The Model-Based Futureprise

To be competitive in today’s world, as products become more personalized and complex, industries need to adopt effective solutions during the product development and overall lifecycle that are more sustainable, agile, and connected throughout the organization.

Low-cost manufacturing of high-quality products remains essential. Many product development processes are no longer sequential step-by-step processes and the design and the engineering activities are however often a waterfall process where engineers work in silos.

For all these reasons, it’s critical to have a single definitive data source to ensure data accuracy, consistency, and to better manage the product lifecycle


single-source of truth

The SSoT (single-source of truth)

Each day, organizations are providing more attention to improve design & manufacturing processes. A collaborative design approach is essential and becoming consistent in the medium to large organizations. Information is always up-to-date and can be accessed as a “single source” for design and manufacturing teams.

The industry is changing, product design approaches are improving, and organizations are providing more focus to minimize the gap between design & manufacturing teams.



Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) initiatives are gaining more & more traction, detailed Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) based 3D CAD modeling is fast replacing 2D drawings.

Large organizations have begun implementing a drawing-less design and manufacturing approach.

Incorporating a Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) approach also helps smooth collaboration between design and manufacturing teams.

Through a digital representation of CAD with manufacturing information, one can easily interpret the manufacturing operations, and assembly sequence without CAD drawings & paper printouts.

The information provided on the 3D CAD model like PMI, geometrical tolerance, annotation, and bill of materials can be effectively used by the manufacturing team.



Model-Based Enterprise

The Benefits of a Model-based Enterprise

The following are the key benefits of an MBE approach in CAD design –

  • 3D models with dimensions, geometrical tolerances, annotation, and surface finish symbols are easy to understand and can also be read automatically by downstream software. It improves design quality, with less ambiguity & increases design precision.
  • It accelerates the engineering change order (ECOs) and improves the quality of CAD modeling.
  • The CAD model becomes the single source of truth; any change in the model will automatically get updated to drawings.
  • It reduces overall production costs by saving drawing creation time and reducing expenses related to paper, printing & storage.
  • It streamlines the product development cycle & improves the communication across the organization thus benefiting all downstream stakeholders.

3D Model

Advanced model-based solutions, including both technologies and methodologies, emerge for supporting digitally the development of a product and all its lifecycle phases, and to create a digital representation of real business processes and products.

The transition from traditional product development practices (e.g. using those 2D drawings!) to digital drivers based on product models represents a sustainable solution to:

  1.  optimize the product development process
  2. better manage the product lifecycle in the beginning, middle and end-of-life
  3. improve the communication between both technical and less-technical teams
  4. reduce the development time and costs and minimize the risk of non-compliance

Future Enterprise MBE

The Futureprise

A Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) represents an organization that applies modeling and simulation technologies to integrate and manage all of its technical and business processes related to product design, production, support, and retirement.

By adopting product and process models for defining, executing, controlling, and managing all the enterprise processes, and by applying science-based simulation and analysis tools to optimize processes at each step of the product lifecycle, it is possible to reduce the time and the cost of product innovation, development, production, and support.

It’s expected that the configuration of a model-based enterprise could potentially reduce the costs by 50% and the time to market by 45% if compared with common traditional practices.

Common mistakes

Too often, however, an effort to transform to an MBE is frustrated by isolated and unscalable solutions that pursue the implementation of certain digital technologies but fall far short of delivering value.

What is needed instead is a deeper understanding of the characteristics of a true MBE and the tools and approaches to transform the organization, processes, and data to an MBE and thrive in the marketplace.


Elements of a Model-Based Enterprise

Modeling in engineering is not new, but what’s emerging are MBEs that comprise digital models connected upstream and downstream over the entire product lifecycle, from a product’s conception and development through its production and end market installation and use.

At the heart of such MBEs are digital threads—integrated sets of processes executed within an interconnected technology ecosystem that drive the end-to-end product lifecycle and provide MBE data traceability front to back.

A digital thread in the MBE environment includes all of the process, data, and system capabilities that enable digital representations of the product lifecycle stages, or digital/virtual twins, of which there are three primary types:


  1. The Product Twin is a virtual or simulated representation of the product and each of its components and configurations. While most manufacturers manage engineering models with CAD/CAE solutions, just 15% use product digital twins. Leaders in this space have seized a competitive advantage in product development and accelerated engineering.
  2. The Process Twin is a model of the manufacturing equipment, processes, and the workforce required to carry out related operations. The process twin represents the operation of the physical factory floor and its assets, complete with workflows and instructions that describe how the manufacturing processes are performed. A process twin relies on data from the product twin and allows the enterprise to build according to a product plan and predict what may happen on the factory floor.
  3. After production, a Service/Maintenance Twin represents the installation, use, maintenance, and repair of each product operating in the end market. The service/maintenance twin is informed by product and process twins to facilitate adjustments and enhancements based on real-world data.

When the data that’s the backbone of these twins are standardized and fully integrated (digital thread), an organization has the ability to monitor and refine a product over the span of the thread while also injecting insights and improvements back into the thread.

While the manufacturing and product development benefits of an MBE may be clear, the path to becoming an MBE and achieving these benefits can be challenging.