How SOLIDWORKS 2018 is Empowering Model-Based Enterprises (MBE)


As manufacturers across the globe implement Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) processes, a key question is how to measure progress and gauge success. The MBE Maturity Capability Index provides a handy tool to clearly analyze the current status and indicate the next steps. Figure 1 provides an overview.

Figure 1. An overview of the MBE Maturity Capability Index.


Obviously, the journey from Level 0 to Level 6 takes time and requires a solid software platform. SOLIDWORKS is here to help. As shown in Figure 2, SOLIDWORKS 2018 has taken major steps to empower MBE across multiple production processes, from Definition and Communication to Machining, Inspection and Management.

Figure 2. The Model-Based Enterprise Vision Powered by SOLIDWORKS 2018.


There are more than 400 new enhancements in the SOLIDWORKS 2018 portfolio, so we can only illustrate several quick examples in this post. Please check out the launch site for more details.

1. SOLIDWORKS MBD 2018 can help you easily annotate models with a software-readable general profile tolerance in notes or tables as shown in Figure 3. It follows the common industry and company practices, reduces the busy explicit 3D annotations and can automate downstream manufacturing procedures.

Figure 3. Define a Software-Readable General Profile Tolerance in Notes or Tables.


2. To drive the digital thread throughout a Model-Based Enterprise, SOLIDWORKS MBD 2018 can now export software-readable annotations in STEP242 in accordance with ISO 10303-242: 2014. Figure 4 shows one example. These intelligent annotations in the neutral format can be viewed and analyzed by software programs. Therefore, this digital bridge can enable multiple downstream manufacturing automation opportunities, such as machining and inspection. By the way, SOLIDWORKS MBD 2018 can also import annotations from Creo, NX, CATIA and STEP242. Now suppliers of large enterprises can view the MBD data since their clients have stopped sending 2D drawings in some cases.

Figure 4. Export Software-Readable Annotations in STP242.


3. To leverage the intelligent annotations, SOLIDWORKS CAM can automate machining setups, strategies and Numeric Code (NC) programming according to the size tolerances in 3D annotations defined by SOLIDWORKS MBD. Figure 5 shows the tolerance-base machining.

Figure 5. Tolerance-Based Machining in SOLIDWORKS CAM.


4. What about Inspection after machining? SOLIDWORKS Inspection 2018 can now automatically balloon 3D annotations and then generate inspection reports, similar to the steps in 2D drawings as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6. Automatically Balloon 3D Annotations.


5. Now to manage all the MBD data, projects and processes, you can take advantage of the rich capabilities in SOLIDWORKS Manage 2018, a new product line. One common use case is to publish various documents such as CAD models, STP files and Inspection reports into one Technical Data Package, or TDP, to simplify the communication per the Military Standard 31000A. With SOLIDWORKS Manage, you can create your own recipes which can guide SOLIDWORKS MBD to automatically gather necessary documents and publish them into one 3D PDF package.

Figure 7. SOLIDWORKS Manage.


To learn more about SOLIDWORKS MBD, please watch the 22-minute webcast below and visit its product page. Also welcome to discuss with me at Twitter (@OboeWu) or LinkedIn (OboeWu).

Oboe Wu

Product portfolio manager of SOLIDWORKS MBD, passionate about smart manufacturing opportunities, Keen listener to customer challenges, Sharp problem solver with 20 years of experiences in engineering, Sleepless father trying best to take care of a baby daughter.