The adoption of Model-Based Definition supports efficiency on both the factory floor and in the front office. We know change is challenging and can be slow. We also know the overall positive impact that MBD will have on the future of manufacturing. For this blog, we sat down and interviewed CEO, Jennifer Herron where we learn the top six ways your business can improve when you implement MBD.
As a manufacturer, you have digital traceability from the engineering requirements through the inspection cycle and you are able to capture the results in a digital thread. You’ve got data elements all linked to one another that capture the engineering requirement and the measurement results, and then those can be leveraged out of the digital data. You can see the measurement results on a 3D model, and do a lot of statistical analysis on that 3D result data that you’re getting. And you’re doing it all in a standardized way because you’re utilizing the Quality Information Framework.
For a Production Part Approval Process, otherwise known as PPAP, we’re now able to match up the technology, digital encryption, and signatures of unique identifiers that go with one particular characteristic of a product. So, if you have the hole diameter that you’re trying to measure the clearance for and you need to make sure it’s a really good fit because it’s a sheer joint within your products, you are able to track that all digitally in a data set. You can look at the engineering requirements, then look at the measurement results altogether. And that’s what’s different about where you are today, from where the automotive industry has been. You’re actually putting the digital technology to connect this all together with the concepts of repeatability, process control, and good quality products.
QIF or Quality Information Framework is the standard that governs digital metrology data. So that means that there’s a framework, with plans, resources, rules, statistics, and more. There are categories of information, and then they come with XML schemas. The reason XML schemas are important is now you can map all this data from one system to another. If you’re using the QIF framework standard, then you’re able to persist data in a standardized way, which is particularly important for the supply chain because they need to see all the data in the same way, or else they’re in massive fire-fighting mode with constantly different data and then they’re having to implement different systems for different companies. If everybody is using the same standard, then it’s simpler and less costly for the suppliers to report back that information digitally.
There is so much variation in how people author drawings today. There’s variation in the individuals that create drawings, and then there are variations in the customization at every company that creates drawings. When you convert drawing documentation into model-based documentation you always have to convert everything into a rule-based authoring method. If there is a controlled radius on a part, it is always represented this way in Model-Based Definition.
Models improve the communications around connecting the engineering requirements to the quality plans and results. There is software available to automate those things so that it is not as complex as it is today with the drawing-based method. There’s no manual ballooning, the ballooning all happens automatically, and then you also get this digital traceability inside a navigable 3D model, so you can view the results as well as do some analysis on those results as well. If we look at it as standardization and a democratizing of the data and information, the opportunity is for the suppliers to be able to automate more of their ingestion of the data from whatever OEM they are receiving data from and turn it around faster.
Eventually, as the process progresses and as everybody has practiced the new ways, they won’t be doing a lot of repeat manual data entry, like they do today in a drawing. They can just import the data and then they can spend their time and efforts on the more complex pieces of their job as a supplier. Essentially, you’re really trying to remove the tedium of work for people and keep their jobs focused on doing the fun stuff. That’s sometimes very hard to see and to figure out because people are used to doing their jobs a certain way, so the process change is hard, but not impossible.