Have you heard about a digital thread? Is your company on the path toward “digitalization?” What do these recent buzzwords really mean?
Watch this video and learn important points for creating and managing a digital thread in your organization. A digital thread represents a traceable collection of data and content that represent key decisions made in the course of a product development lifecycle or new product introduction. If you had to look back at previous product launches, do you have an accurate record of how key decisions got made throughout the process? Are all the design changes or production changes documented? A digital thread goes beyond tracking that a decision was made, it also helps you understand why it was made.
The challenge with a digital thread is the amount of data it can create so you have to know what you want to do with it. It’s not enough to capture the data and hope for the best. Pooling mountains of CAD files and layering IoT data on top does not yield a coherent, usable digital thread. Sure you have captured all the “events” that occurred for a sensor or controller, but what is it really telling you? Does your management know what all that data means? Creating a digital thread is both an art and a science, and needs to be organized around the needs of your company and placed in the right context (your digital product definition).
Old part data often lives in some database locked up in a proprietary format and is inaccessible to the enterprise. A digital thread initiative can change that to provide access to the right design or product data when it is needed, by people outside of engineering. But change like this requires making a lot of decision, and many of those need to be sorted out prior to embarking on creating and supporting a digital thread strategy. Your first key decision is which partner to hire to help guide you through the process. Choose to work with a provider who can help you navigate those decision trees, and enable you to create and sustain a digital thread so that it delivers real value to the organization.