This year’s Zuken Innovation World Americas (ZIW) will be a bit different from past events with a focus on Digital Engineering. With the pending acquisition of Vitech Corporation, a Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) company, Zuken has begun the digital transformation journey. If you are curious about what that means, ZIW Americas is where you want to be this year to learn more.
Product complexity is driving the need for better product requirement and hardware architecture definition in the form of Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE). MBSE is becoming the new starting point for product development. For example, a requirement for a braking system is a stopping distance of 300 feet at 60 mph. MBSE provides the product model but it needs to be realized in the form of enclosures, wires, PCBs, screws, etc. Realizing the MBSE design begins with architecture optimization – another new design phase. When entering detailed design, a poor architecture will result in a poor product.
Systems Engineering has been around for a while, but the practice of model-based systems engineering is gaining adoption in many business sectors. Some engineering teams are practicing MBSE, while others are moving more slowly toward adoption. With this in mind, Enrique offered his perspective on how the field has developed to the current day, and hinted at how he saw the future. Let me share some of my takeaways with you.
This is an exciting time in the product development world. Increasing product complexity is driving the need for a design process evolution. Not long ago the detailed design process was the centerpiece of product development. But the need for functional and physical design accuracy is forcing the product development process to evolve. In response, the product development process is both converging and expanding.
The traditional PCB-centric design process is being replaced by a system-centric process. The system can be defined as the final product (e.g., camera) or one of the many components that comprise a product (e.g., 1 of 80 electronic control units in a car). Product complexity is driving this profound shift away from a focus on detailed design toward a systems engineering approach.
The basic detailed design to manufacturing process isn’t cutting it. So while detailed design is converging, the design process is expanding.