Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale

Lifecycle Thinking in the Digital Area

About the project

The research stream investigates how a product and/or system lifecycle is impacted by modern technologies and streamlined approaches. Every system has a life: it is generated, it is designed, it is experimented, it is produced, then it is used, sometimes it is maintained and then it is dismissed. How such different phases should be managed to generate the maximum value for the society (humans, companies, institutions)? We call this perspective “lifecycle thinking” and in this research topic we try to find answers.

Principal Investigators:  Sergio Terzi, Monica Rossi, Paolo Rosa, Lucia Ramundo, Claudio Sassanelli

Researcher team:  Sergio Terzi, Monica Rossi, Paolo Rosa, Lucia Ramundo, Claudio Sassanelli, Brendan Patrick Sullivan, Laura Cattaneo, Rossella Luglietti

Funders: FP7 LeanPPD, LinkedDesign, Diversity and Manutelligence projects, H2020 Lincoln and Fenix projects, FET Brief project, GeCo and Industry 4.0 Observatories

Duration: 2014-onwards

Partners:  EU project partners, Industrial organizations


Aim of this research is to study the fundamental elements of Lifecycle Management and Thinking. In its comprehensive meaning, Lifecycle Management and Thinking (shortly PLM) is at first a business approach, based on collaboration and integration, which aims to support the development of more innovative, reliable and sustainable solutions (products and services) in a shorter time. Originally created in the 90ies by transnational companies, today is also relevant for SMEs and for most of the industries (e.g. automotive, creative, fashion, maritime, mechanic, etc.).

PLM could be defined as an integrated approach to the management of the business processes distributed along the lifecycle (from the cradle to the grave), which considers:

  • a management point of view where the product/system is the enterprise value creator,
  • the application of a collaborative model for the empowerment of the competences distributed along the different actors (e.g. designers, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, providers, etc.),
  • the adoption of a number of solutions (methodological and digital) for establishing a product-oriented environment.

We aim to study PLM from four perspectives:

  • As a set of management approaches to be implemented for supporting an effective and efficient deployment of the innovation, engineering and manufacturing processes. We are interested in the most advanced collaborative approaches, based on concurrent, integrated, customer-centred, green-focused and lean-oriented models.
  • As a set of methods for supporting concurrent design, engineering and (re-)manufacturing. We believe that the methodologies developed in the last decades of industrial evolution (e.g. QFD, DFX, TCM, LCA, Eco-design, Visual Communication, etc.) have still to be exploited in their potentialities, in particular within SMEs. We are interested in understanding the peculiarities of their applications, as well as in the elaboration of new and revised versions of them.
  • As a set of tools for computer-based innovation, engineering, manufacturing and recycling. We are interested in deepening how the adoption of digital tools (e.g. from CAx to Virtual Reality, from IoT to Cloud, so-called “Industry 4.0 enablers”) could transform organizations and which is the potential impact on the performances. We are interested in assessing the maturity level of such technologies in real contexts, their relevance for new business models, as well as their cost/benefit solved trade-offs.
  • As a way to lead digital transformation. We believe that PLM is also a digital strategy, which is currently well fitting with the increasing complexity of global markets. We are interested in understanding if and how companies are pushing forward their lifecycle-oriented transformation, being inspired by the Industry 4.0 vision.


  • Awasthi A. K., Cucchiella F., D’Adamo I., Li J., Rosa P., Terzi S., Wei G., Zeng X. (2018) ‘Modelling the correlations of e-waste quantity with economic increase’, Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 613–614, pp. 46-53, ISSN 0048-9697, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.288.
  • Pinna C., Plo L., Robin V., Girard P., Terzi S. (2017) ‘An approach to improve implementation of PLM solution in food industry – Case study of Poult Group’, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 151-170, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLM.2017.085958.
  • Rossi M., Terzi S. (2017) ‘CLIMB: Maturity assessment model for design and engineering processes’, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp.20-43, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLM.2017.082998.
  • D’Adamo I., Rosa P., Terzi S. (2016) ‘Challenges in waste electrical and electronic equipment management: A profitability assessment in three European countries’, Sustainability, Vol. 8, No. 7, pp. 633, http://doi.org/10.3390/su8070633.
  • Rosa P., Terzi S. (2016) ‘Comparison of current practices for a combined management of printed circuit boards from different waste streams’, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 137. pp. 300-312, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.07.089.
  • Cucchiella F., D’Adamo I., Rosa P., Terzi S. (2016) ‘Automotive printed circuit boards recycling: An economic analysis’, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 121, pp. 130-141, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.09.122.
  • Cucchiella F., D’Adamo I., Rosa P., Terzi S. (2016). ‘Scrap automotive electronics: A mini-review of current management practices’, Waste Management and Research, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 3-10, http://doi.org/10.1177/0734242X15607429.
  • Cerri D., Terzi S. (2016) ‘Proposal of a toolset for the improvement of industrial systems’ lifecycle sustainability through the utilization of ICT technologies’, Computers in Industry, Vol. 81, pp. 47-54, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.compind.2015.09.003.
  • Cerri D., Terzi S. (2015) ‘Simulation-based optimisation of the life cycle cost of industrial systems’, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 216-232, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLM.2015.074133.
  • Kerga E., Rossi M., Terzi S., Taisch M., Bessega W., Rosso A. (2014) ‘Teaching set-based concurrent engineering to practitioners through gaming’, International Journal of Product Development, Vol. 19, No. 5–6. pp. 348-365, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPD.2014.064884.
  • Kerga E., Taisch M., Terzi S., Bessega W., Rosso A. (2014) ‘Set-based concurrent engineering innovation roadmap (SBCE IR): A case on adiabatic humidification system’, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 224,-255, http://doi.org/10.1080/21650349.2014.899164.
  • Rosa P., Terzi S. (2014) ‘Proposal of a Global Product Development Strategy Assessment Tool and its Application in the Italian Industrial Context’, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management (IJPLM), Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 266-291, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLM.2014.066810.
  • Kerga E., Rossi M., Taisch M., Terzi S. (2014) ‘A serious game for introducing set-based concurrent engineering in industrial practices’, Concurrent Engineering Research and Applications, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 333-346, http://doi.org/10.1177/1063293X14550104.
  • Cerri D., Taisch M., Terzi S. (2013), ‘Proposal of a multi-objective optimisation of product life cycle costs and environmental impacts’, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 381-401, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLM.2013.063213.
  • Bandinelli R., Rinaldi R., Rossi M., Terzi S. (2013) ‘New product development in the fashion industry: An empirical investigation of Italian firms’, International Journal of Engineering Business Management, Vol. 5, pp. 1-9, Special Issue: ‘Innovations in Fashion Industry’, 31:2013, http://doi.org/10.5772/56841.
  • Garetti M., Rosa P., Terzi S. (2012) ‘Life Cycle Simulation for the design of Product-Service Systems’, Computers in Industry, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 361–369, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.compind.2012.02.007.
  • Terzi S., Bouras A., Dutta D., Garetti M., Kiritsis D. (2010). ‘Product lifecycle management – From its history to its new role’, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 360–389, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLM.2010.036489.
  • Arena M., Ciceri N. D., Terzi S., Bengo I., Azzone G., Garetti M. (2009) ‘A state-of-the-art of industrial sustainability: Definitions, tools and metrics’, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. 4, No. 1/2/3, pp. 207–251, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLM.2009.031674.
  • Terzi S., Panetto H., Morel G., Garetti M. (2007) ‘A holonic metamodel for product traceability in Product Lifecycle Management’, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp.253–289, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLM.2007.016292.
  • Garetti M., Terzi S., Bertacci N., Brianza M. (2005) ‘Organisational change and knowledge management in PLM implementation’, International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 43-51, http://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLM.2005.007344.