As per The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), systems engineering is defined as, "an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable realization of successful systems." It focuses on every aspect of system lifecycle, right from defining customer needs, documenting requirements, design synthesis, validation, manufacturing, till system disposal.
Modern engineering systems are complex as many intercommunicating subsystems perform complex functions. A failure or malfunction in one of the subsystems can lead to the entire system losing its primary functionality. To ensure reliable functioning, a disciplined approach is required that would cater to all the complex interactions between the subsystems and the system's operating environment. Read KPIT’s Point of View as our experts share their take on challenges and trends related to systems engineering.


Complex products, different variants, multiple suppliers and compliance to standards have created multifold implications for OEMs and Tier1s. Modern systems are an amalgamation of different subsystems, largely developed by Tier1s, which require accurate requirements considering all the other subsystem boundary requirements, system functional safety from the OEMs at an early stage of the development. This is a challenging task.

Another challenge is to manage the requirement database that cater to above implications and maintain overall traceability.

New Trends

OEMs are now trying to adopt a common platform for linking requirement documentation, architectural development and system validation and verification criteria. This makes the entire process more efficient, reliable and improves the traceability of requirements at all levels. But OEMs still rely heavily on document-based artefacts such as text, excel spreadsheets and informal drawings to capture inputs such as system requirements, interface control information and system architecture design descriptions.

This document-based approach to systems engineering creates difficulty in managing the requirement traceability and impact assessment for changes in requirements, thereby affecting the quality of final input specification for system development and in turn system functionality.

Tried and tested in the Avionics industry and slowly making a leap towards the automotive industry, Model Based Systems engineering uses modeling languages such as Systems Modelling Language (SysML). This model- based approach helps in specifying, visualizing, constructing, and documenting the systems artefact. Multiple diagrams are used to model a system from several perspectives at multiple levels of abstractions. Early detection and fixing of requirement specification defects can avoid additional efforts spent on system implementation for specification defects

System models with visual representations streamline the process of requirement management, keeping the manual effort in engaging with system artefact, close to minimal.

KPIT's Role & Experience

KPIT has a vast hands-on experience of working with industry's top OEMs. The company helped an OEM in developing Functional Safety Requirements as per ISO 26262 for Powertrain System (Engine management system and Transmission Control Module etc.). This included complete functional safety concept development like identifying the primary function, functional analysis, hazard and risk analysis, ASIL allocation, arriving at Functional Safety Requirements (FSR), etc. KPIT also helped the OEM to develop multiple templates helping them perform the safety analysis efficiently.
The company is involved with another OEM to support the requirement management of vehicle function development, mainly in the powertrain domain. This included creating requirement document in DOORs for many powertrain functions such as engine start stop, torque management, cruise control functionality, traction control systems etc. KPIT identified critical requirements after performing DFMEA (Design Failure Mode & Effect Analysis) for all the functionalities. Since it is necessary for all the requirements to be verifiable, we also develop the system level DVPR (Design Validation Plan & Report) for the functions. This required us to work closely with the OEM systems engineer and controls team to assimilate the requirements.
KPIT supports various OEMs in managing their vehicle functional requirements and development. Many of our systems engineers work with the OEMs as vehicle function owners who take care of the entire evolution of vehicle functions in different vehicle models. We support the OEMs in their engineering process requirement.
We also help the OEM in identifying critical requirements for functions by performing DFMEAs and ISO 26262 related Hazard And Risk Analysis (HARA).
Because of our widespread experience we are able to partner with OEMs at all stages of Verification & Validation (V&V) activity, starting from creation of DVP documents till validation of vehicle functions on HIL or in prototype vehicles.
KPIT provides technical solutions to improve the current requirement management process by introducing many systems engineering tools that can improve the traceability and scalability of the requirements. KPIT has been engaged in requirement analysis, configuration management and V&V area of the systems engineering. KPIT has built a robust systems engineering capability & brought enormous value for our customers, enabling them to make better & accurate designs, thus, significantly impacting their businesses.
*INCOSE: The International Council on Systems Engineering is a membership organization with a mission to share, promote and advance the best of the systems engineering fromacross the globe for the benefit of humanity and the planet.

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