Digital Thread and Model Based Enterprise (MBE)
Today’s DOD mechanics operate in a data-centric environment where digital data is increasingly used to field, maintain, and upgrade weapons systems more rapidly and economically over the systems’ lifecycle. This digital thread appears throughout the product life cycle and is founded on 3D product definition shared across the enterprise, enabling rapid, seamless, and affordable deployment of products from concept to disposal. It represents a fundamental shift to 3D from 2D. However, obtaining the technical data package (TDP) and using that 3D data is often a challenge as well as converting 2D data to 3D data.
Several case studies have documented significant savings generated when implementing MBE. For example, NAWCAD Lakehurst has shown that it can eliminate a full 30% of the labor required for part fabrication based on data extracted from approved FRC COM maintenance budgets for the F/A-18 program for fiscal years FY2012 thru FY2014 per fighter across all variants. Additionally, new technologies are now available that allow maintainers the opportunity to take advantage of 3D technical data in new ways. One of those is additive manufacturing which uses 3D technical data to build items such as prototypes, tools, and repair parts while dramatically reducing time and costs. Another is the development of simulations and animation. Data repositories such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and material resource planning (MRP) help manage the process definition, while e-sourcing tools help extend ERP and MRP across the supply chain.
This forum will identify challenges, research, implementation issues, and lessons learned in the digital thread where a digital 3D model of the product serves as the authoritative information source for all activities in the product’s lifecycle.
The Digital Thread and MBE forum will be conducted virtually via Defense Collaboration Services. The link and audio information are below:
Audio Line – 888.537.7715, Passcode – 16161715#
1300-1309: Welcome and JTEG Background – Greg Kilchenstein (OSD-MPP)
1309-1310: Administrative Notes – Debbie Lilu (NCMS)
1310-1330: Digital Thread Overview – Liz McMichael (NAVAIR)
1330-1350: Digital Twin – Dr. Pam Kobryn (AFRL)
1350-1410: MIL-STD-31000A Update – Roy Whittenburg (UTRS)
1410-1430: PLM & Sharing Digital Data – Rick Mendoza (COMFRC)
1430-1450: 3D PDF as TDP – John Schmelzle (NAWC-Lakehurst)
1450-1510: Cybersecurity and Information Assurance – Dan Green (SPAWAR)
1510-1530: Wrap-up (TBD) and JTEG Principals Comments
Each presentation period will be followed by Q&A
JTEG Forum Minutes
Event: On 30 June, 2015, the Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG), in coordination with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), hosted a virtual forum on “The Digital Thread and the Model-Based Environment (MBE)”.
Purpose: The purpose of the forum was to provide information and exchange ideas on the digital thread and MBE. Information on emerging trends, capabilities and applications were presented by the panel, as well as the challenges facing DoD while trying to integrate these new capabilities into existing processes and activities within the DoD maintenance community.
Welcome: Greg Kilchenstein (OSD-Maintenance), welcomed everyone to the forum. Forums are held on the last Tuesday of each month and focus on a specific technological capability.
Administrative: The presentations, along with questions and answers, were conducted through Defense Collaboration Services (DCS) and an audio line. Over 80 participants from across DoD and industry joined in the forum. The initial DCS connection would drop guests immediately, so we closed it and opened the DCS connection again. This worked for most if not all who tried to use it. Questions were sent through DCO and answered by the presenters during the forum.
Digital Thread Overview: Liz McMichael (NAVAIR) provided an operational view of the digital thread and stressed its’ importance to DoD sustainment operations. She also discussed the requirement for 3D models and the role of the digital thread in additive manufacturing.
Digital Twin: Dr. Pam Kobryn (AFRL) presented a briefing on the digital thread and aircraft digital twin. Described as advanced modeling and simulation tools which provide a virtual representation of the system, they provide the capability to archive digital descriptions.
Digital Thread is an extensible, configurable and component enterprise-level analytical framework that seamlessly expedites the controlled interplay of authoritative technical data, software, information, and knowledge in the enterprise data-information-knowledge systems, based on the Digital System Model template, to inform decision makers throughout a system’s life cycle by providing the capability to access, integrate and transform disparate data into actionable information. A Digital Twin is an integrated multi-physics, multiscale, probabilistic simulation of an as-built system, enabled by digital thread. It uses the best available models, sensor information, and input data to mirror and predict activities/ performance over the life of its corresponding physical twin.
MIL-STD-31000A Update: Roy Whittenburg provided an update to a brief he first presented in April 2014. MIL-STD-31000A is the military standard defining technical data packages (TDP). It defines both drawing based and 3D TDPs and is used to provide requirements for placing TDPs under contract. The primary challenge to adoption of MBE and 31000A is one of training. The contracting officers need to be trained on how to use it, the engineers who are responsible for both tailoring and writing the SOWs for contracts need to understand it, and the Primes need training on how it affects them. Another barrier is the lack of follow through on purchasing the TDPs by the PMS and their misconceptions that drawings are required and MBD cost too much.
PLM & Sharing Digital Data: Rick Mendoza (COMFRC) presented a briefing on the Product Life Cycle Management for Aircraft Sustainment and Support project.
3D PDF as TDP: John Schmelzle (NAWC-Lakehurst) discussed driving requirements for 3DTechnical Data for downstream consumption. He presented what NAWC-Lakehurst has done, and the expected benefits in engineering, manufacturing, and logistics. He also described the next steps – to include automating the generation of 3D PDF and model validation within PLM systems, enabling more automated digital digestion of CAD data in downstream processes, and implementing TDP requirements to manage and facilitate advanced manufacturing methods such as additive manufacturing.
Cybersecurity and Information Assurance: Dan Green (SPAWAR) presented the “Top Ten Reasons to Care about Cybersecurity”.
Presentation Slides and Questions & Answers: The presentation slides, the Q&A, and meeting minutes, will be posted on the JTEG website at http://jteg.ncms.org/ .
Next JTEG Meeting: The next JTEG virtual forum is 28 July 2015, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm EST. The topic is Additive Manufacturing.
POC this action is Ray Langlais, firstname.lastname@example.org , (571) 633-8019
The Digital Thread & Model-Based Environment (MBE)
JTEG Forum – 30 June 2015
Answered Questions (5)
Digital Thread Overview: Liz McMichael
Q1. What standards are NAVAIR considering for the agnostic migration?
A1. Some exist. However, there are different CAD programs even for PLM. That is what we are looking for. Some common systems exists, but we need a common standard.
Q2. Can you talk more about integration?
A2. We are trying to pull-in things like JGTI, ingesting data into the digital thread. We are looking at how we integrate, for example into the DLA supply system. Design and engineering is straightforward, as well as integration with industry.
Q3. Have you considered contractually “subscribing” to the OEM’s PLM vs. migrating all the data to your own PLM? Pro’s-cons?
A3. Briefly, yes, we have. There is a way we would like to plug into the Boeing system. We are supporting multiple systems because we want to integrate into OEMs during development.
Q4. How do prescriptions and permissions work?
A4. We are working with Sikorsky now. The intent is to ultimately take data to whatever extent we need.
Q5. Does NAVAIR have a standard process?
A5. Formally, we have had a digital thread team stood up for 6-9 months. They are working to develop a standard process.
Answered Questions (5)
Digital Twin: Pam Kobryn
Q1. How are the USAF and NAVAIR working together to enable the digital thread initiative?
A1. Yes, we do talk together. It is informal and needs to be more formal. We need a joint strategy and to create a cross-Service working group to identify common definitions and standards as well as lay out the policy.
Q2. Wouldn’t the digital twin concept necessitate that DoD needs ALL the design data in order for the digital surrogate to be effective?
A2. No. The idea is to create a surrogate model – we want to turn the data into a surrogate model. We will need to revalidate the model constantly. As far as how much data, we definitely need more data than what we are buying now.
Q3. Can you discuss the USAF implementation strategy for Digital Thread & Digital Twin?
A3. It is an evolving strategy and not fully documented. The Engineer Enterprise Executive Council has a published strategy and roadmap. AMC Hqs, A4, are developing a plan at the Product Support Enterprise level.
Q4. Is it an Engineering or Sustainment function?
A4. Yes…ultimately it is everything – the PLM
Q5. What is the relationship between DT/DT and data coming from CBM+ systems? Is CBM+ a sub-element of DT/DT?
A5. Absolutely, CBM+ is another data source that we need. It feeds into maintenance.
Answered Questions (2)
MIL-STD-31000A Update: Roy Whittenburg
Q1. If a TDP is delivered to the Army in MIL-STD-31000A, is it acceptable?
A1. Yes, if it is tailored appropriately. They would have to explicitly identify what they want – Appendix B. It has to be specific, and the PM needs the capability to read it.
Q2. Are there any available publications, documents, etc on digital data to support the training needs for contracts, engineering, etc?
A2. There is no good training information available. It is something that needs to happen.
Answered Questions (2)
PLM & Sharing Digital Data: Rick Mendoza
Comment. Rick – Great real-world example of the need for process that Liz mentioned. It all comes back to the discipline of maintaining data integrity. A challenge for sure but essential to protect us all from a GIGO digital thread!
Answered Questions (2)
3D PDF as TDP: John Schmelzle
Q1. Can you please forward the 3D PDF format that you are using for your 3D drawings? Thxs
A1. The format is embedded in the presentation. The presentation will be loaded on the JTEG website at http://jteg.ncms.org/ . NOTE: The presentation loaded on the JTEG website is a pdf and does not have the embedded format. If you want the format, please contact John at email@example.com .
Q2. Any strategies to reduce the file size of these PDFs? Not easily shared due to email file size restrictions?
A2. Great question. It does become large. Assemblies will be smaller. It is a good point and we need to get better.
Answered Questions (2)
Cybersecurity & Information Assurance: Dan Green
Q1. Do we have any processes in place documented to combat the gaps identified with DE cyber issues?
A1. What is it that you are actually doing? We need to know the specifics. Mitigation is needed in securing the models once they have been through quality control. There are a number of ways to prevent models from being printed and/or alerts you to any changes. There is an extreme amount of complexity involved.
Q2. How are we resourced to execute our cyber security requirements?
A2. Through the SECDEF. It is all about the risks. The PM doesn’t want to break his timeline. NDIA 2016 –the Acquisition Reform Bill provides $200M for ACAT 1 program cybersecurity, including vulnerability assessments. The Navy has had past instances of compromises for several months. 2 years ago. NMCI established a policy for all systems to have a cybersafe element certification and risk management.