Model-Based Definition & Model-Based Enterprise

At a recent conference with our ITI partner, we interviewed several managers and engineers asking if any of the following topics related to CAD issues are relevant to their company:

  1. Maintaining robust CAD models throughout the product lifecycle
  2. Reducing the cost of engineering errors and escapes due to 3D data issues
  3. Rapidly identifying changes in new revisions of customer CAD models
  4. Accurately translating data for collaboration and manufacturing
  5. Reducing model rework and lead times for advanced simulation
  6. Establishing a robust and validated long term archival system
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“Mind if I pinch your Standard?”

I was once asked this question while travelling by train in London. I quickly realized the gentleman was asking to nab the Evening Standard newspaper in my seat pocket. This phrase comes to mind as I think about the recent and growing interest in standards by manufacturing companies around the world.

Global manufacturers are in various phases of implementing Model Based Enterprise (MBE) initiatives where digital models drive all aspects of product development and manufacturing processes. To be successful, companies implementing MBE must rely on product data and process standards. Without standards, MBE simply doesn’t work. Yet, sorting out the confusing landscape of overlapping and partially implemented international and national product data standards is a daunting task.

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Today, the evolution underway for many engineering enterprises is the implementation of 3D Model Based Design (MBD), using applications such as Catia 3D Master, where all Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) such as functional tolerances, dimensions, and annotations are stored in the 3D model rather than in the linked associative 2D drawings.

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MBD Authoring System Validation includes model comparison and verification for engineering, manufacturing and sustainability applications. With an objective of replacing 2D engineering drawings with a complete 3D product model master, model validation can be integrated into all phases of the product lifecycle. A 3D MBD model includes:

  • Structure
  • Geometry
  • Annotations (aka 3D PMI, GD&T, FT&A, etc.)
  • Model attributes
  • Domain-specific data
  • Metadata
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In the area of CAD, Model-Based Definition (MBD) defines the system and techniques used to document a product using as completely as possible 3D data. The main component is an annotated 3D model that includes 3D geometry, manufacturing information (PMI), metadata, and other design or manufacturing informations. PMI include dimensions, tolerances, roughness, notes, welding information and other attributes.

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Some organizations use the term MBD to represent Model-Based Design and the term MBE to represent Model-Based Engineering. As is often the case with new technologies, different groups develop different terms with similar or overlapping meanings. In our case, we will use the terms MBD for Model-Based Definition and MBE for Model-Based Enterprise.

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DrawtoPMI is an automatic tool for converting a 3D CAD model and its' associative 2D Drawing to a single 3D part file containing Product Manufacturing Information (PMI), including views, cross sections, functional tolerances and annotations.

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