Tool Integration Powered by the IncQuery Suite

In a high-profile R&D project around engineering tool integration and performance optimization, IncQuery Labs transferred technology and knowledge to Acubed, the Silicon Valley-based innovation center of Airbus.

ADAM by Acubed

Acubed by Airbus is an innovation center in Silicon Valley with the mission is to innovate and shape the future of aviation by high-impact / high-innovation projects. As a prime example, their Advanced Digital Design and Manufacturing (ADAM) project aims to forecast the future of digital manufacturing and design in the aerospace sector, and identify innovative technologies that will lead Airbus into the next era of aviation. IncQuery Labs was commissioned to apply the IncQuery Suite in the context of a tool integration case study from the aerospace and defense sector.

In this case study, the toolchain consisted of CATIA No Magic Cameo Systems Modeler, Microsoft Excel and MathWorks Matlab Simulink. Engineering models and data structure definitions were specified in the standard SysML Language using MagicDraw. The integration platform’s primary task was to map this data into Matlab Simulink for the purpose of running numerical analysis and simulations. As its secondary task, the analysis and simulation results were projected back into SysML and an Excel report was generated, to aid KPI-based review processes. The main goal was to demonstrate that such automation is possible in a cloud-native framework, allowing engineers to interact with these tools without having installed them locally, only using their web browser.

The IncQuery Approach

IncQuery Labs has a long and successful track record of applied R&D projects. The first step is to analyze requirements and understand the business and technological perspective of the customer. Next, in the planning phase, we work in close collaboration with the client to elaborate a detailed R&D project plan, which is based on standard software development best practices but also highlights the technological risks and business benefits.

In this case, our primary focus was on toolchain scalability, which is a critical aspect of saving costs by automation. Large users of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) know how much effort is wasted on ensuring that engineering data is consistent across several engineering tools, especially as projects get larger and larger.

Therefore, it is critical that engineering tools can handle even millions of model elements in SysML. Such scalability challenges can be efficiently solved using our flagship product, the IncQuery Suite. We worked in tight collaboration with Acubed to build the solution using modern open source technology, in this case, Massif for interfacing with Matlab Simulink and Apache Metamodel for working with Excel documents.

Interoperability Platform Demonstrator

As the main result of this high-profile R&D project, we delivered the Acubed Interoperability Platform Demonstrator (A3-IPD), an integrated toolchain built around industry-leading commercial tools and the IncQuery Suite. Leveraging modern web technologies, the demonstrator allows engineers to run complex engineering workflows involving several tools with just a click of a button, in their browser.

We have also designed and implemented benchmarks to show that by running engineering tools in the cloud, it is possible to run automated model mappings and report generation within a few seconds even on the largest models, with several million SysML elements.

As the result of our work, Acubed was able to incorporate our findings into their innovation strategy. Our expertise in the performance optimization of model-based tools has helped them in understanding how to build engineering toolchains for the future. As an additional important outcome of this collaboration, Acubed has kindly agreed to release our work on extending Massif with an OpenAPI-compliant remote invocation interface as an open source project on GitHub.

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