The W-model typically shows a flow of information from the top left down to the implementation processes and back up trough firstly the integration and test processes and then through the assembly/production processes.
The two blue arrows from top left to implementation, depict two parallel design paths are created; one for the functional breakdown and one for the physical breakdown. The depth of each of these breakdowns (in terms of decomposition levels) depends highly on the size and complexity of the System of Interest.
The implementation arrow depicts the process of implementing the detailed design into hardware or software. This implementation takes place in two stages: (1) the blue part – a virtual implementation and (2) the orange part – a physical implementation.
The blue integration arrow depicts the integration of the virtually implemented components. This virtual integration is based on the components present in PLM systems as model parts / drawings or software configuration management systems. This could be seen as an integration on paper.
Based on the physically implemented components, the physical integration and testing can be done. Typically one or more prototypes are build, and after successful validation, the System of Interest can be produced. This sequence depends on the nature of the SoI. In case the SoI is a bridge, it seems very unlikely that more than one is produced.
Design cycles with Digital Twin revisions as deliverables
One of the deliverables of the design activities can be a Digital Twin. As the development teams cycle through the different abstraction levels, from functional systems to building blocks and virtually integrate and test the coherence, completeness and quality of the designs, subsequent revisions of the System (System-of-Interest) are used to demonstrate compliance to both functional and physical system requirements (including the system’s behaviour).
Terms & acronyms used
- ⌊System-of-Interest⌋ [SoI]
- ⌊Digital Twin⌋
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