Architecture for the ImPaKT project is taking shape

The objective of the joint ImPaKT project is to make the impact of changes transparent across domains using a model-based, AI-assisted approach. Following the completion of a market survey on the use of IT and the degree to which MBSE is being utilized, the project partners, which include PROSTEP, are now defining the reference architecture for impact analyses.

A key objective of the joint project, which is headed up by the Heinz Nixdorf Institute at the University of Paderborn, is to develop a reference architecture for end-to-end model-based system development. In order to gear this reference architecture to the requirements of real-life applications, the project partners first conducted a market survey of existing system and process landscapes in the companies. They were particularly interested in the question of which IT systems the companies use to support their change processes and perform MBSE and how they exchange data across company boundaries.

The survey indicated that MBSE has not yet become widely established in small and mid-sized mechanical engineering companies, which is hardly surprising. At larger companies in the automotive industry, on the other hand, a number of initiatives are being launched, often in the context of validating autonomous driving functions. This makes considerable demands on cross-domain collaboration in terms of making dependencies manageable when changes are made.

The project partners have now started defining a generic architectural model which, among other things, links the MBSE artifacts from CAMEO to the PLM structures and establishes the dependencies between the components of the model, thus ensuring traceability. This model will then be implemented and instantiated in the corresponding software solutions in order to test it together with the industry partners.

To that end, PROSTEP will also use the proven Mars Rover model as a demonstrator for impact analysis. At the most basic level, the demonstrator would make transparent the cross-domain dependencies that must be taken into account when making changes. 

If, for example, the requirement relating to the gradient that the vehicle should be able to handle changes, this could be expected to have an impact on the engine and transmission. At the highest level, the solution itself should make suggestions for solutions, e.g. that bigger batteries are required if the range of the Mars Rover is changed.

In parallel to the Mars Rover, the ImPaKT industry partners will model their products accordingly and perform impact analyses. It is intended that this project phase begin in the middle of next year. To make this possible across domains, PROSTEP will implement new interfaces and functionalities in the OpenCLM software as part of the project, and these will then be evaluated by the industry partners.

We will provide you with information about the project progress at regular intervals in the newsletter.

By Martin Holland


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