

2212-8271 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Peer-review under responsibility of the International Scientific Committee of the 7th Industrial Product-Service Systems Conference - PSS, industry transformation for sustainability and business doi: 10.1016/j.procir.2015.02.018

lifecycles can cover very different time spans and that some services are combined with several different products and vice versa.

The objective of this paper is therefore to identify the interactions between SLM and PLM in manufacturing firms. Based on expert interviews [8], the required interfaces and exchange mechanisms in a collaborative product-service environment are analyzed and a top-down approach for PLM-SLM interactions is developed. Finally, this approach is illustrated in a PSS use case to show the relevance in a concrete application scenario. Following the state of the art in PLM and SLM is presented.

2. Product Lifecycle Management

A fast reaction on changing markets and customer requirements and the involvement of collaboration partners require a sound information basis. In manufacturing, this information basis could be provided by Product Lifecycle Management. PLM originated from Product Data Management (PDM) that was focusing on design and engineering data. The basic idea was to increase transparency and to improve the knowledge about the product and related processes to identify opportunities for optimisation and to support decisions. Over the time it became obvious that a more holistic view beyond the mere engineering is needed. Therefore, PLM covers the whole lifecycle of a product from the first idea and concept to recycling and disposal. There are many different lifecycle models found in literature. However, the majority is based on three main life cycle phases, Beginning of Life (BoL), Middle of Life (MoL), and End of Life (EoL) [9], as shown in Fig. 1.


Define^^ Realis^^ Suppor^^ Retire^^ Dispos^^

Fig. 1. Phases of Product Lifecycle Management, according to [9]

Product Beginning of Life

At the first stage in its BoL phase, the product is imagined as ideas in the heads of the designers. Once the most promising ideas have been selected, they are converted into a detailed product specification in the definition stage. During realisation, the product is manufactured to its final form, which can be delivered to a customer.

Product Middle of Life

In the MoL phase, the product is in the possession of the customer, who uses it for his applications. During MoL, the product is also supported by the manufacturer in order to maintain its functionalities.

Product End of Life

During the EoL phase, the product loses its usefulness for its intended purpose. It is retired or upgraded by the manufacturer and disposed of by the customer for eventual reuse or recycling.

More recent approaches consider also product related service in this lifecycle. While the initial objectives were to improve product quality and to reduce costs, additional objectives became important too: Time reduction, streamlining of processes, improved value for the customer and innovation. Thus, newer PLM approaches are aligned to changes in market conditions and technical opportunities. They consider global access to information shared with cooperation partners and are built upon web technologies and mobile applications. They gather data from a broad range of stakeholders, e.g. in Living Labs or by using social media. In addition sensor data from the product is available. The vast amount of data ("big data") opens many new opportunities. However, there is also the challenge to handle and analyse this amount of data. An emerging approach is the closed-loop PLM [10]. This approach assumes that the end of one lifecycle flows into the beginning of the next. The initial lifecycle approach „from cradle to grave" is developed towards "cradle to cradle" [11]. A further innovative approach in PLM that addresses the challenge of big data is the concept of Product Avatars. Product items are seen as intelligent entities the can provide both product-item-specific and context information accumulated throughout the product's lifecycle. The intelligent product items are represented by product avatar that provide a methodology to individually select, prepare and communicate stakeholder specific product lifecycle information though individual and targeted communication channels [12,13].

3. Service Lifecycle Management

Servitization for manufacturing companies becomes more important in order to find new business opportunities and new customers [4,14,15]. Traditional product-centric sectors change step by step to being more service-centric, which is a grand challenge for every company, for their products, services and employees [16]. This evolutionary process is often referred to as the servitization process for non-tertiary sectors [16]. However, the servitization process is not just a change in the business model: it involves all the aspects of the enterprise, which therefore needs methodological and technical support concerning an integrated development and management of service offerings [2,4,17].

Service Lifecycle Management is a part of Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME) [14,17]. SSME is a young field of research that addresses the open questions and challenges coming from the servitization process. It covers all relevant aspects of a service economy and service business and hereby provides helpful input for research as well as industry. Furthermore SSME can be regarded as a new academic discipline and research area that complements many other disciplines or research fields by providing and contributing specific knowledge about service. Specialists agree that the foundation of a SSME-oriented economy has to be laid in the field of education, for example in companies with special trainings as well as in universities in special subjects of study or at least in special service subjects. A Service Lifecycle Management creates a connection between Management and Engineering.

The SLM topic is quite new and innovative. Nevertheless there are still some approaches, for instances the approach of Freitag [4]. Here the Service Lifecycle Management framework consists of four parts:

• Phases of Service Life Cycle Management,

• Role Model for Service Life Cycle Management,

• Methods and Tools for Service Life Cycle Management

• Interactions between product and service lifecycle management.

The three main phases of the Service Lifecycle are service creation, service engineering and service operations management [4]. An overview is given in Fig. 2.

BOL Creation ï MOL and Engineering Y Operationsand EOL \

Service \ Ideation / Service \ Requir. / Service \ Design / Service \ Implem / Service \ Testing / Service \ Deliver / Service \ Evolut. /

Opportunity Recognition Market Requirement Business Design HR/Organi. Implement Simulation Virtual Lab Marketing & Value Prop. Re-design & Re-engineer.

Ideas Generation Technical Requirement Technical IT System Implement Business Assessment Technical Deployment Re-thinking Re-purpose

Ideas Selection Partners Selection Governance Design Phys. Means Implement Technical Assessment Portfolio Governance End of Ufe Decommiss.

service needs to be delivered to the customers. This happens within "service delivery". The support activities for service operations are also important, here for instances to evolve the service portfolio and to control the service operations.

The analysis of existing PLM and SLM approaches shows that while the phases covered in the product and service lifecycle are quite similar and first attempts have been made to include service into the PLM, a combined product and service lifecycle management is still missing. The following section analyses the interactions between PLM and SLM as a basis for integration.

4. High level interactions between PLM and SLM

In order to identify the occurring interactions between PLM and SLM in companies offering product-service bundles, semi-structural expert interviews have been conducted [5]. A short overview about the methodology and the results of the expert interviews is given in [4]. Fig 3. shows the four alternatives how to design interactions between Product (PLM) and Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) that could be identified.


—SLM SLM --"-1

Fig. 2. Process model of Service Lifecycle Management [4]

Service Creation

Service creation is the phase at the beginning of the Service Lifecycle Management. It mainly consists of two pillars: provision of conditions and ideation. The influences providing opportunities may be changing customer needs, new emerging technologies, transformations of the company environment, and other causes or drivers of change. For service ideation they serve as triggers or stimuli. When a selection of service ideas is handed over to the first phase of service engineering, it comes to a structured evaluation of the service ideas based on market and technical requirements.

Service Engineering

The service engineering process is a waterfall model for the development of new services [14]. In this framework the phase "Service Engineering" consists of four phases: service requirements, service design, service implementation and service testing. In the requirements analysis the internal and external requirements are collected. The second phase of the service development process is called service design, in which the new service is defined and described. In the third phase the implementation of the service also includes the operative realization of the described services concepts. Furthermore, the involved employees need to be trained as planned. The service should be tested by customers or by using a simulation tool or at least by a checklist.

Service Operations

The first task in service operations is to acquire customers, respectively service projects. After the acquisitions, the

PLM t t

Fig. 3. Alternatives of interactions between Product and Service Lifecycle Management [4]

The four basic interaction pattern are described in the following, illustrated by industrial case studies. The case studies come from companies that have started to servitize in the context of the European research project MSEE [4].

4.1. SLM follows PLM

The alternative A is up to now the most common situation in the manufacturing industry. The Service Lifecycle Management is triggered by the Product Lifecycle Management. SLM depends on PLM, which also means that SLM phases are triggered by impulses or changes in PLM. The main focus is set on the management of the product life cycle. The management of the service life cycle happens according the changes of the PLM. This means for instance that the ideation and the evolution phase in the SLM has very less importance.

The case study of the Spanish machine tool manufacturer Ibarmia illustrates this interaction pattern [4]. The company strives to continuously innovate and customize its products to promote them globally as part of its strategic plan. For the

support phase of the product lifecycle, Ibarmia aspired to create a new channel to provide its maintenance services and to reduce its current maintenance costs. To achieve this goal, the SLM for "Intelligent Maintenance Services" has been triggered. In this case, the SLM is dependent on the PLM of the machine tool.

4.2. PLM follows SLM

Just in opposite of alternative A is the alternative B. Here PLM depends on SLM. The main focus is put on the management of the service lifecycle. The management of the product lifecycle happens accordingly to SLM, however, adjustments are one sided and only happen from time to time.

An example for this alternative can be seen in the case study of Bivolino, which is specialized in the design and manufacturing of custom tailored shirts (made-to-measure and made-to-order) over the internet, where the clothes are sold directly to end customers via internet [4]. In fact, Bivolino's main offer is the online configuration and sizing service for the shirts. Attached to this central SLM is the PLM of the shirt itself. It is triggered by service delivery and focuses on shirt manufacturing and delivery, adapted to the requirements of the service.

4.3. SLM aligned with PLM

Alternative C is the right choice if adjustments take place on both sides. In a company product and service life cycle are managed regularly. Mostly, the product and the according service life cycle are the same length but the interactions take part only if they are necessary. For instance a new idea comes from the PLM but this idea is developed in the service engineering phase in the SLM. After this the delivery needs both PLM and SLM.

This interaction alternative can be found in the case study of Indesit, which is one of the European leading manufacturers and distributors of major domestic appliances. The company develops a "Carefree Washing Service", where the washing machine integrates a set of features able to support the customer in traditional washing activities and to realize a "carefree" use of the same product by providing additional services [4]. In this case, PLM and SLM are aligned to each other. The product is developed with features that allow the provision of the service, such as additional sensors and interfaces, and the service is developed in concurrence. However, product and service development is still organisationally separated.

4.4. SLM integrated with PLM

Alternative D would be a thorough integration of PLM and SLM, where both life cycles are managed in a highly integrative way, so that the separating managerial boundaries between PLM and SLM "disappear". Decisions always have influence on both components of the integrated life cycle, until the highest degree of integration is reached where products and services are not looked at separately anymore but treated as integrated PSS.

This kind of interaction pattern could not be found in the case studies, which is in concordance with the lack of an integrated product-service lifecycle management approach. It is however a prerequisite to effectively realize PSS, where the product and service components blur into a holistic solution for a specific purpose. Therefore, the next section analyses the interactions needed on a more operational level for PLM / SLM integration.

5. Interactions on operational level

When it comes to the level below the general high-level types the aspect of practical collaboration becomes relevant. The services and the manufactured products require different competences that are usually distributed over different people. For example the engineers that are experts for the materials and forces in a gear box usually do not have the competences that are required to provide web-interfaces for onlinemonitoring services. In many cases the required competences are even distributed over different companies. As a consequence collaboration between people from different domains is needed when products and services should be linked or even integrated. The required collaboration depends on the types of products and services and on the way they should be linked or integrated [18].

Interaction is the opposite of pure sequential activities, where each activity is done more or less independently by one partner without direct feed-back loops ("throw-over-the-wall" approach). If, for example, in the high-level type A the product is fixed and the service has to be completely aligned to the product it could be the case that a designed gear-box is "thrown over the wall" to the service experts to develop webinterfaces.

In contrast, interactions represent exchange between different activities. They can be regarded as reciprocal micro-processes between partners that are elementary for the accomplishment of the tasks in the processes [19]. The action of one partner is influenced by the action or actions of other partners. In many cases interactions are not formally defined but are regarded as an implicit part of the value creation processes. As simple example is a brainstorming for idea generation in the early phase of an innovation process. The partners have to share their ideas, listening to other ideas and use the other ideas to give a feed-back and impulses to the other partners. A brainstorming would be less successful if the partners do not listen and react on the impulses they receive from other partners. If this is applied to the example of the gear box and the web-service it would be related to high-level type D. In a common brainstorming engineers would receive impulse to optimise the gear box for an online monitoring solution suggested by web-developers.

Generally interactions can be related to physical objects, financial resources, human resources, legal issues, and information [20]. For the context of innovative PSS the most relevant aspects are interaction in relation to information. There are different types of interactions related to information that are usually taking place in collaborative processes:

• Coordination (e.g. synchronizing activities, adjusting plans).

• Exchange of Information (e.g. sharing ideas, exchange and combine product data).

• Negotiation (in particular to reach commonly accepted decisions).

• Solving conflicts (e.g. common identification of conflicts and development of solutions, this is usually linked to negotiations).

All these interactions are based on communication, either face-to-face or via IT. This means they apply to the involved product and service experts as well as to the IT-based communication between the components of the physical products and the service delivery (automated/digital service or personal, see Fig. 4. below).

automated service delivery

personal service delivery

product-related services

Examples: • Monitoring services • Remote maintenance Examples : • Installation • Repair

requirements stage. Starting from the PSS level, requirements for the solution will be defined, irrespective if they will be realized by product or service components. Only subsequently they will be broken down as input for the design stage. Here, an organisational separation between product and service design is still present, based on the different development streams. However iterative feedback loops ensure design compatibility.

Application in a use case: Indesit took the strategic decision to servitize the machines. The ideation was done in an integrated way. The involved contributors of ideas were asked for new product service combination that provide added value to the customers. Neither the washing machine nor the services were regarded as "fixed". For instance it was a clear option to modify the machine to enable attractive new services. Consequently the requirements were also gathered for the whole PSS. For the "carefree washing" that was a result of the ideation it was necessary to equip the washing machine with new sensor and interfaces. This was done in the design department for the machines. In parallel software developers were involved as partners for the PSS and developed the required web-services. On the operational level there was exchange of information coordination and results did not match it was necessary to negotiate and to solve conflicts.

Fig. 4. Automated and personal product-related services

In particular collaborative innovation processes depend on these interactions, since they can only be formalised partly due to the special character of innovation.

6. Approach for integration of PLM and SLM for Alternatives C and D

Based on the targeted high level integration of PLM and SLM and the required interactions on operational level, a high level model for a PSS lifecycle is proposed. It originates from a combination of the presented PLM and SLM approaches. An overview is given below in Fig. 5.


Ideatioi^^^ Require- ^v ments / Design^^ Realsa-ton / Suppo^^^ Evolutio^^

Product Product Support

Integrated System Design Manuf. PSS deploy-mentto the of PSS functionality, availabi- PSS

PSS Ideation Level PSS Require- upgrade or decom-

Process ments

Service Design Service Implem. customer lityand results mission

Fig. 5. PSS Lifecycle Model

PSS Beginning of Life

The PSS lifecycle begins with an ideation stage, similar to the PLM and the SLM alone. However, the process is not focused on the product or the service, but targets the PSS as a holistic solution. Therefore, product as well as service staff will participate in ideation. The same is true for the

PSS Middle of Life

The PSS MoL begins with its realization, which comprises the manufacturing of the product as well as the implementation of the service. Similar to the design stage, product and service realization is separated, but iterative testing of the results ensures that they can be combined into the PSS. As soon as this is verified, the PSS can be delivered to the customer as a package and the distinction between product and service disappears.

During its operation, the PSS has to be supported to retain its functionality, availability and results. This can be done through services, such as maintenance, as well as through product components, such as spare parts.

Application in the use case mentioned above: Like the design the realisation also took place in different processes, in particular the production of the machine and the set-up of the web-service. The delivery could be regarded as an integrated process again since the added value of the machine can only be obtained when the corresponding web-service is in place. The traditional after sales service and support could be regarded as in integrated part of the PSS, so it is part of the delivery. These services only make sense when the user has a washing machine available.

PSS End of Life

Should the PSS not be able to fulfil its intended application anymore, it enters the evolution stage. Here it will be decided, if the PSS can be upgraded through adapting the product or service, or if it has to be decommissioned.

Application in the use case mentioned above: This consideration has to be done on both sides: At the user of the machine and at the supplier consortium of the machine. If the washing machine of a user breaks down and repair makes no

sense he will dispose the machine and the related carefree washing service will no longer be applied. If a service is outdated it could be an interesting option to up-date the PSS either with service components only or with both hardware and service components.

On the supplier side it has to be decided when a service has reached its EOL and if it makes sense to provide a new service for the machines that are still operated at the users. If the machine has reached its EOL it has to be decided if the services can be used for a new version of the machine or for other machines.

7. Summary

This paper presents the background and the challenges for manufacturing companies that want to servitize their business by combining their products with services. One important tussle from the developer's perspective hereby is to combine PLM and SLM approaches to support the lifecycle of integrated Product-Service Systems. A short state of the art of existing approaches of PLM and SLM describes the main phases with their activities, showing similarities and differences of product and service lifecycles. Based on this theoretical review, interviews with service experts of manufacturing companies and an in-depth analysis of three manufacturing case studies has identified four typical PLM-SLM interaction patterns.

The four types of patterns describe possible interactions between a product and service lifecycle, depending on temporal dependencies. While in some cases the SLM and PLM are more separated, in other cases they are further integrated. If they are more separated, the SLM will be trigged by a phase in the PLM or the PLM is trigged by a phase in the SLM. For the two cases with a more aligned or even integrated PLM and SLM, it is described in more detail how a combined P-SLM could look like, and how the interaction between lifecycles can be managed in a structural way. In the phases where PLM and SLM are not yet fully integrated, the interaction consists of the four collaborative processes: coordination, exchange of information, negotiation and solving conflicts.

While the proposed integration of product and service lifecycles and the interaction model provide a general description of the lifecycle phases and the collaboration between product and service developments, this can just be regarded as a first step towards and integrated PSS lifecycle management. Further research will describe the integrated P-SLM phases and the required collaborative processes in detail and provide a symbiotic product-service lifecycle model.


This work has been partly funded by the European Commission through the FoF-ICT Project MSEE: Manufacturing SErvice Ecosystem (No. 284860) and PSYMBIOSYS (No. 636804). The authors wish to acknowledge the Commission and all the project partners for their contribution.


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