MBSE Equals IoT Success

Written By: Julie Pike
  • 11/8/2017

The world is transforming thanks to smart, connected products. Manufacturers are now looking to leverage Internet of Things (IoT) technology and data analytics to improve product development. With smart, connected products comes an increased speed in innovation – and increased pressure to remain competitive. New data from products in the field help manufacturers make changes to improve the product. However, making changes in the product development process isn’t necessarily easy – in fact, it’s getting more complex. With Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE), organizations can respond to changes in a more agile fashion in order to effectively leverage data from smart, connected products.

New Wave Systems Engineering

Systems engineering was originally developed to tie together mechanical and electrical aspects of the product in a mechatronic view. With more complex products that use cloud, analytics, and IoT, this mechatronic model needs to include software and manufacturing to give a holistic view to stakeholders as early in the development process as possible. This early view will ensure that changes can easily be made and the product can be improved over time. 

Adopting a model-based process enables stakeholders throughout the product development team to more closely collaborate with manufacturing, the supply chain, and service. Not only does MBSE allow for better collaboration, it can help improve the product over time. With a better understanding of deliverables, deadlines, and resources across the lifecycle, stakeholders can accurately visualize cross-domain defects and determine potential effects caused by changes. 


Modeling manufacturing processes as part of the system design, testing, and verification is critical to systems engineering. Analytics across the platform enable manufacturers to make sense of the enormous amount of data flowing across their value chain and from connected products. This constant flow of IoT data can be used to improve the systems model over time, leading to better decision making. 

Critical to the success of MBSE is a PLM system that truly extends throughout the entire product lifecycle. By having visibility throughout the product lifecycle, MBSE leads to better product quality, faster response to quality issues, rapid time to market, and faster response to changing demands.

Next Stop: Digital Twin

MBSE doesn’t just stop there. As the product development process matures, organizations can leverage their model-based approach to track their product’s real-world performance and usage through a digital twin. A digital record of each product’s designed, manufactured, serviced, and real-world state, a digital twin allows manufacturers to analyze configurations across their fleet for future sales, recalls, or update opportunities. Manufacturers can see how the product is being used by the customer – helping to improve decision making. Finally, by leveraging a digital twin, organizations have the traceability to ensure they are meeting all security, legal, and regulatory compliance. 

Ready to take the first step towards a digital twin? Download IDC’s technology spotlight on digitally transforming the design and engineering of connected products to learn more. 




MBSE Equals IoT Success

  • Windchill
  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Electronics and High Tech
  • Digital Transformation

About the Author

Julie Pike

Julie Pike is the PLM Content Marketing Specialist at PTC. She has spent her career in marketing and communications primarily in the technology industry. Follow her on Twitter at @julie_pike.