Unlocking the Model-Based Promise – Part 2

By Tim Egloff

This is the second post in the blog series on the fundamental elements of a quality digital thread that enables a digital, dimensional management lifecycle through Model-Based Quality or MBQ.

> Read the first blog post.

The real challenge we face beyond the domain of drawings, red-lining & markups is how to get to the information that is embedded in 3D part & assembly files so that it can be leveraged effectively by downstream users who need to fabricate, assemble, check, inspect, study and assure that the process is capable of meeting product requirements at the right cost and with the right quality. 

Characteristic Management

From my perspective, the number one requirement is to expose the Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI) in such a way that it is available for any context along the lifecycle of the product.  But access is not enough.  We need to deliver the ability to enhance PMI information for each of these contexts. 

For instance, stack-up analysis requires mating features, measurement features and process flow, but it will tell you which features are critical-to-quality (C2Q).  These PMI need to be identified as such for other downstream users.  Depending on method, inspection operations require set-up instructions, inspection point requirements and possibly multiple datum reference frames, to name a few elements.  As the product moves along its lifecycle, the PMI should do the same and add to the information that is valuable for any context. 

This is a challenge that can be overcome.  For those who wish to gain the efficiency of a model-based enterprise we have a solution to document, trace, enhance and account for each PMI as a product moves through its lifecycle. 

More to come on this in the next article, but if you’ve got questions, go to the forum and ask our experts.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at