How the Government Uses Your Delivered Data


How the Government Uses Your Delivered Data

The effect of the evolution from drawing based to product data based technical data on the DoD supply chain.

The vast majority of technical data is transmitted between government and industry as drawings and associated lists. But this practice is beginning to change largely because the state of the practice to create and consume technical data is changing. For years, the level of dependence on a digital thread enabled model based environment has been quietly increasing. The model based environment, more specifically the concept of the model based definition, has recently become more visible due to the explosion of the use of additive manufacturing. Policy makers are beginning to realize that the availability of model based technical data is an absolute necessity to support advanced manufacturing technologies. But model based technical data is not limited to manufacturing. The scope of this technical data includes information that can be used to support configuration management, acquisition, provisioning, sustainment, operations, and the entire spectrum of lifecycle activities. The days of generating static documentation to communicate information across lifecycle phases within an enterprise is coming to an end. It makes sense that model based engineering technologies should be leveraged to the maximum extent possible to facilitate the exchange of information across enterprise boundaries. It not only makes sense but is a fundamental technology necessary to enable the vision presented in the recently released Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering Digital Engineering Strategy. The technology is an issue, the culture is the concern.


Ben Kassel
LMI MBE Technical Authority

Ben Kassel began his career at the David W. Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center as a mechanical design engineer. Since graduating from the University of Maine in 1981 with a BS in mechanical engineering, he has worked with 3D CAD as a user, system manager, and applications developer in mechanical engineering and early stage ship design. In 2001, he received an MS in computer systems management from the University of Maryland. Ben’s current efforts focus on the development of digital thread technologies that will enable the model-based environment. He has been involved in the digital transfer of drawings and product models; worked with the development of CAD specifications and benchmarks; served as a technical advisor to various government panels evaluating the use of CAD, product model technology, and digital data exchange in the marine industry; participated in the National Shipbuilding Research Program at both a managerial and technical level; represented the interests of the Naval Sea Systems Command in the DoD Mantech Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise subpanel; and been responsible for the implementation of CAD in several Navy programs. In 2008 the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers awarded him (and Ted Briggs of Intergraph Corp.) the Elmer L. Hann Award for the paper, “An Alternate Approach to the Exchange of Ship Product Model Data.” Ben’s wife, Donna, a registered nurse, is currently involved in nursing informatics, and his greatest creation, Abigail, a high school senior and avid figure skater has attained Bronze level in ice dance.

3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress

The 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress (3D CIC) focuses on 3D CAD collaboration and interoperability for the entire product lifecycle. The 2018 theme of Enterprise Accountability will bring together real users to share experiences and learn about the topics of Culture & Champions, Quality, and Manufacturing. 3D CIC 2018 will be held October 15-18, 2018 at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado. Find out more and register at

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