AP209 Activity Model AP209 Activity Model

The scenario supported by STEP AP209 ed2, “Perform multidisciplinary analysis and design”, is presented here below: 

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Why AP209? Why AP209?

What is AP209?

STEP AP209 edition 2 "Multidisciplinary analysis and design" is an international standard for sharing, exchange and long term archiving of engineering design and multi-disciplinary simulation data managed in configuration.

It is a key enabler for multidisciplinary simulation interoperability, being the ability to exchange, share, visualize and archive Engineering Analysis and Simulation (EAS) data between different environments.

AP209 standard can be purchased through ISO website: link.


In modern industries, design of complex structures is more and more simulation-driven.

In the context of Concurrent Engineering and Extended Enterprise, design and analysis information of ever growing size needs to be exchanged and managed under configuration control. Simulation analyses also tend to support more and more certification processes, leading to increased traceability requirements.

Therefore there is a strong need for interoperability between analysis environments in Extended Enterprise context. Interoperability allows decreasing the time to market for new products, and it supports the long term retention of knowledge, and traceability of new virtual simulation processes.

Multidisciplinary Simulation Interoperability

Multidisciplinary simulation covers the individual analysis disciplines (such as aerodynamics, mechanical, electromagnetics, thermal, noise, and vibration), and the links and coordination between analysis disciplines.

Elaborate approaches have been developed for individual disciplines based on discipline-specific simulation workbenches. However, the interoperability between these workbenches is poor, along with the linkage between the discipline workbenches and the system-level product data definition.

This lack of interoperability is more and more critical, as more complex vehicle architectures have to be investigated and novel energy management functions have to be developed.

STEP AP209 ed2 is intended to play a determining role in Multi-disciplinary simulation interoperability including both simulation metadata and processes (a field known as "Simulation Data Management" SDM or "Simulation and Process Data Management" SPDM) and co-simulation. SDM covers all the interoperability functions based on open standards, such as:

  • Communication with the extended enterprise;
  • Long term archiving and retrieval;
  • Integration between upstream and downstream heterogeneous authoring CAE-CAD-PDM applications;
  • Simulation data quality;
  • Model exchange and co-simulation.

Challenges requiring multi-disciplinary interoperability and standardization include:

  • Insufficient validation of product physical behaviour early in the development phase;
  • Heterogeneity of analysis formats, simulation data representation formats and management information, leading to inability to master multi-physics effects;
  • Insufficient validation of product physical behaviour early in the development phase.

Use cases

  • Supplier analysis data exchange
  • Long Term Archiving of mesh models/analysis results
  • Multi-disciplinary design and optimization
  • Simulation Data Management

Business value

The objective of integrating the use of STEP AP209 in the engineering processes is to bring the following business value to a company:

  • Remaining solver-independent / Not being tied to a vendor proprietary format
  • Gaining the confidence to archive valuable engineering simulation and analysis assets in a stable format, ensuring future retrieval and reuse
  • Keeping alive the link between simulation and design
  • Keeping full traceability of the context in which a product was designed through capturing the metadata attached to it
  • Enabling sharing of data across various simulation disciplines.