Amid an evolving and increasingly complex production landscape, organizations are constantly seeking opportunities to save time and money. A recent Lifecycle Insights report on Systems Lifecycle Management (SysLM) explores how systems engineering approaches, including model-based systems engineering (MBSE) and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, have helped organizations better manage more complex product development. Two of the key benefits of implementing MBSE and PLM integration alongside one another are enhanced detailed design traceability and simulation traceability. As a result of these and other benefits, organizations are better able to design high-quality products, meet tight deadlines, and stay within budget. 

Traceability, a significant benefit of SysLM, provides insight into where, why, when, and how changes occurred—and how they may impact the rest of the system. By providing this kind of enhanced visibility, stakeholders can understand both the alterations and their intent as they do their own work. This level of oversight results in fewer errors or failures that must be addressed—and a decreased risk of increased costs or schedule delays.

Increased connection with detailed design traceability 

Far too often, MBSE models are completely disconnected from the logical and physical representations of detailed designs. This disconnect makes it difficult to keep track of and integrate necessary changes and updates because it results in no notifications or visibility into tactical design changes. Fortunately, it is possible to overcome MBSE and detailed design disconnects through integration. 

When MBSE models are connected with PLM platforms, engineers can leverage tools and guidance for more efficient roll-outs. Integrating PLM allows detailed design teams to connect everything, stitching together requirements all the way down to detailed design artifacts. The synergy gained through SysLM is powerfully extended with this design traceability. SysLM allows any development stakeholder to identify, collaborate around, and resolve issues before they bloom into significant problems.

Additionally, integrating MBSE with PLM allows organizations to easily verify allocations from requirements and functions and ensure they line up with physical items. SysLM can provide guidelines, checklists, and tools for more efficient roll-out, which can help organizations avoid major downtime while supporting long-term success for the business. Thanks to SysLM’s completeness and continuity, stakeholders can ensure that each and every requirement has been met—and implemented in a manner that is consistent with the overarching systems model. As a result, organizations can rest easy knowing they have a well-established deployment process that will enable more effective operations and maintenance through expanded monitoring, performance optimization, and incident management capabilities. .

In addition to helping organizations manage the deployment process and operational functions, SysLM enables the smooth retirement of older systems when leveraged in a production environment. This creates a productive and progressive working environment where old systems can be retired once they’ve outlived their usefulness, and organizations can smoothly transition to the next generation of tools and systems. In a rapidly changing environment, this benefit is critical to organizations staying on time and on budget throughout a product’s lifecycle.

Enhanced visibility and access with simulation traceability 

Simulation is a powerful tool that can validate the behavior and performance of product designs with a reduced need for physical prototypes. By creating a virtual representation of the system, engineers can test the effectiveness of different design alternatives, identify potential issues, and validate performance before investing in physical prototypes. Across every industry, increasing levels of complexity in modern products are driving the need for more versatile and robust simulation opportunities. SysLM offers organizations significant value by increasing visibility into simulation models and access to simulation data.

Much like traceability in detailed design, there is often a disconnect between an organization’s simulations and MBSE models—which means there is a breakdown in the visibility from one to the other. This makes it harder to validate requirements satisfaction, performance, and behaviors before moving to physical prototyping. Without the ability to validate these requirements, organizations can waste significant time and money on rework. Additionally, engineers across different design domains have difficulty gaining full value from simulation results (or possibly misinterpreting them) when MBSE models, and the critical information contained within them, are disconnected. 

The benefit of SysLM to simulation traceability is that it provides a means to connect aspects of MBSE models directly to simulation models, setups, and results. This integration allows for a clear one-to-one connection, and provides visibility and accessibility to all stakeholders. When organizations are able to connect MBSE models with their simulation models, they can standardize and measure requirements validation, often in an automatic manner. The ability to connect and automate digital verification all the way back to requirements defined in MBSE models results in increased capacity and functionality, which offer significant benefits to product development and manufacturing organizations. 

Interested in learning more about Systems Lifecycle Management? Please contact us. 

Lifecycle Insights is a trusted research, advisory, and publishing firm providing data-driven insights. We publish research, educational, and advisory insights on technology-led engineering initiatives, enabling better investment and adoption decisions. In addition, we work with companies to provide services for initiative decision-making, campaign content, go-to-market strategy, and product strategy.