The Global Product Data Interoperability Summit
Technically, it’s called the Boeing/Northrop Grumman Global Product Data Interoperability Summit (GPDIS). It’s a conference run by Elysium, primarily to benefit Boeing and Northrop Grumman, and secondarily to benefit others in aerospace and related industries. There is no attendance charge for industry professionals and supply chain partners in aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding and academia. The costs of holding the conference are paid entirely by sponsor companies.
You might notice that, in the list of those who may attend GPDIS at no charge, there is no mention of press or analysts. Though press and analysts are welcome, they must pay a relatively nominal fee to attend (about what it takes to cover the resort catering costs.)
Interestingly, it appeared that I was the only press/analyst person attending. I suspect that this may be because there are limitations on what can be covered from the conference. While some presentations are fair game (for example, those by sponsors/vendors), others (such as those by aerospace manufacturers) are not cleared for public release.
The press relase for GPDIS explains that it “functions as a communications hub for industry principals to exchange ideas, solutions, and methods for eliminating product data quality gaps in the value stream. The organizers’ mission is to promote awareness, address tactical challenges, advance industry solutions and leverage open standards for product data interoperability—with a charter to drive common standards adoption in the global aerospace and automotive industries.”
If you look at the presentation abstracts for GPDIS, you can see some significant trends. Here are some themes that I thought significant:
- Model-Based Design. This process is focused on creating behavioral models of complex systems. You can see some of the work that’s been done in this realm in the DARPA META program, the Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute’s SAVI program, and the European Community’s CRESCENDO program. When systems engineers talk about “MBD,” they’re referring to Model-Based Design.
- Model-Based Development. No, this is not the same as Model-Based Design. Model-Based Development, in this context, is primarily concerned with building 3D CAD models which include all the product and manufacturing information (PMI) necessary to completely specify the model. It is “3D CAD as master.” When CAD people talk about “MBD,” they’re referring to Model-Based Development.
- Model-Based Enterprise (MBE). The DoD defines this as “A fully integrated and collaborative environment founded on 3D product definition detailed and shared across the enterprise; to enable rapid, seamless, and affordable deployment of products from concept to disposal.” While it’s technically correct to define it quite a bit more broadly, including Model-Based Design, Model-Based Development, Model-Based Systems Engineering, and Model-Based Manufacturing, it seems that most people use the term in a more limited sense, to refer to using 3D CAD as master, throughout the enterprise.
- 3DPDF. No other 3D data format has taken-off in the way 3DPDF has in the last year. While there are multiple factors driving its uptake, one of the most important is the growth of interest in MBE. 3DPDF supports exact representation of 3D geometry, with full PMI, in a document-centric package. It’s ideal for use in creating technical data packages (TDPs) for communicating product information to multiple stakeholders.
Each one of these themes seemed to garner serious interest among the attendees at GPDIS.