Enter the 3D dimension and say hello to the model-based enterprise (MBE) strategies. Costly and inefficient paper-based systems are outdated now. Across the full product lifecycle, model-based enterprise strategies for company-wide digital, model-based communication are more effective than using any 2D drawings.

Implicit knowledge is key in the lifecycle of a product. Therefore, technical communication within an organization is essential. These are essential elements to ensure that production efforts are not hampered, inspection procedures are thorough, and assembly techniques are not improperly fitted. As technology advances for defining products, so does the nature of the information. So let’s take a closer look at Model-Based Enterprise approach in product lifecycle management.

What is model-based enterprise (MBE)?

A digital three-dimensional (3D) model of a product that has been annotated serves as the authoritative information source for all actions over the course of that product’s lifespan. This method is known as a model-based enterprise (MBE) in the manufacturing industry.

MBE was first developed in the automotive and aerospace industries. Up to that point, MBE had been embraced by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and many other large and small firms, from consumer electronics manufacturers to commercial airlines.

MBE eliminates expensive and ineffective paper-based solutions is one of its greatest benefits. The industry standard has been 2D drawings with a single annotated view of a part or product. However, as with any paper-based document system, version control, collaboration, and the simplicity and speed of communication are significant issues.

Model-Based Enterprise Is Not A Utopia (You Just Have To Try)
Model-based enterprise reduce delivery times

The global model-based enterprise market is anticipated to expand by 29.35 billion USD in 2027, according to Researchandmarkets.

When using MBE, a single CAD model holds all the data generally included in a complete set of engineering drawings. Geometries, dimensions, tolerances, materials, manufacturing terminologies like weld call-outs and assembly fit-up details are all included. The model may also include data on suppliers and the supply chain.

To secure the value of comprehensive data sets (models, drawings, and derived data) as the product definition, MBE policies and techniques were created. The data set must be complete, correct, under control, and maintained as the foundation for corporate cooperation and reuse to transition into an MBE truly. For adoption to be widespread, the data must be accessible and trusted by users.

By concentrating on creating a single CAD model that centralizes all technical data, the engineering department employs MBE and MBD to accelerate design and enhance cooperation. Processes can be designed and tested in a low-cost virtual factory before being employed in a real manufacturing setting. The 3D models can frequently be run in digital manufacturing software to design and simulate manufacturing processes.

What is MBE in engineering?

Model-based enterprise (MBE) is an engineering technique that uses a 3D model-based definition (MBD) that contains all the product and manufacturing information (PMI) necessary to manufacture the product to explain design intent during the manufacturing process.

Benefits of model-based enterprise

Having all of your model data in one place might seem like a utopian dream. Some engineers, nevertheless, are beginning to recognize the benefits of model-based definition (MBD) and employ it as the cornerstone of their enterprises. With MBD, engineers can organize all of their model designs and comments in one location and begin to appreciate the full potential of their 3D assets.

These are the benefits of model-based enterprise:

  • Reduced delivery times
  • Boost performance
  • Reduced scrap and rework
  • Improved product quality
  • Increased use of 3D resources

By utilizing MBD, market leaders are beginning to improve their information exchange, efficiency, and model utilization. As a result, they are transitioning from traditional businesses to model-based enterprises. However, many engineers are still skeptical about the true worth of MBD. So, let’s take a closer look at them.

Reduced delivery times

Engineers may add all their annotations to the 3D model using MBD, saving time on the time-consuming process of reproducing annotated 2D CAD drawings. Additionally, since the manufacturers already have access to this information, it saves time to provide it to them. By saving this time, delivery times will be drastically shortened, allowing your goods to reach the market much more quickly.

Boost performance

Once more, passing only one file across the departments is made possible by having one file with all of the annotations attached. Additionally, you won’t have to waste time updating two files and confirming that they contain identical data.

This reduces the possibility that information may be missed or misunderstood throughout your conversations. Additionally, any unneeded data is removed immediately, enabling departments to do their tasks without sifting through extraneous information.

Reduced scrap and rework

A single source of information for manufacturers is also made available by using MBD models. This means that information necessary for precise manufacturing is included in the model and is given to the department transparently.

Model-Based Enterprise Is Not A Utopia (You Just Have To Try)
Model-based enterprise reduces scrap and rework

Additionally, downstream consumers will find the information easier to interpret with a 3D annotated model rather than a 2D drawing. This readily available and understandable information will lessen the possibility that models will need to be abandoned or revised due to misunderstandings.

Improved product quality

Since communication is so straightforward, no information required for manufacturing is lost or misunderstood. As a result, fewer mistakes or non-conformances are made during the production process. This information on the model will demonstrate its excellent quality because most 3D software enables engineers to recreate their model precisely.

Increased use of 3D resources

MBD improves information and communication and makes it possible to use the 3D model more efficiently. Engineers and manufacturers may make the most of the information on the 3D asset, comprehend it better, and generate better products as a result, rather than referring to its twin 2D drawing.

Disadvantages of model-based enterprise

Like everything else in the world model-based enterprise has some disadvantages. These are:

  • Adaptation: Each change entails a price and necessitates personnel training.
  • Increasing complexity: Gathering all the information together can be a complex process.

Steps to realizing a model-based enterprise

It takes time to make the transition to a model-based enterprise. Here are five essential elements for your success:

  • Visibility
  • Keep drawings
  • Execute CAD standards
  • Preparing for the change

Let’s examine them more closely.


The simplest measures to assist the change to an MBE are visible executive backing and transparent governance. Without executive support or governance, the effort will undoubtedly be constrained before it even begins.

A clear governance process that removes obstacles and enables change adoption in all impacted organizational functions must be used by executives to proactively justify the need for change, communicate the organizational benefits to users, announce progress, manage expectations, and manage expectations. A visible leadership style will also lessen the transition’s short-term productivity decline.

Keep drawings

Many companies believe that MBE is about doing away with drawings. However, this is untrue. Although it is possible to build designs without drawings, model-based engineering is fundamentally about ensuring that the data you generate to define your product is complete, correct, in your control, and controlled throughout the product’s entire lifecycle, from conception to disposal.

Model-Based Enterprise Is Not A Utopia (You Just Have To Try)
Model-based enterprise: You will need drawing anyway

Making a standard set of templates for drawings, parts, and assemblies is the first step. then ensuring that configuration parameters that affect specific CAD system behavior have a very low degree of user flexibility. Ensure all users have access to the same CAD configuration settings, such as systems of units, views, notes, tolerances, arrow esthetics, cross sections, etc.

Execute CAD standards

Standard CAD practices must be established and enforced throughout the organization. What ought to be covered by a CAD standard? Leading models, drawing techniques, and change management techniques. Keep a record of the organization’s preferred procedures and standards.

The implementation of standards for CAD is a crucial MBE enabler, but these standards are useless without enforcement that holds users accountable. Where people attempt to reuse data or base business choices on it, CAD without standards poses major issues.

CAD standards provide standardized CAD documentation and establish clear expectations. The bottom line is that standards promote data trust, which shortens the duration of development.

Model-Based Enterprise Is Not A Utopia (You Just Have To Try)
Model-based enterprise: Employ CAD standards

Additionally, it’s critical to remember that following good CAD guidelines does not automatically translate into good design. A good design must adhere to industry standards and client expectations. No matter how thorough your data or design strategy you use, a customer doesn’t care. But upholding standards will ensure that the customer’s expectations in terms of quality are met, and your coworkers will value the constancy.

Preparing for the change

The shift to a model-based enterprise is essentially a cultural adjustment. An active governance framework that works to protect the investment and increase the value of PLM and CAD tools are required for any shift this big.

Check out what is a data governance framework 

Culture change happens incrementally rather than abruptly. Avoid falling for the hype surrounding “elimination drawings.” Be mindful of the high standards and prepare reasonable MBE maturity milestones.


An approach where an annotated digital three-dimensional model of a product serves as the authoritative information source for all actions in that product’s lifetime is known as a “model-based enterprise” in the manufacturing industry. The MBE’s ability to replace digital designs is a crucial benefit. Because the drawbacks of drawings today harm business practices. MBE can considerably enhance the performance of manufacturing processes.

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