Guest post from LiveWorx sponsor HCL Technologies Ltd, Rahul Rajadhyaksha, General Manager – Products
Model-Based Definition(MBD) and Model-Based Enterprise(MBE) are the buzzwords in PLM industry today. Even this technology or methodology has followed trend as elaborated by the classic Chasm model proposed by Geoffrey Moore or the comparatively new Hype-Cycle from Gartner. There have been innovators and early adopters who have rushed to adopt this approach when it first came into prominence whereas there have been others who have chosen to take a wait and watch approach.
Drivers of MBD Implementation
Currently most of the manufacturing organizations are either thinking of implementing MBD or already are already in the process of implementation. However, experiences have shown that it is not as easy as it seems.
For each organization, the implementation drivers have been different. Probably one of the biggest push came in 2013 when the United States Department of Defense released MIL-STD-31000 Revision A to codify the use of MBD as a requirement for technical data packages (TDP) (Refer Wikipedia). As a result, organizations involved in the associated supply chain started adopting MBD.
In spite of the availability of the complete data with the 3D model, it is a shame if downstream supply chains continue to create drawings for manufacturing the parts. Ability to consume the model-based data seamlessly for each step in the product lifecycle will provide the requisite push for MBD adoption. Using the data for computer-aided manufacturing and computer-aided inspection is a big step in that direction. However closer upstream to the design stage, being able to perform manufacturability analysis using GD&T, PMI in specific and MBD data, in general, is one of the immediate benefits of MBD application. This is not same as checking for the right GD&T but it involves using the GD&T information to check if it may lead to manufacturing, assembly related quality and cost issues.
MBD Software Solutions
Manufacturability analysis at the design stage can avoid long design-to-manufacturing iterations across the supply chain. Similarly, this information can be used to drive various manufacturing strategies including conventional manufacturing like metal machining to additive manufacturing. Software solutions like DFMPro which enable effective consumption of the MBD data can help organizations effectively transition to a model based enterprise.
A simple example is an ability to use the size and position tolerance information on a hole to check if it is too tight for the part material leading to costlier machining operations or inability of the manufacturing process to meet these tolerance requirements leading to quality issues and lowering the yield.
Earlier, it implied drawing reviews and interpreting the tolerances and their impact on the manufacturing process. However, GD&T information on the 3D models simplifies this process.
Another example is distances between holes or distance of holes from part edges in sheet metal parts. Combining feature information with tolerances enables us to check for different tolerance specifications based on different feature relations as the one mentioned here.
Thus, tolerance based manufacturability analysis considering material and feature information provides a pull for adopting a model-based definition, giving it the necessary push within the enterprise.