What Manufacturers Should Know Before Embarking On Their Model-Based Enterprise Journey

Naveen Poonian is the president and CEO of iBASEt, digitally transforming how complex products are built and maintained.

America’s aerospace industries, which have products both complex and costly, have pioneered the implementation of an emerging manufacturing system created to reduce costs, shorten delivery times and improve overall business performance. However, it is also a pattern that can be applied to industries outside of defense.

The foundation of that system, known as a model-based enterprise (MBE), is predicated on engineers designing a single, exquisitely detailed, 3-D CAD model of the finished product. These model-based definitions (MBDs) are fully annotated from the outset, and those annotations address every aspect of the product’s lifecycle, serving to guide each downstream phase of the manufacturing process as well as the product’s commissioning, operating, servicing and ultimate decommissioning.

An enterprise that uses MBDs to drive multiple aspects of its operations can call itself an MBE. Many manufacturers look at MBE as an integral part of their digital transformation strategy with the potential to help them become more competitive and responsive to market fluctuations and more resilient in the face of seemingly constant disruptions.

Digitally Transformed

One common source of misunderstanding involving MBEs is that they are a subset of the larger digital transformation movement taking place throughout the business world. They are among the current wave of recent technology acronyms and process terms that include 5G, the Internet of Things, mobile edge computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, digital twinning, robotics and much more—all of which are touted as key to digitizing manufacturing industries and commerce. However, depending on the company and its products, many of those same tools can also become elements of an MBE strategy; that can get confusing.

What’s important to keep in mind is that transitioning from a

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