In the upcoming years, the development of agricultural machines is facing disruptive challenges quite comparable to those of automotive industry: Rising vehicle and vehicle system complexity resulting from increasing automation and digitalization combined to shortened vehicle development cycles and rising cost pressure. Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is a key building block to manage these challenges. MBSE provides processes, methods and tools for system specification – such as Requirements Management or Systems Architecture – as well as for systems integration, validation and verification. Within a strategic partnership, CLAAS and Dassault Systémes are developing a strategy to introduce an overall MBSE approach using the Dassault Systémes 3DExperience platform as tool backbone. The introduction of Systems Architecture was identified to be one of the key challenges and was thus chosen topic for this contribution.
The CLAAS Systems Architecture approach describes the structured generation and decomposition of functional and logical models using the formal SysML modeling language. Enabling an early system analysis, Systems Architecture helps to improve the system requirements and system specification quality in order to reduce costly errors. Furthermore, functional and logical models shall be used as central model that describe the behavior, the structure and the interfaces of the system in order to improve the communication between the different development stakeholders. Finally, functional and logical models are intended to be the starting point of the future model chain for the development of Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic and Software Models.
To enable the introduction of these beneficial working processes and methods to CLAAS agricultural machinery development, different implementation steps were planned and a proof of concept was processed by a joint CLAAS – Dassault Systémes project team. The project team faced different challenges: One the one hand, MBSE working methods require organizational, processual and methodologic changes and have to get the different stakeholders convinced and ready to collaborate. The project team thus had to process an analysis of As Is processes, organization and tools, had to create an end-to-end solution architecture and had to continuously communicate and demonstrate Systems Architecture content and benefits to all the different stakeholders. On the other hand, the 3DExperience platform had to prove its usability as tool backbone and was thus challenged within multiple use cases were different gaps of today’s 3DExperience platform were identified. To enable CLAAS to process System Architecture in the future, different workarounds were developed and tool enhancement strategies were defined.
This contribution intends to demonstrate the results and challenges that the joint project team achieved within the 3 years of the strategic partnership between CLAAS and Dassault Systémes and to give an outlook on the next steps.