Model Based Cost Engineering (MBCE) environments are naturally rich with engineering data including Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings with Size, Weight and Power (SWAP) budgets. This data is perfect to drive parametric cost models like TruePlanning. All you need to do is create a ‘glue code’ interface to get that data out of where it currently exists, and into TruePlanning. Fortunately, COTS integration environments, like Phoenix ModelCenter, make this easy to do, where a TruePlanning ‘Plug-in’ has already been developed to provide that interface.
MBCE in a ModelCenter-like environment allows engineering to synthesize multiple possible solutions to a design problem in near real time simulations, opposed to conventional manual processes that take weeks of manual interfacing between multiple disciplines, like Systems Engineering, and Hardware Engineering – disciplines including Requirements, Architecture, Mechanical and Electrical Design, Reliability, Maintainability, Supportability and last, but not least – Affordability, that frequently result in a non-optimal solution. MBE integrates all of these disciplines into one design environment.
This process has application across the entire Aerospace and defense industry. Personally, I have seen it well applied in Aircraft Airframe Design, Missile Design, Space Architecture solutions for NASA, and virtual ‘Wall’ solutions for the Dept. of Homeland Security.
In the past, Engineering Depts. have struggled to consider Affordability in Design, as the focus has generally always been on obtaining maximum performance without consideration of cost, and Design Engineers in the Aerospace and Defense markets have classically been trained to focus on performance, and not cost, which in the past was a separate distinct discipline. Now with the advent of MBCE, cost / Affordability can be integrated into the design process, and PRICE Systems wholeheartedly supports this significant process improvement.