Exploiting the sustainability potential of modular products by integrating R-imperatives into product life phases

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Breimann, Richard (1); Rennpferdt, Christoph (2); Wehrend, Sven (2); Kirchner, Eckhard (1); Krause, Dieter (2)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Institute for Product Development and Machine Elements (pmd), Technical University Darmstadt; 2: Institute of Product Development and Mechanical Engineering Design (PKT), Hamburg University of Technology
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 1785-1794
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.179


Climate change and the growing consumption of natural resources has made it increasingly clear that engineering must focus on the development of more sustainable products. To do so, the methodologies for developing products need to address sustainability. However, many of the frequently used methodologies, such as Modular Function Deployment (MFD) or the Life Phases Modularisation (LPM), do not do that sufficiently. The product life phases, these methodologies are based, only address sustainability in the form of recycling. That is why a broader approach to sustainability, such as the R-imperatives, is not considered. Therefore, in this contribution, the model of product life phases is extended by integrating the R-imperatives. Furthermore, the module drivers resulting from the extended product life phases that are necessary to apply the MFD and the LPM are developed. Finally, the positive impact of the developed module drivers on the product architecture is shown by applying the resulting method onto an industrial example.

Keywords: Modularisation, Circular economy, Sustainability, Product architecture, Design for X (DfX)

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