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Jennifer Herron
Jennifer Herron
Jennifer Herron is the owner of Action Engineering, a company that specializes in the promotion, process development, and standardization of a 3D CAD Model-Based Environment. Her career has been spent creating and building complex hardware systems for the aerospace and defense industry, her … More »

Understanding the Hard Work of MBE

July 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Herron

Creating a Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) with Model-Based Engineering (also MBE) is no small task. When executed well, there is clearly a tangible benefit for small and large companies as well as government organizations.

By the way, there are at least three independent definitions for the three-letter-acronym (TLA) of MBE; here is my take on each of those definitions.

Model-Based Engineering (MBE)

Definition for MBEngineering

Definition for MBEngineering

Model-Based Enterprise (MBE)

Definition for MBEnterprise

Definition for MBEnterprise

Model-Based Environment (MBE)

Definition for MBEnvironment

Definition for MBEnvironment

To round out the conversation, here is a brief review of the elements of a Product Development Lifecycle:

  • Concept
  • Development
  • Production Design and Engineering
  • Analysis
  • Manufacturing
  • Inspection
  • Quality
  • Deployment/Sustainment
  • Retirement/Obsolescence

When implementing a Model-Based Environment (MBE) in your workplace, you will probably find it to be challenging, often overwhelming. Your brain will be swimming in the details of each software package that comprise the MBE. But is it worth it? Most definitely!

MBE drives clear communication of design intent to downstream processes, including manufacturing. However, don’t think you get there by flipping the MBE switch on your CAD software. This is a complex challenge, requiring an elegant, cross-functional, integrated organization, requiring that all stakeholders are accommodated within the new business practice.

What do you get out of it? Here are the three primary benefits identified when properly executed:

Collaboration: Clear, concise, exact communication of process design intent which facilitates sharing of the most critical information among the stakeholders responsible for design review, approval, sourcing and manufacture.

Efficiency: Provides a highly accountable framework for achieving consensus on the design itself, assuring the story will be told in the “least waste way” as it is previewed in 3D.

Adaptability: Data re-use possibilities are limitless and automatable.

How do you currently communicate your product design, either to your customer, manufacturer, or downstream supplier? There are ways that are fast, but end up costing tons of money during manufacture or service and put your business and product reputation at risk.

Proper product definition at an optimal level of detail throughout the lifecycle of a design is critical to your business success. The Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) should not ONLY be focused on fully dimensioned and annotated drawings (3D Drawings). Rather, I recommend a focus on higher return on investment data set types, Model-Only (no drawing graphics sheet) or Model (MASTER of Geometry) plus Drawing (MASTER for Notes, Tolerances and Partial Dimensions).

MBD Data Set Types to maximize Return-On-Investment (ROI)

ASME Y14.100 Classification Code 3: Model plus Drawing

ASME Y14.100 Classification Code 3: Model + Drawing

ASME Y14.100 Classification Code 3: Model + Drawing

ASME Y14.100 Classification Code 5: Model-Only


ASME Y14.100 Classification Code 5: Model-Only

If you are ready to tackle the beast, then here are helpful resources:

Upcoming Events:

Case Study Metrics:

Government Projects:

Training / Education / Books:


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