Digital Enterprise Model Based Enterprise

The Model Based Enterprise (MBE) is made up of many related processes. At its core is the product definition which we refer to as the Model Based Definition (MBD). Another way to define MBD is an annotated 3D CAD Model that contains all the information needed to define a product. This annotated model replaces a traditional drawing. Thus, a drawing is created by exception not as a standard process.

Why do this? Studies have shown that the human mind can understand three-dimensional data more readily than two-dimensional data resulting in a shorter learning curve. In addition, it is more efficient to simply reuse and organize the information needed while modeling a product then recreate that information in an additional file called a drawing. This traditional approach results in more files to be managed, additional time needed to recreate product information, and more chances of error. MBE on the other hand, results in a single source of truth (the model) that is created efficiently and in a shorter time.

MBD360 wants to provide you with an overview of what is going on in the area of Model-Based Enterprise and the Digital Enterprise.

The upcoming ASME Y14.47 standard defines model-based enterprise as “an organization that uses model-based definitions for the purpose of commission, operation, service, and decommission of a product.” It further defines model-based definition as “an annotated model and its associated data elements that define the product in a manner that can be used effectively without a drawing graphic sheet.” These are but two definitions that are being used to define a relatively simple concept that can have a very complex implementation.  This is because MBE covers data produced by many different disciplines and users.  As such, each segment can be broken down even further to address these other areas.  The figure below depicts one way to break down the core concepts of MBE.

Digital Enterprise



Each concept is depicted as a circle in this Venn diagram.  As the circles overlap, another concept is depicted.  The three outer concepts, Acquisition & Design, Operations and Maintenance depict the major points in a product lifecycle. 
Moving in, the inner circle describes the foundational concepts of MBE itself:

  • Data: Refers to the source data itself.  It can also be thought of as one of the digital threads.
  • Management:  Refers to the need to organize the massive amounts of data contained within a digital tapestry.  This can be applied to the overall data set or down to the organizational schema used in the annotated models making up the Model Based Definition.
  • Secure & Controlled:  Refers to the ability to control access and secure the data once it has been managed.

The overlaps between these circles are the most important part of the Model Based Enterprise.  By applying the other concepts successfully, Data Reuse is enabled.  This means that access can be provided for the user to the data they need to do their job when they need it without having to recreate it.  And finally, at the core of MBE is a Single Digital Master.  This means there is only one source for defining a product.  There may be many derivatives that other applications create for either their use or to present relevant information to the user.  These are typically created automatically and must be programmatically verified back to the original so there is little, or no human labor needed.

Model-Based Disciplines:

As noted many times the Model-Based Enterprise covers many things.  To help understand this diverse field industry has coined many abbreviations or titles for some of these.  The primary and most common areas are depicted below.  You can also click on this image to download a document that provides further details in each area.

Model Based Enterprise

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High-Level Benefits:

As an incentive, some of the benefits of MBE are reduced cost, reduced time to market, better quality and increased professionalism due to collaborating as a unified team with the enterprise.  Many suppliers have been using 3D models for decades so now they prefer a model-based requirement at all times, thus causing them not to respond to solicitations where they could produce the part but choose not to quote because of the delivery method.  As a result, increasing competition is a benefit of incorporating technology that ties to industry best practices.  Better information equals a better product.