Digital Thread

Break down data silos & connect business-critical information

What is a digital thread?

A digital thread is the communication framework that allows for a connected data flow and integrated view of the product’s and asset’s data throughout its lifecycle, connecting the many digital twins. Data should be re-usable and flow both downstream and upstream through feedback loops. Considering the data applications outside of the data generating domain, all the data in a digital thread must be clear, concise and validated.

Traditionally, a digital thread span's across siloed functional perspectives, but for value networks, which include suppliers, partners and customers, it needs to also extend outside of an organization’s border.

Why a digital thread?

Companies increasingly seek to achieve complete digital transformations as businesses are shifting towards growing global networks involving partners, suppliers, joint ventures, and customers. Network-centric organisations leverage from global access to markets, access to skills, time to market and time to volume production.

With increased data availability, digital threads are needed to connect and provide integrated views of information for improved quality and agility in decision-making. They break down data silos and ensure full traceability and full transparency of business-critical information across global value chains.

How to implement a digital thread using PLCS?

Product Life Cycle Support (PLCS) is an ISO standard developed for the maintenance and through-life support of complex products using a state-of-the-art open and rich data model. Lead by Eurostep, the data model of the PLCS standard was designed to enable a digital thread and digital twin even before these concepts became well established. Implementing PLCS doesn't only provides an immediate digital thread capability but also adds new functionality to already existing software and processes.

Key PLCS concepts in ShareAspace

  • Distinguish between designs and actuals (individuals)
  • Manage different BOM views (such as as-designed, as-manufactured and as-maintained) of a product and link/trace between them
  • Manage product properties and record their values over time or against different views
  • Audit trail covering the complete life cycle of a product and asset for overall configuration management of any digital thread data
  • Manage different breakdown views (such as physical and functional breakdowns) of a product and link between them and to different BOM views
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Eurostep solutions

Check out Eurostep's solution for a complete digital thread.

Recommended reading

A Digital Thread is for Life – Not Just Manufacturing
Implementing the digital thread and digital twin with PLCS To many, the Digital Thread is considered to end with manufacturing. But it is more. Not only does it enable secure ...
Do we need a standard like PLCS to build a digital thread?
Posting this as a blog on the Eurostep web site but you can follow the discussion on Linkedin here. PLCS is not needed for a digital thread but it is ...
Collaboration in the Engineering and Manufacturing Supply Chain – the Extended Digital Thread and Smart Manufacturing
Business is increasingly performed in networks. These can involve the supply chain, partners, joint ventures and customers. There are many reasons for networked business, such as global access to markets, ...
A Digital Thread is for Life – Not Just Manufacturing
Implementing the digital thread and digital twin with PLCS To many, the Digital Thread is considered to end with manufacturing. But it is more. Not only does it enable secure ...
Do we need a standard like PLCS to build a digital thread?
Posting this as a blog on the Eurostep web site but you can follow the discussion on Linkedin here. PLCS is not needed for a digital thread but it is ...
Collaboration in the Engineering and Manufacturing Supply Chain – the Extended Digital Thread and Smart Manufacturing
Business is increasingly performed in networks. These can involve the supply chain, partners, joint ventures and customers. There are many reasons for networked business, such as global access to markets, ...

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