Digital Thread in Manufacturing

Manufacturing has tended to approach systems engineering from two perspectives

    • Treating the manufacturing facility or production line as a system itself, particularly as the production line becomes a networked “Internet-of-Things”,
  • Integrating product information more tightly into production planning and execution.

Intercax is working with multiple customers on MBSE-based Manufacturing to develop methods and standards that support validating, certifying, and connecting engineering models across the lifecycle of a product to enable continuous analysis, seamless design-manufacturing transition, high-quality manufacturing, and knowledge reuse. These methods and standards will improve product quality and reduce time-to-market and cost for manufacturers.


    • Digital system models must cross domain and tool boundaries, from PLM/CAD and ALM to CAE/simulation and CAM
    • Supply chains extending over multiple organizations and multi-vendor tool environments are the norm
  • Rapid real-time feedback and reconfiguration is critical to respond to market and mission changes

How Intercax Can Help

A key capability needed for MBSE-based Manufacturing is a handler system that provides services to (1) connect to a wide range of enterprise repositories where models are version managed, (2) search and query versioned models in repositories, (3) subscribe and track model elements, and (4) visualize and trace connected models

Intercax has developed Syndeia, a platform for MBE/MBSE, that provides capabilities to: (1) connect to enterprise PLM (Windchill, Teamcenter), ALM (GitHub, JIRA), databases (MySQL), requirements management (DOORS-NG), and other version-managed systems; (2) query and search models, such as bill-of-materials, requirement structures, CAD (NX, Creo), database tables and records; (3) generate, connect, compare, and sync models, such as system architecture (SysML) to/from PLM bill-of-materials, Simulink, Database/Excel; and (4) visualize all model-based connections using interactive charts.

SysML Parametric Solvers connect architecture with analysis for calculating time, cost and throughput for manufacturing systems, by managing SysML parametric networks and solving them using math and simulations engines such as Mathematica, MATLAB, and OpenModelica. Commercial products are offered for all four major SysML modeling environments—ParaMagic® (for MagicDraw), Melody™ (for Rational Rhapsody), Solvea™ (for Enterprise Architect), and ParaSolver™ (for Artisan Studio).


Intercax Case Studies

Intercax has worked with a number of government and industrial partners to demonstrate the power of MBE / MBSE in engineering and manufacturing complex systems.  Two notable projects were:

  • Manufacturing Capability Modeling Environment

This project was carried out as part of a vehicle manufacturing program, where Intercax and its collaborators built a library of manufacturing resources (machines, tools, fixtures) and unit processes, with the capability of using the data within that library to populate and evaluate prospective manufacturing processes for armored vehicles. This system was named MACME, the Manufacturing Capability Modeling, Analysis, and Optimization Environment. As shown in the figure below, MACME was developed to support the design and management of manufacturing model libraries (M-Libraries) for the project.

  • Supply Chain Modeling and Simulation

Advanced MBSE techniques are equally applicable to complex supply chain analysis.  In a project for an energy equipment manufacturer, a supply chain SysML reference model, as shown in the figure above, was populated with over 100 suppliers, components and installation sites and used to evaluate transportation costs, local content and supply chain vulnerability as a function of alternative supplier choices.