NIST/MBE Summit 2017 Wrap Up

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) hosted the Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) Summit on April 3-6, 2017 in Gaithersburg, MD. Having attended several MBE Summits while working for the Navy and two since working for the 3D PDF Consortium, I have witnessed a lot of excitement brewing for MBE and the enthusiasm bodes well for 3D PDF. This year’s MBE Summit was a great example of this. 3D PDF is getting a lot of traction at the Department of Defense (DoD) and other government agencies, as well as private companies if the presentations at the MBE Summit 2017 are any indication. As shown in the summary slide from the Summit, PDF ranked very high in the number of times used in presentations, more so than any other publishing/MBE format. As the representative of the 3D PDF Consortium, I presented Best Practices for Creating MIL-STD-31000 Technical Data Packages (TDPs) using 3D PDF and STEP, which was based on work of the 3D PDF Implementor Forum. The session was well attended and very interactive at the conclusion of the presentation. Many of the other speakers discussed how 3D PDF is being used and some interesting ideas were introduced including “3Di PDF”, which refers to “3D intelligent PDF”, a term used by one of the speakers. Other takeaways from the Summit include: There appears to be universal acceptance in the use of 3D PDF files to transmit TDP’s throughout the DoD. The numerous presentations on various topics provided a great snapshot of the current successes of MBE and a glimpse of the future of MBE. Presentations have progressed to the point...

3D PDF on the Front Line: A Review of the NIST MBE Summit 2016

As an attendee of every NIST MBE Summit ever held, a couple of things stood out to me about this year’s conference.  The summit began with a request for all first-time attendees to raise their hands. Over half of the people did so, demonstrating the fast expansion of MBE to new people and new companies. This was made continually evident throughout all the presentations. One presentation polled its attendees, asking if they had ever seen a 3D PDF before, and the response?  Every single attendee had seen one. This poll alone showed the tremendous exposure that 3D PDF has gained in only a few years. The presentation I found most interesting was from Tom Parks of LMI, on the status of using 3D PDF to transmit Technical Data Packages (TDPs) for DLA. LMI is beginning a trial where TDP’s will be delivered to three companies as 3D PDF files embedded with STEP files, without drawings. If the trials go well, 3D PDF usage for the delivery of TDP’s will be expanded. As an employee of PROSTEP, I really enjoyed seeing STEP files being used with 3D PDF for TDP’s, since this is something we specialize in. The high level of exposure for 3D PDF at the MBE Summit was extremely exciting for everyone involved with 3D PDF, especially the members of the 3D PDF Consortium.  In addition to PROSTEP, several other Consortium members took part in this summit, including ITI, Capvidia, Anark, General Electric and Boeing. It is awesome to see how far 3D PDF has come, and the work that the Consortium has done to assist with...

MBE: What’s it all about?

Chances are you have heard talk around the water cooler about MBE, and thought – what’s up with that? This is the first in a series of blogs that will answer that question. What is MBE? The acronym MBE gets people confused. It sometimes refers to model-based engineering, which deals with design practices. More frequently it is coming to mean model-based enterprise, a term which was arguably coined by the U.S. Department of Defense. Here’s the way their website defines the model-based enterprise: “Model Based Enterprise (MBE) is a digital tapestry which has been optimized around a core set of annotated product models enabling rapid, seamless, and affordable deployment of products from concept to disposal.” A key phrase in this definition is “a core set of annotated product models.” These annotated product models are often referred to as model-based definition, or MBD, which simply means that all of the information needed to properly manufacture a product is contained within that 3D model set. A common misconception about MBE is that it is a “binary condition,” meaning that either the organization has achieved it, or it hasn’t. It is much more accurate to think of MBE as being similar to what the term product lifecycle management, or PLM, has come to mean. It is a business strategy for achieving higher levels of profitability through continuous process improvement. A company that is implementing a model-based enterprise strategy will be striving to accomplish the following: Through MBD practices, fully detail the 3D model(s) of the product(s) with all of the necessary product manufacturing information (PMI) needed to make the product. Eliminate the...