Importance of PMI Callouts in Implementing MBD for Product Development

Model Based Design (MBD) is the obvious step ahead in digitally transforming the manufacturing operations. However, is this approach beneficial for the firm? Research shows that manufacturers often end up increasing the complexity in the product development processes with the implementation of MBD. However, there are reasons to it. Manufacturers often commit preventable mistakes such as continuing reliance on 2D drawings even when there are 3D models available, considering MBD as a completely paperless process and more.

To overcome the mistakes, manufacturers need to make few important process shifts and the first one is to try not to take too much at once. At first, too many complexities will often lead to frustrations in the middle of the implementation process, and many manufacturers often drop the idea of MBD due to initial complexities. The idea is then to remain gradual with the MBD adoption, in order to ensure that users gain familiarity with the tools and develop best practices to handle complex projects.

The other most common mistake that manufacturers do is that they skip 3D product manufacturing information (PMI), thinking that the consumers can easily query models for the data as per their requirement. Many times, suppliers receive 3D CAD model or 3D PRDF with no dimensional information or 2D drawings. In reality however, shop floors do need readily available PMI for manufacturing and inspection. And as such, suppliers often end up recreating drawings from the PDF or CAD models. This process can lead to possibilities of dimensional inaccuracies in the design and eventually end up with a bad design. Thus as a design engineer, it is important to include key PMI with the models.

Let’s look at some other important reasons for the same:

  • Since design engineers are the first to know the product usability, design intent and the need of special features, they should mention these data in PMI to avoid conflicts and misinterpretations.
  • PMI at the design stage also helps in reviewing, verifying and improving design apart from clear communications.
  • Missing key callouts in the design will lead the suppliers to spend extra time in adding the required information to models and this will increase the possibility of cost addition in the quotes from suppliers due to extra efforts.
  • PMI with tolerances along with dimensions will also help in reducing the possibilities of misreading the design and avoids repeated manual lookups.
  • Viewers like Adobe Reader do not help downstream users to measure the data accurately and hence explicitly mentioning important PMI is important.

Bringing this change of explicitly mentioning key PMI in the models for the sake of smooth MBD implementation is difficult. This requires management to make design engineers understand that MBD is not meant to take away key information from the design, but to add another layer of clarity to make things easier. Beginning with this practice can help in integrating and automating the process completely, allowing MBD to be implemented with ease.

About Author: Kashyap Vyas is an Engineer at Hi-Tech CADD Services - CAD Drafting Services and holds a Master’s degree in Thermal Engineering with several research papers to his credit. He covers CAD and CAE topics for the engineering industry. His contributions are primarily focused on encouraging manufacturers and suppliers to adopt virtual product development tools to build efficient products with reduced time-to-market.


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