When perfect, responsible manufacturing is life or death, Digital Engineering is the way to go

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on May 17, 2022

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For decades, digital technology has simplified analog processes, making complex activities easier, quicker, more intuitive, and even automated. The contemporary automobile is the epitome of this concept. Cars built in the last few decades are more than just automobiles; they’re a collection of digital processes capable of regulating fuel consumption, detecting areas of risk, determining when the vehicle is approaching a collision, and ensuring the driver doesn’t unintentionally drift out of their lane.

These cars’ array of sensors and actuators, cameras, radar, lidar, and integrated computer subsystems must function flawlessly to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers. Different engineering teams or businesses are frequently involved in the development of these extremely complicated systems. Bugs might go unreported until the model is shipped if correct development methods are not followed. It is a matter of life and death for automakers to ensure that their systems are secure.

A carmaker faces an obvious issue if a defect in self-driving technology is discovered after the model has been sold. There isn’t enough time to contact dealers, email drivers, or put up billboards announcing the problem. The problem must be resolved right away, or the automobile maker would suffer irreparable damage. If the computer system was built on a solid digital engineering basis, the manufacturer might quickly correct the problem by sending out a “cloud burst” that updated every car on the network before the defect became dangerous.

Complex, high-stakes development is made possible by digital product engineering

The purpose of digital engineering is to not only eliminate problems in every outgoing vehicle but also to provide a development environment that allows flaws to be rectified swiftly and securely once they are discovered. Companies should adopt digital product engineering and digital thread technology to achieve this. A digital thread is an engineering technique that allows the development of a product to be tracked digitally upstream and downstream throughout its lifespan.

Businesses have been employing computers to automate shipping, supply, and warehousing operations since the invention of digital technology. Businesses are bringing the same ideas of automation to the development process as the capacity of that technology grows.

Businesses may now easily construct a digital repository that stakeholders can collaborate on or view. Updates to the product are made from that single location, guaranteeing that everyone has access to the most recent version.

Digital product engineering is a dynamic process that enterprises must strive toward in order to make the world a safer and more secure place. The Department of Defense of the United States has mandated in its digital engineering policy that any subcontractors with whom they engage must adopt digital engineering methods to assure transparency, safety, and accountability for their high-tech defense equipment.

Digital engineering is a comprehensive, data-first approach to the end-to-end design of complex systems at its most basic level. Models and data may be utilized and shared throughout the product development process, rather than relying on conventional document-based techniques. The goal is to formalize system development and integration, provide a single authoritative source of truth, improve engineering through technological innovation, and create supporting engineering infrastructure to make development, collaboration, and communication across teams and disciplines easier.

Users may utilize Digital Thread to create a logic trail for tracking data across the lifecycle or ecosystem of a system. Engineering teams may better understand the impact of design changes, as well as manage requirements, design, implementation, and verification, by pulling on the digital thread. This feature is important for monitoring regulatory and compliance requirements properly, reporting development progress, and fast responding to product recalls and quality concerns. A digital thread plays an important role in digital engineering by linking engineering data to relevant processes and people. A digital thread, on the other hand, is a process that must be built from the ground up.

The IBM digital engineering solution

IBM® Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) may help your business take the next step toward digital engineering transformation by providing the perfect foundation. ELM is based on the digital thread concept from the ground up. One lifecycle application, such as downstream software, electronics, and mechanical domain applications, smoothly communicates engineering data with each other. For both internal and external information interchange, ELM uses the W3C linked data strategy using Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) adapters, which is the same approach used to easily integrate online applications across industries.

OSLC is used by ELM to link data and processes across the engineering lifecycle. Engineering teams may avoid the complexities of designing and maintaining proprietary point-to-point integrations by allowing this standards-based integration architecture.

Lumen Freedom, a maker of wireless charging systems for electric vehicles, promises to provide electric vehicle drivers an untethered world. Lumen’s design management got increasingly complicated and challenging to handle as it developed this innovation. Lumen used ELM’s digital engineering lifecycle management solutions to improve its product development goals by capturing, tracking, and analyzing mechanical, hardware, and software requirements across the whole product development process. “We picked IBM for our preferred toolchain since DOORS® Next and ELM are virtually standards in the automotive sector,” explains David Eliott, Systems Architect at Lumen Freedom.

ELM enables data continuity and traceability inside integrated processes by maintaining a connected data foundation for digital engineering. Engineering teams may set a uniform baseline and provide central analytics and reporting components with global data configuration. ELM ensures data integrity while also offering an automatic audit trail, making digital evidence easy to obtain for regulatory compliance.


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