In the course of an agile product development process, requirements and their linkage to product elements become more and more detailed. Regulatory acceptance criteria for homologation and safety are added. Starting point for testing is the practical binary definition of all test criteria and their linkage to test planning and execution. Actual test results are entered into the system. This provides detailed visibility on testing progress and achieved values at the push of a button. This contributes valuable information to the overall assessment of product maturity and remaining critical paths.
MBSE enables the functional specification of complex mechatronic products, such as the e.GO Mover, a joint development with ZF that aims at autonomous driving. Integrity Modeler uses the general-purpose modeling language SysML to define a functional model on all levels of detail, complementing classic requirements and test management. It is the basis for consistent documentation of functional safety in accordance with ISO 26262.
e.GO uses Creo as MCAD-System for internal design work and the full integration of the vehicle. Due to the open architecture of Creo, externally developed parts from other CAD systems are integrated seamlessly. Vice versa, models created in Creo can be saved in other CAD formats, simplifying collaboration with external suppliers and engineering service providers using different CAD solutions. This native design data exchange facilitates agile product development by granting a high degree of flexibility.
Windchill, the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system used by e.GO, contains the complete engineering bill of material, including all CAD data and additional information. It constitutes the Single Source of Truth for all design iterations, prototype construction, changes, as well as releases to series producton. Agile product development continuously creates new versions of the whole product and its assembly groups and parts. Windchill stores all versions including variant configuration. With the help of effectivities, future releases can be planned in a structured way.
Agile development requires continuous adjustment of production processes to be effective. Process planning rarely has a digital homebase. Using PLM as the common source of truth, process planners transform the engineering bill of materials (eBOM) into the manufacturing bill of materials (mBOM), add tools, resources and variant-specific, up-to-date process plans. Upon release to series production, mBOM and Bill of Processes are transferred to the ERP system as key ingredients of the master data in the Production Cycle.
Parallel and dispersed development of complex products poses a challenge to the fit of geometric product components and assemblies. In order to identify clashes and clearances prior to the physical prototypes, a digital mock up provides continuous analysis. Smart filters help to detect showstoppers faster in order to align and fix them proactively prior to the physical prototyping process. The digital mock up can thus be one of the indicators for digital construction quality.
The Engineering Bill of Material (eBOM) is built up in the PLM system with the input of many engineers. As the eBOM serves as a basis for the manufacturing bill of material (mBOM), the complete and accurate descripton of parts and other product elements in the PLM system is crucial. The BOM tracker app scans and quantifies the degrees of data quality along the product structure, shows the achieved levels and gaps and assigns data quality backlog to responsible engineering group managers an designers. This kind of status and progress information is an important ingredient in the assessment of overall product maturity. It allows subsequent functions like procurement and manufacturing to leverage design data early on, and with a clear understanding of what remains to be delivered.
Many use cases can be driven more easily in industrial apps than in traditional enterprise systems. We store measurable requirements, e.g., product weight values, in the PLM System along with the eBOM product structure. A push-button-app analyses these values continuously to support management control loops and decision-making.
Complexity Manager helps optimize product ranges reducing uneconomic complexity. The method and software identify and quantify complexity drivers. Resulting decisions change configuration rules and possibilities which are handed over automatically to the product development process via the PLM system. Engineers are informed early on about relevant configurations for development and test.