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Model-Based Systems Engineering to Reach a Higher Level

Yamaha Motor‘s MBSE approach

At present, the automotive industry is said to be undergoing the kind of major shift that only happens once a century. Not only do businesses need to adapt to increasingly strict environmental regulations, but they must also develop their businesses with an eye on creating a platform from which to implement the CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service, Electric) way of using automobiles. Also, companies are expected to take measures toward solving societal issues in ways such as meeting SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals.)

To meet these varied demands while continuing to offer attractive products and efficiently develop more complex products, Yamaha Motor has incorporated the concept of MBSE (Model Based Systems Engineering) into its technological development.

What is Systems Engineering?

Systems Engineering (SE) is a technological approach that treats a product as a system composed of multiple subsystems and seeks to clarify the function and relationships among them. Figure 1 below is a V-model often used to explain Systems Engineering.

Fig. 1 Example of a V-model illustrating the general concept of SE

The two principal approaches taken in SE are the general overview approach and the stepwise refinement approach. These approaches enable clarification of the “R (requirements)," "F (functions)," "L (logics)," and "P (physical design)" needed in the product development, at each stage when considering comprehensive systems and more detailed subsystems. Unraveling the many demands a product must meet one by one, then accurately dividing them into “subsystems” and “components” makes it possible to implement complex systems in a rational way.

What is a model?

A “model” as used in MBSE is a theoretical description that can mostly be considered a “system model” (Fig. 2). It enables the recording of information (requirements, functions, logic, parts, relationships between parts, etc.) that is clarified in the process of carrying out SE, then linking this information as data, which can then be organized into charts. The expected benefits of using this system model are that information can be shared among developers of different fields in a smooth way, and they can more easily notice omissions and oversights in product requirements and functions. A representative example would be the Systems Modeling Language (SySML) that is commonly used.

Incorporating these MBSE concepts allows Yamaha Motor to aim for higher levels of technology that will enable us to provide products with even more value.

Fig. 2 Example of the system model
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