MBE Benefits

What are the benefits of MBE and how are they achieved? It all starts when the Model Based Definition is created at the beginning of the lifecycle and then is reused throughout the enterprise, thus creating the Model Based Enterprise. We have created a page explaining the unique benefits of Model Based Enterprise as they pertain to various partners.

Benefits to SME- Small Manufacturing Enterprise

How will MBE affect small and medium sized businesses? A model contains everything that is in a drawing plus STEP files for use in CNC machines.

MBE and Supply Chain

State of the Industry
  • Suppliers receive TDPs in the form of 2D drawings and in some cases a neutral file
  • Delivery of the TDP is typically by fax or FTP site with little control
  • Most small companies have limited exposure to high-end CAD or native CAD models

In response to the current state of the industry in MBE and the Supply Chain, the following MBE projects are underway.

Current MBE projects

  • Survey of 1,020 supplier’s ability and willingness to use MBE data (NIST MEP)
  • Pilot program with 3 suppliers to validate MBE benefits
  • Define the basic MBE delivery package and methodology for the supply chain
  • Prototype a full function and controlled supplier portal for MBE data
  • The key to reuse of MBE data in the supply chain is effective delivery

Benefits to OEM- Original Equipment Manufacturers

How will MBE affect large companies including defense contractors?

MBE for Design and Production

State of the Industry

  • Drawings are Model Centric (driven by the model but still 2D)
  • Drawings are considered the master
  • Models are recreated for production
  • Currently design groups are not generating data for easy consumption by production

In response to the current state of the industry in MBE for Design and Production, the following MBE projects are underway.

Current MBE Projects

  • Refinement of the 3D annotated model schema (Army)
  • X6 MBE Demonstrator (Army)
  • Technical Data Package Definition (OSD)
  • Certification of MBD data and the Product Master (OSD)

MBE and Tech Pubs

State of the Industry

  • Illustrations are recreated based off of old design data or created from scratch
  • Tech manuals are 2D based with limited 3D content
  • Tech manuals are a serial process often started long after delivery has begun

In response to the current state of the industry in MBE and Tech Pubs, the following MBE projects are underway.

Current MBE projects

  • Reuse MBE data for AVIs in technical pubs and manuals
  • Gap analysis and roadmap for implementing new technology based on the 3D model
  • Demo pubs in compliance with S1000D
  • The current practices limit the reuse of MBE data

Benefits to DoD Buyers

What benefits will the DoD receive from using MBE? Below are a few examples.

MBE in Depots

State of the Industry

  • Typically the depots receive only limited 2D TDPs at best – many times nothing
  • Work instructions are paper based with pictures of disassembled hardware
  • There is typically no PLM and limited ERP

In response to the current state of the industry in MBE and Depots, the following MBE projects are underway.

Current MBE projects

  • Digital depot activities are currently being piloted at RRAD, LEAD
  • Currently organizing a depot summit
  • Establishing a virtual manufacturing lab at NIST Gaithersburg (OSD)
  • Working with Adobe and EOS to perfect lightweight .pdf work instructions
  • Depots are one of the biggest potential users of MBE data

Process planning at the depots

  • Using outdated methods
  • Same planning methods that were used 50 years ago
  • Disassemble and reassemble vehicles while documenting the processes
  • Best guess efforts usually require re-thinking to implement best solution

MBE Methods for Process Planning

  • Prior to initial production start
  • Process plans without first article
  • Optimize layout
  • Optimize factory flow
  • Create work instructions
  • Simulate and prove out in pixels rather than in brick and mortar
  • Complete multiple simulation scenarios in order to determine best possible processes

Army digital depot MBE transitioned to RRAD

  • Digital depot project started 2007
  • MBE basics (CAD modeling)
  • Manufacturing process definition
  • Factory flow simulation
  • Create work instructions


State of DoD

  • Typically DLA receives little to no product definition
  • Type 2 NSNs only reference a part number
  • Many legacy TDPs are 20, 30 or even 40+ years old
  • No process definition is received

In response to the current state of the industry in MBE and DLA, the following MBE projects are underway.

Current MBE projects

  • Need to rework policies and practices so that DLA/DoD will get required data
  • Long term data retention is a key factor for re-use of MBD data
  • Picatinny is currently prototyping a re-mastering process for legacy systems to produce required data

OSD digital depot planned activities 2010 and beyond

  • 2010 – choose and execute OSD depot project based on successes at RRAD, LEAD and pilot case defined in 2009
  • Beyond 2010 – provide capability to other OSD depots
  • GAO-06-839 DoD should strengthen policies for addressing technical data needs to support weapon systems.

MBE Benefits Menu