بخشی از مقاله (انگلیسی)
Innovating manufacturing systems can substantially support a sustainable transformation of value creation across the industry towards higher sustainability maturity levels. The research presents a novel systems engineering approach for innovating manufacturing systems with a focus on sustainability. The systems engineering approach aims at supporting manufacturing companies in realizing sustainable innovations. It allows companies to cope with current and future global challenges while maintaining and improving their competitiveness. The concepts of integrated values and global innovation pathways set the research's scope and practical relevance. A narrative literature review of the earlier and later phase of the sustainable-oriented innovation process is presented. The systems engineering approach for creating sustainable manufacturing innovations with a defined macro and micro cycle is introduced. The macro cycle determines the important design phases for the life cycle of the innovation while the micro cycle provides a process for finding sustainable solutions. A case study grounded on a start-up that developed an innovative wind turbine tower system is introduced for verifying, validating, and evaluating the proposed systems engineering approach within the application field of manufacturing large-scale products.
The reactions of the global community to recent shocks, such as the Corona pandemic, droughts in Europe, or the war in Ukraine, demonstrate that the global community is insufficiently prepared both individually and collectively for disasters on a global scale. Among the most crucial short-term risks are, according to the World Economic Forum, crises in employment and livelihood, widespread youth disillusionment, digital inequality, economic stagnation, human-made environmental degradation, erosion of societal cohesion, and acts of violence (World Economic Forum , The Global Risks Report, 2021). These risks translate into long-term global challenges for the global community.
Against this backdrop of intensifying global challenges, manufacturing companies continue to apply individual business models within globalized value creation networks, i.e., the formation of inter-organizational cooperation to create value, often through technological advancements. Competitiveness in global markets is a major tenet of these networks with a focus on economic objectives, often without considering missed or detrimental environmental or social values. The concept of value must radically change for business activities in early and newly industrialized countries with the potential for establishing more sustainable practices that incorporated profit with social well-being and environmental stewardship (Neace, 1999; Cezarino et al., 2021). Value creation of companies needs to shift towards a modern paradigm with an emphasis on sustainable development and community resilience (Koliou et al., 2020; Neumann et al., 2021).
The research presented a novel systems engineering approach for creating sustainable innovations in manufacturing systems. The approach aims at supporting manufacturing companies in coping with the global challenges while maintaining and improving the competitiveness of the companies’ value creation. Against this backdrop, the research paper first discussed the concept of integrated values and global pathways of innovation for setting the scope and practical relevance of the research. Subsequently, the state-of-the-art based on a literature review for the earlier and later phase of the sustainable-oriented innovation process was described, and the resulting research gap, contribution, and novelty was specified. Then, the novel systems engineering approach for creating sustainable innovations in manufacturing systems, based on a specific macro and micro cycle was explained. The macro cycle determines the important design phases for the life cycle of the innovation while the micro cycle provides a process for finding sustainable solutions during the design process. For this purpose, the micro cycle utilizes specific sustainability principles which have been derived from the idea of integrated values and global pathways of innovation. A case study based on an innovative wind turbine tower system was introduced to verify, validate, and evaluate the proposed systems engineering approach. Eventually, the principal efficacy and limitations of the research were discussed taking into consideration the findings of the case study.