Shift to Model Based Systems Engineering

The Shift to Model Based systems engineering (MBSE)

In the past, engineering projects revolved around ‘document’ and ‘drawing’ centric processes which each contained fragments of information about the whole system. The major downside to this model was that it failed to keep and manage the ‘pieces of information and their connections’. This model also lacked quick access and consistent traceability when project data was examined. It became difficult to assess project completeness, architecture integration, consistency of requirements, change impacts, verification, validation, and end-to-end traceability.

Why Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is the New Standard for Product Engineering

Improvements in technology and communication have led to the massive growth of a disparate mix of corporate engineering and design systems. To gain an increased market share, companies create proprietary solutions that don’t always work well with competing systems. As a result, distributed systems which span various domains become increasingly complex. They are a challenge to maintain and make it difficult to collaborate and exchange data. Solution teams from varying companies must work together across corporate and international borders to consistently bring quality solutions for consumers.


The shift towards MBSE utilizing diagrams based on Systems Modeling Language (SysML) or Unified Modeling Language (UML) made it more efficient to organize engineering solutions through functions and requirements. Through MBSE, systems can incorporate a wide variety of data such as requirements (functional, contractual, system elements), MCAD, ECAD, software, analysis, and validation.  Utilizing the MBSE model results in traceability between these different domains across the product lifecycle.

MBSE Use Case Scenarios

A good example of the benefits of MBSE would be validating a functional requirement using a test – traced to a requirement – traced to a design.  Model traceability also supports compliance with regulatory and contract requirements often required from customers.  The functional impacts of design are not always transparent, especially with large engineering teams handling ever increasing engineering complexity.  Team members must change parts of the system individually at the same time.  Some organizations might not even have a baseline between domains on what they are shipping.  MBSE is a way to continuously check and improve quality of the engineering system.

An integrated but distributed model management includes many vendors software.  Each are effective at individual goals but many times the data is not portable and quite a bit of extra work is required to trace back to the MBSE model.  For example, an engineering project might utilize CATIA within Teamcenter for PLM and MCAD design, Integrity for PLM and Software Development, and Rational DOORS for handling requirements.  Individually, these are great product suites that excel in their domain applications, but they are not able to efficiently communicate with each other to show the system.  This might mean that changes to parts in Teamcenter do not have visibility to requirements in DOORS or application changes in Integrity.  For example, customers utilizing Rational Rhapsody Designer can use the OpenPDM OSLC connector to incorporate data from Enovia 3D Experience with MCAD Design and mechanical requirements, MSC Sim Manger for simulations. These changes happen constantly and without traceability will happen without knowing the total impact to the system putting quality at risk.

A Solution for Integrating MBSE into your Processes

The integration power of PROSTEP’s OpenPDM solution enables your enterprise to have domain wide and inter-corporate visibility to all the data used to create your engineering system solution.  OpenPDM provides traceability and transparency, shortens product development time, and increases quality all while maintaining compliance and governance over your solution. OpenPDM is the market leading vendor-to-vendor PLM integration platform with a focus on connectivity between engineering disciplines and domains. OpenPDM enables MBSE by providing a robust set of connectors for many systems and enabling multi-point data exchange as well as exposure interoperability through standard (like STEP and OSLC). OpenPDM can federate data from multiple systems or generate configuration baselines to support traceability across different vendor tools.


On Demand Webinar: Adoption and Challenges of Model Based Engineering and Design with SIEMENS TC

Presenter: Robert Beverly, Sales Executive PROSTEP INC

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