Why 3D MBSE will be the standard for complex products

model-based system engineering

Why 3D MBSE will be the standard for complex products?

To engineer the modern large, complex, interdisciplinary systems-of-systems (SoS), the collaborative world teams must “speak” the same language and must work on the same system model. The model is the system model and the communication mechanisms are supported by standard, flexible, and friendly modeling languages. The evolving model-based systems engineering (MBSE) approach is leading the way and is expected to become a standard practice in the field of systems engineering (SE) in the next decade.

Until recently, the PLM Application and MBSE have been two independent approaches to product development, having evolved from different requirements.

Initially, Product Data Management (PDM) was introduced to handle product specifications like requirements documents and CAD files in terms of version management, change processes, and product configuration. 2D CAD models were usually just printed out and the drawing was stored in a cabinet. With the introduction of 3D CAD, there was the strong necessity to manage 3-dimensional CAD models virtually, which has become the heart of PDM systems.

PLM was the evolution of PDM to manage all information around a manufactured product throughout its lifecycle. Now, even more, virtual models covering new engineering aspects need to be managed – requiring even stronger model management capabilities.

PLM systems have followed a document-based approach as they‘ve handled documents and correlating metadata. Now PLM must include more structured information with meaning and follow a stronger model-based approach than previously.

Today’s PLM must itself be model-based.

This involves a major paradigm shift.

The Initial Driver of MBSE

The initial driver was product liability for MBE – It’s a single source of truth.

Legislation concerning product liability has imposed higher requirements in terms of product and process documentation. As a result, higher standards in quality assurance and in-process documentation have been adopted. This is one of the reasons why PLM systems have been introduced in many industries to handle all product-related information.

Future PLM systems need a holistic view of a product as a multidisciplinary system.

To meet the challenge, all information created during a product’s life cycle from conception to recycling must be properly managed in a common context. This is by no means true concerning today’s PLM because disparate work products from mechanical, electrical, and software engineering are handled without any notion of its logical interdependencies.

PLM systems claim to be the interdisciplinary backbone of modern virtual product development but are missing support for non-mechanical domains or multidisciplinary development. The overarching concept remains informal and is rarely documented adequately. However, complex products must be seen as multidisciplinary systems made of integrated and inter-connected work products of all involved disciplines.

Combine all of this with ECR & ETO environments and we have a very challenging, but essential model on our hands.


MBSE & the Product Innovation Platform

We have to use a collaborative PLM Product Innovation Platform to accelerate all aspects of developing complex systems. We use the power of 3d to simulate and validate the behavior of products and their embedded systems. The platform delivers an integrated MBSE environment.

It helps us deliver an engineered, high-fidelity digital replica that accurately predicts the product or system’s behavior through a 3D experience. Without this, we end up spending on expensive prototypes, or run the risk of none at all, leaving it to guesswork.

  1. In many industries, up to 80% of product innovations come from embedded systems. These systems can account for up to 20 to 40% of a product’s development costs and yet for more than 60% of the development time no real prototypes exist. When they do, they are both costly to produce and often incorrectly define, never mind often utilized in a sub-optimum way.
  2. Less than 10% of systems engineers typically get validation time with these prototypes resulting in the late discovery of system errors that are often caused by systems architecture choices not being validated until late in the design process. This results in system elements not behaving as expected when they are integrated with other systems in the overall product.
  3. This complexity when coupled with the ever-increasing requirements to comply with stringent regulatory and industry standards results in more than 40% of projects being delivered late or even failing altogether, care of poor management, and traceability of system requirements.
  4. These problems are caused by engineers using a multitude of disconnected systems engineering tools that can create thousands of different models of the system being developed and with each tool having its view or model of the system. These individual models are largely disconnected from each other as they are authored and managed by different legacy and proprietary tools.

All of this makes it difficult to build a complete and consistent system view that integrates multiple engineering disciplines.

It makes it extremely complex and costly to model and simulates the behavior of systems in the context of a complete product – the business impact of these issues is increasingly serious:

  • Programs are delayed.
  • Products are poorly integrated.
  • With suboptimal system design.
  • Engineering costs are inflated by unsynchronized and duplicated development efforts.

It’s getting worse as product complexity and demands for variants (e.g., personalization) increase it becomes more difficult to master and optimize the development at birth.

This often results in duplicated data.

This data becomes difficult to manage across all program options and variants.


MBSE Environment

What’s needed to address these challenges is an integrated MBSE environment that drives the creation and management of digital replicas of existing or future systems to accurately capture and predict their behavior.

We create these 3d experiences by using an open development environment that brings all engineering disciplines together to collaborate define and share a common consistent system’s definition – a definition we use to model and simulate the behavior of systems in the context of a complete product and its environment. It’s just like in real life.

We address these challenges with a collaborative and open 3d experience platform for MBSE.

This platform enables users to design and experience the products and systems through a continuous engineering development process.

Let’s take a look at what we mean by 3d experience in the context of systems engineering.


Model-Based 3D Systems Engineering

We provide an end-to-end solution with digital continuity to design complex products and systems. We start from their planned usage through to the design and implementation. We optimize, verify and validate these systems through virtual simulation at the conceptual design stage reducing the need for physical prototypes.

The closed-loop digital continuity between design and validation improves engineering productivity and delivers improved product quality.

This 3d Product Innovation Platform is an open environment that can be used in conjunction with your existing tools and adapted to suit your processes. It comprises a set of integrated applications that covers:

  • Systems architecture and requirements define and compose the system by considering multiple viewpoints through a set of integrated requirements and architectural models.
  • Systems embedded architecture to define manage and implement complete embedded architectures with electronic and electrical components and their interfaces.
  • The embedded software solution includes AUTOSAR builder a rich toolset for developing AUTOSAR compliant embedded systems for the automotive and construction equipment industries and Control Build – a rich solution that accelerates the design development and validation of control systems that comply with industry and regulatory standards, for the train, railway, process, energy, and plant automation industries.
  • Mechatronic systems behavior modeling, using open standards – Modelica and functional mock-up interfaces, where we simulate the system definition to predict and validate upfront the system behavior.
  • Electrical systems that define the wire harness and cable systems are needed to provide the electrical interconnect between the different electrical components system control units sensors and actuators within the product.
  • Fluid systems to define the tubing piping and ducting systems required to provide the necessary hydraulic pneumatic and fluid transfer capabilities needed by the product and
  • Mechanical systems to define and simulate the realistic motion of complex mechanical systems by considering the influence of kinematic mechanisms and the underlying forces caused by mass and gravity.

We manage the creation and lifecycle of all these system assets through a rich collaborative framework that supports the creation sharing and reuse of information.


3D Product Innovation Platform

The 3d Product Innovation Platform:

  • Accelerates time to value by delivering powerful cross-discipline collaboration capabilities that spans all stages of the system’s definition design simulation and validation processes through powerful services for social collaboration.
  • Visualization and content management and provides a scalable solution capable of supporting system development in the smallest to the largest and most complex engineering projects.
  • Delivering Program and Lifecycle Management with configuration and change management of all assets and management of product lines and use powerful tools to manage and document compliance with industry and regulatory standards.
  • It integrates programs and earns value management directly within the systems design environment with task status collection and budget allocation and usage becoming a natural part of the design process itself.
  • Collecting information passively throughout the design process provides decision-makers with real-time assessments and gives increased confidence in the information.
  • The platform provides full traceability of information relationships across all models with a unified change in the configuration management process that enables early visibility of the impact of changes on all data consumers.
  • Including across the supply chain all in the context of a configured systems definition.
  • Designing systems in a configured context means that we design the Master System and all its variants simultaneously.
  • We develop a single standardized platform for all product lines with functional and physical variants based on customer and market needs.
  • By reducing the number of explicit system definitions we reduce the number of definition assets the duplication and number of tests and increased system asset reuse across multiple product options and programs.
  • A good Product Innovation Platform also helps you manage and demonstrate compliance with systems requirements and Industry-specific standards and regulations such as those demanded by FAA, FDA, or international standards organizations. Using powerful dashboarding traceability and analysis capabilities across more than 60 systems engineering tools it’s possible to assess the completeness of requirements coverage and impact of system changes across all engineering data at both the project and the program level.


Enter the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

What sets this solution apart is the fact that all applications within the 3d experience platform share an open and extensible common data model and repository to deliver a consistent view of information across all engineering disciplines and applications.

The platform supports multiple open standards including:

  • The Open Codex of PLM openness – an initiative to establish the openness of IT systems in the context of PLM between customers tool vendors and service providers
  • Modelica – a standard open and object-oriented language for modeling and simulation of multi-domain physical systems
  • Functional mock-up interface a tool independent standard to support both model exchange and co-simulation of dynamic systems models.
  • AUTOSAR an open and standardized automotive software architecture that enables the development and reuse of automotive software components and,
  • Finally OSLC – an open service for lifecycle collaboration a set of specifications that enables integration of PLM ALM and IT software.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is built on an open and extendable common data model and repository that provides a single source of truth to ensure all stakeholders always work with the same systems definition design and simulation data.

It protects your existing investment in tools and processes through standards-based integration and sharing of information across common systems engineering tools

In addition, it enables you to quickly and easily get real business intelligence from the huge volume of distributed and fragmented systems information through powerful big data monitoring, Federation and analytic capabilities access to rich user-definable dashboards.


Accelerate your Design

Model-Based Systems Engineering is a powerful approach to improve and shorten systems development. It has been shown that the time to market is reduced and competitive advantage can be achieved.

There is a strong correlation between better systems engineering and shorter delivery times. Leading companies using MBSE reach their targets for quality, cost, time to market, and sales in 84% of their development projects. The ideal amount of effort for MBSE is about 14% of the project volume.



This investment pays off: A return on investment (ROI) of 3.5:1 was confirmed in a recent study of executed projects.

Check out Catia NoMagic and the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform that delivers an open and powerful model-based system engineering development platform, integrating all engineering disciplines through the definition of multiple system views in a continuous engineering environment that can be adapted to your specific systems engineering methodologies.

An environment that can manage and analyze large amounts of data and enable the translation of this data into innovative system designs through collaboration with partners and suppliers that accelerate the development of validation systems through rich 3d experiences and transform the way organizations define, model, simulate and validate complex systems.