Model Based Definition (MBD) for Boeing DPD: D6-51991 Supplier Quality Approval

20 Jul 2020 by Jimmy Nguyen


For Boeing suppliers and sub-tier suppliers addressing Boeing Digital Product Definition (DPD) standards can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, Capvidia is a leader in Boeing DPD and is here to answer some of your important questions. Let's begin.

What is Boeing Digital Product Definition?

Boeing DPD is a quality assurance standard for Boeing suppliers and sub-tier suppliers to maintain uniform specifications between Boeing and their approved suppliers. 

The Boeing D6-51991 (current version: REV N) is the official document that outlines the following:

  1. Digital Product Definition Quality Assurance Procedures and Documented Processes
  2. Configuration Management and Media Security
  3. Product Acceptance Software
  4. Internal Quality Audits
  5. Procurement Control
  6. Control of Measurement Equipment
  7. Inspection Media
  8. Data Exchange Methods
  9. Special Tooling
  10. Training and Process Performance 

Why is Boeing DPD Important?

Uniformity and traceability. 

Different CAD software, different file formats, different revisions, different departments, different personnel, and different interpretations eventually lead to discrepancies. 

Ensuring that the electronic data or digital models follow a set of protocols verifying consistent data saves time and money, because fixing errors earlier in the design phase saves up to 2X in cost compared to the build phase or 3-10X compared to the testing phase.

In short, data downstream from design to manufacturing to quality must be validated.

This is part of a larger theme of digital transformation as more companies require a single source of truth generated from the CAD model called model-based definition (MBD)

Need to be Boeing DPD compliant?

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Capvidia helps Boeing suppliers meet DPD approval. We're leaders in the field of MBD CAD translation & validation. Talk to our team today.

What are the Main Points of a Boeing DPD Audit? 


Boeing D6-51991, section 3 (Product Acceptance Software), 7 (Inspection Media), and 8 (Data Exchange Methods).  

Here’s a highlight of the main points: 

Product Acceptance Software (PAS): 

  • 3.1. Commercial Off The Shelf Software - The supplier shall document and maintain documented processes for the control of Product Acceptance Software (PAS). PAS includes software used in the acceptance of special tooling and products.
  • 3.1.4. In the event supplier is unable to obtain objective evidence or certification of the PAS from the software manufacturer, supplier is responsible for verifying PAS prior to product acceptance use. Examples of PAS functionality verification include using calibrated standards, known physical artifacts or embedded software to test feature construction and output accuracy. Examples also should include GD&T functions, temperature compensation, CAD translations and software that controls hardware.

Inspection Media: 

  • 7.5. Model Based Definition (MBD) - Suppliers who receive Engineering and/or Tooling MBD datasets must extract information from the dataset sufficient for manufacturing and inspection activity for the product. Additionally, utilizing MBD requires a capability assessment by a Boeing Supplier Quality DPD. 
  • 7.5.1. Supplier’s QA must verify that all design implicit and explicit requirements (e.g., all features defined by GD&T, annotations, specifications, notes and other specified requirements in the authority MBD dataset and associated parts list including dimensional and other planned for inspection/validation.
  • 7.6. First Article Inspection - All explicit and implicit design characteristics within the engineering shall be positively identified within the FAI plan. This shall include all engineering characteristics requiring traceability: a) All features annotated within the 3D model (explicit) b) Features of the 3D model not annotated (implicit) c) All characteristics applicable on the 2D drawings/reduced content drawings d) All applicable notes and material lists e) All feature tolerances per the standard / general notes.

Data Exchange Methods: 

  • 8.2. Translations - When suppliers with native CAD Software receive their Authority dataset in the same CAD System (native to native) and manage their process which includes manufacturing and inspection software using the same Native system and version, translation verification is not mandatory due to lower risk but recommended as an industry best practice. When suppliers translate from Native CAD format to alternate formats including CATIA V4 to CATIA V5 or Native to STEP suppliers are responsible for all dataset translations and must have a clear documented process for each. The documented process must include a method to verify the accuracy of translations. Suppliers must be able to demonstrate the CAD translation process, including verification/interrogation methods used, and the ability to identify known discrepancies.

Main Takeaways:

  1. Your derivative CAD model must be validated so that it matches the authority model from Boeing.
  2. The software you use to validate the derivative CAD model must be a current version from an approved vendor.
  3. Your must show your process and produce a report for audit.

Boeing DPD Software: CompareVidia 


CompareVidia is a Boeing-approved DPD software that validates CAD derivatives.

It works in 3 easy steps: 

  1. Load the authority model (Boeing model) and derivative model (Supplier model).
  2. Compare & validate.
  3. Generate a report for audit.

Besides a digitally certified PASS/FAIL report, you can also compare any two derivatives, compare GD&T, and compare engineering changes.

A passing report means it’s digitally certified & validated for its integrity-- something you can present to your Boeing auditor to satisfy requirements.

Example of CompareVidia In Action


For one of our customers, Aero-Plastics, they validate their model three times.

First validation: They receive a native CATIAV5 model from their OEM. Aero-Plastics translates the CATIAV5 into SolidWorks--their 3D CAD design software. 

Second validation: The SolidWorks model is translated into Edgecam for CNC.

Third validation: After the part is manufactured, they compare points exported from their CMM.


Easy & powerful derivative CAD validation & revision comparison. Get Boeing DPD approval!


Learn More: CompareVidia

What Happens if my DPD Validation Fails?


Whether it's CompareVidia or another CAD validation software, most should highlight all possible errors, unintended or intended changes. 

However, the most important factor other than the quality of your CAD validation software is having a GOOD derivative file.

Sub-par derivatives and translations will create issues, and no CAD validation software, no matter how robust, can fix all mistakes. It all begins with creating a a solid derivative CAD file. 

What are Major Reasons why CAD Validation Fails?

Based on 16 years of doing CAD validation, we've collected the major reasons why CAD validation fails:

  1. Tolerances: Each CAD system has their own tolerance to control the accuracy of their models. This can lead to interoperability issues, especially for complex data. 
  2. Poor CAD quality: Most data is not designed with translation in mind. Poor design practices may be ok in one CAD system but can cause issues when they are translated into another. 
  3. Extra data: CAD Systems enable to you export all kinds of data, and some of this data you don’t need to validate. 
  4. Multiple translations: Sometimes a CAD model can get translated several times using several different translators. The accuracy of a CAD model will never improve when it gets translated.
  5. Formats: There are many different CAD formats and flavors of them. 
  6. Different Coordinate Systems: Aerospace data are usually defined in “aircraft” coordinates. But often when this data is translated to another CAD system, the users will move the model to a different coordinate system, usually the origin.  

Addressing these errors should help with passing your Boeing DPD D6-51991 requirement.

Need to Learn More About Boeing DPD approval or CAD validation?

Contact Us

Capvidia is a leader in CAD translation & validation, especially pertaining to digital transformation and the MBD journey. Have questions? Talk to our team today.

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