Using model-based systems engineering to design complex systems

Using model-based systems engineering to design complex systems

By Anthony Dawson and Jane Trenaman

The benefits of using simulation early and often in the product development process are obvious. You can check the requirements and start studying and exploring design alternatives before prototyping and investing time in projects that won’t ultimately meet the requirements. What may not be clear is how to integrate all the simulation tools used by the different engineering teams during the product development process.

Without this integration, it is not possible to verify the requirements and fully evaluate the trade-offs between performance, cost and risk. How do you know the broader ramifications of making any changes to the design? Manually executing code and using ad hoc scripts is slow and error prone. Using manual processes is a source of problems, especially for more complex products where a wrong decision could be the difference between success and failure.

Open models stop inefficiency

To help address these challenges, ANSYS acquired Phoenix Integration, Inc., the developer of ModelCenter, the leading software to enable model-based engineering (MBE) and model-based systems engineering (MBSE).

MBE is a holistic approach to product development that relies on digital models to guide all engineering activities: it starts with the definition of system requirements and continues throughout the product lifecycle. It enables engineers to understand the interactions and synergies between design subsystems and how design decisions for a part or assembly affect the behavior of the entire system.

MBSE uses a system architecture model to manage complexity and serve as the single source of truth to describe an ever-changing system design. ModelCenter allows users to link the system model with multidisciplinary analysis workflows to verify requirements and optimize system design.


System engineers and domain engineers don’t always speak the same language.

The ModelCenter software suite is a vendor-independent software platform for creating and automating multi-tool workflows, optimizing product design, and enabling MBSE. ModelCenter combined with Ansys Minerva makes MBE possible by offering engineers the ability to:

  • Create and manage a library of analysis templates and design workflows
  • Link these analysis workflows and templates with descriptive requirements and system templates
  • Automatically run workflows on different computers and operating systems
  • Run multi-run business studies and ask “what-if” questions.
  • View the design space and find the best designs
  • Store, manage and share the resulting data and metadata.
  • Ensure traceability, interoperability and business implementation

With the ModelCenter and Ansys Minerva software suite, design teams can capture, organize and share processes, models, input data, and results and conclusions generated during the design and engineering analysis process. This information not only saves time and direct costs, but also enables engineers to gain valuable system-level information that can help organizations avoid exposure to liability, product failures and recalls.

Connect the tools together with MBSE

Engineering teams use many different tools throughout the product design and development process, spanning different domains and disciplines. Not all of these tools have been designed with an open platform methodology. ModelCenter connects tools from different vendors into a workflow that provides visibility into the entire process, enabling organizations to reduce development costs, improve engineering efficiency, drive innovation and design more competitive products.

“Companies across all industries benefit from process integration and MBSE through improved communications, higher product quality and increased productivity in their design teams,” Shane Emswiler, senior vice president of Ansys, said in a press release. . “The acquisition of market leader Phoenix Integration will complement our acquisition of Dynardo in process integration and design optimization and expand our capabilities in providing customers with strong MBE and MBSE offerings to further our engineering strategy. pervasive. I am thrilled that Phoenix Integration is joining the ANSYS team. “

Jane Trenaman is Senior Director of Ansys and former CEO of Phoenix Integration.

Antonio Dawson

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Anthony Dawson is Ansys Vice President and General Manager.

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