Optimizing sustainability performance through component commonality for multi-generational products

Buddhika M. Hapuwatte, Fazleena Badurdeen, Adib Bagh, I. S. Jawahir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Increasing frequency of new product introduction reduces the potential to implement closed-loops and repurpose serviceable end-of-use resources, causing sub-optimal resource utilization. Furthermore, it hinders the transition to sustainable manufacturing and circular economy. Although careful planning of inter-generational design compatibility allows implementing sustainable closed-loops even in fast-paced multi-generation systems, designers currently lack the product sustainability performance (PSP) forecasting methods required for such planning. Thus, this paper presents a new design methodology that forecasts and maximizes the closed-loop dynamic PSP by identifying the optimal component-level commonality between successive design generations. The proposed method employs the Norton-Bass diffusion model to forecast multi-generation demand and utilizes the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II to identify the optimal design configurations. The representative PSP objectives used in this work are: maximization of manufacturer gross profit, minimization of total greenhouse gas emissions, and maximization of product's functional value (for customer). The optimized inter-generational component commonality significantly improved all three objectives considered. The results further demonstrate the potential PSP improvements by optimizing the market introduction timing of successive product generations to increase closed-loop resource management effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105999
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Circular economy
  • Closed-loop resource optimization
  • Component commonality
  • Configuration design
  • Multi-generational design
  • Sustainable manufacturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics


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