Digital Engineering - Zuken America's

Product Complexity is Driving Digital Engineering

In our industry, Digital Engineering is transitioning from a document-based design to a model-based design process. Product models are built upon relationships containing architecture, behavior, requirements, and verification. Sometimes, the model is referred to as the single source of truth. As products and their operating environments become more complex, creating and managing the necessary documents becomes unmanageable, leading to critical design flaws.

Digital Engineering for Product Development

Benefits of Digital Engineering

Fewer design errors. Replacing documents with a model creates a more rigorous product ecosystem definition.

Manage complexity. Creating a product ecosystem definition is a new challenge. Model-based definitions enable expanded product boundaries for complex systems.

Better collaboration. The product ecosystem model is shared and utilized by the entire design and test teams.

Traceability. Combining the model with the Digital Thread provides traceability eliminating the “how did we get here” experience.

Building Products with Digital Engineering

Deploying a Digital Engineering solution is more than adding a new tool. A digital thread is defined and deployed to enable communication and traceability throughout the organization and the development process. The model must be relevant from design to manufacturing. Therefore, to deploy a solution, there must be model access and compliance.

Digital Engineering Fundamentals

Architecture-Driven Engineering (ADE)

ADE is a model-based approach to product definition, with the result being a realizable architecture for implementation.

Model-Based Engineering (MBE)

MBE is the detailed design phase that begins with a validated model. The model produced by ADE becomes the driving force for detailed design.

Smart Manufacturing

Technologies and data comprise the smart manufacturing ecosystem. MBE generates standards-based data to feed the manufacturing process.

Architecture-Driven Engineering (ADE)

As product ecosystems become more complex, getting the architecture correct is more critical than ever.  Architecture-Driven Engineering (ADE) focuses on creating the model with architecture optimization and verification before entering detailed design.  A poorly architected product can not be “fixed” in detailed design.

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Architecture-Driven Engineering (ADE)

Model-Based Engineering (MBE)

Model-Based Engineering (MBE)

Model-Based Engineering is the development phase of the Digital Engineering process.  MBE utilizes the product model to drive the detailed design disciplines.  The model and its artifacts replace documents to define electrical, electronic, mechanical, and software implementation.

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Digital Thread

The Digital Thread is an essential part of a successful Digital Engineering process.  Emails and documents can no longer capture all the conversations in today’s complex product development process.  Conversations must become digital conversations that are easily shared, recorded and traceable across procurement, design, manufacturing, and field service.

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Zuken Americas Digital Thread

Smart Manufacturing

Connected Manufacturing

Data drives Smart Manufacturing. Digital Engineering replaces documents with standard-based information. An MBE process generates standards-based outputs for PCB fabrication, wire cutters machines, cable testers that improve manufacturing efficiencies.

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Product Compliance

Design verification throughout the ADE and MBE process ensures the implementation is consistent with the model. As products become more complex, it is easy for the implementation to diverge from the product specifications. MBE provides for Verification Requirements at specific design phases called Verification Events.

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Design Verification

Digital Engineering Process

The process is based on a model built upon relationships. The model replaces a document-based design. The model is typically created by the Systems Engineering team who converts system purpose into structure, behavior, and requirements.  The model is considered the single source of truth.

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The model must remain relevant throughout the product life cycle. This is one of today’s biggest challenges. The model typically becomes a Systems Engineering artifact and has limited use through the development and manufacturing process.  A Digital Engineering process keeps the model relevant through the product life cycle and operates as a single source of truth.

For the purpose of realizing the model in the electrical and electronic domains, the model must be decomposed into E/E subsystems. These subsystems are further decomposed into functional elements as Electronic Control Units (ECU), sensors, busses, and connections.

Realizing the model in the electrical and electronic domain requires a logical structure of design elements with the associated behavior and requirements. Model creation can be done with Vitech’s GENESYS product with the appropriate guidelines for model content.  For instance, the model does not typically contain specific component identification such as part numbers.

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When the design transitions from System Engineering to the implementation team, a design envelope must be clearly defined. The design team then knows what are the acceptable parameters in terms of cost, weight, size, power, etc.

Architecture verification is a design step prior to a detailed design where a partial detailed design is used to verify model requirements that can be met at high confidence. If a requirement can not be met at this phase, Systems Engineering must alter the model in the context of the entire system to enable a realizable implementation of the mode.

Once the design is verified at the architecture level meaning the verification requirements are met with high confidence, the design can move to detailed design. At this point domain-specific electronic and electrical design practices and tools are used to design a manufacturable product.  Learn more about transitioning to electrical design.

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The model must remain relevant through the product development process. This is accomplished through verification gates which are comprised of a set of verification requirements. The design can not proceed to the next development phase until the gate requirements are satisfied.  This ensures the product is consistent with the model.

As the design moves through each verification gate, the model must be updated to reflect the verification requirement status. This allows Systems Engineering to monitor the design progress in terms of meeting verification requirements. As the design progresses through the implementation process, Systems Engineering has a window into its model consistency.

Throughout the Digital Engineering process, discussions that lead to decisions must be recorded and retained for traceability. The Digital Thread provides the mechanism to hold those critical digital conversations.

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A Digital Engineering Approach for Electrical & Electronic Design

E3.GENESYS Connector White Paper
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