In the age of model-based systems engineering, digital threads and digital twins, companies need to link product information in different formats across domain boundaries and process phases in order to be able to assess the impact of changes and ensure traceability in the development process. Exchanging this information with suppliers requires a combination of different domain-specific standards to ensure that partners know what belongs together and how. These include, for example, ReqIF for the requirements, SysML and OSLC for the system models, FMI or FDX for describing the functional logic and the test cases, JT for the geometry, STEP AP 242 for the product structure, and VEC and KBL for the electrics/electronics.
A joint working group set up by the VDA and the prostep ivip Association has defined a new standard for data containers with the aim of standardizing the exchange of data that is linked across different domains. The Digital Data Package (DDP) builds on preliminary work such as the VDA guideline 4953-2 for technical data packages (TDP) and drawingless processes (ZLP), as well as the association's assessment of available standards. Unlike its predecessors, the DDP includes not only CAD data, structures, PMI, etc. but also requirements and topics such as verification and validation (V&V). This means that it takes account of the entire product development process along the V-model.
The DDP working group comprises user companies from a variety of different industries and software vendors and works closely with other working groups in the association that are responsible for the further development and implementation of standards such as ReqIF or JT. The group is planning to soon release its first recommendation for review, which will be published at the end of the year. The aim is to convert the data model used to link individual standards into an OMG standard.
Like other project groups in the association, the DDP working group is also facing the challenge of obtaining valid test data. Fortunately, it was able to make use of the association's Mars Rover data, which is being used for testing in a number of different projects. Boeing also provided the group with data from the Stratoliner, which can in the future be used to confirm V&V use cases.
Prototype for the requirements process
One of the members of the DDP working group is PROSTEP AG, which is actively involved in helping develop the new standard. As a result, we were able to develop an initial prototype for generating and processing DDPs on behalf of a major German carmaker. It was used to test the results from the working group using the requirements process as an example. We were also able to use our experience to help improve the data model. The OEM has agreed to share our findings with the entire working group.