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Model-Based Definition: Take Your Engineering Processes to the 21st Century

Many aspects remain to be digitalized and some aren’t even digitized. Model-based definition is your key to resolving this problem from the ground up, as Rolf Schmitzer knows. The PLM expert advises leading businesses from the mid-scale supplier industry.

Lag-free, agile and connected: That’s how we picture a modern engineering workplace in cutting-edge tech sectors like automotive or mechanical engineering.

But so far, that image doesn’t reflect reality. Even today, only a few businesses and startups have installed a digital backbone that connects all the disciplines and is used to consistently generate, update and review product lifecycle Information.

Relics from the drawing-board era: 2D drawings as masters

One of the hurdles on the path to end-to-end engineering is the continued use of the paper-based 2D technical drawing to pass on data relevant to production, quality and function.

It remains the standard working tool even though it has a decisive drawback: It represents a media break vis a vis the 3D models used by CAD authoring systems to engineer components and assemblies.

As a deduction from the CAD 3D model, the drawing is already a simplified interpretation in itself. To use drawings, engineers have to “read” them and thereby interpret them once more.

If design guidelines are missing, too much depends on experience

The problem is compounded by the fact that design guidelines are often no longer up to date. In some instances, they doesn’t exist at all. The purpose of such guidelines is to define, in accordance with the relevant industry standards, how the respective business manages its technical product information. Without guidance, engineering experience becomes the only basis for value addition: If the engineers know their colleagues well, they are familiar with their peculiarities and understand their way of doing things. But then what happens when key employees leave the company?

For illustration, let’s assume that the tool shop does not correctly adopt the reference scheme that the designer has given the component – either because the specification is already incorrect in the 2D drawing or because it was misinterpreted. After a few processing steps using an incorrect tilt angle, the components have to either be discarded or elaborately retooled.


Read the full article about Model-Based Definition:Take Your Engineering Processes to the 21st Century in the CENIT Newsroom.

Responsible for the content of this press release: CENIT AG


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