The digital thread has become a widely discussed concept in the manufacturing industry. According to a PTC report, 94% of industry leaders said they were in the planning stages of implementing a digital thread, and 67% of companies had gotten a start on their digital thread projects in the last two years. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as the benefits of digital thread are pushing manufacturing and engineering organizations to create better products faster.

Top 3 Benefits of Digital Thread


Improved Production Planning and Manufacturing

It’s common for enterprises to adopt a variety of digital technologies without considering how they work together. Unfortunately, this method results in disconnected systems across a bunch of different functions. But this can be solved.

Seamlessly connecting engineering and manufacturing with advanced 3D CAD and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions is one of the main benefits of digital thread. Taking a holistic approach to connectivity between these teams enables better tracing through product ideation, development, and production, which in turn:

  • Reduces rework
  • Cuts costs associated with poor quality
  • Speeds up time to market

Using the digital thread to connect data between teams significantly improves production planning.

Streamlined Change Management

The product lifecycle is complex, and managing both upstream and downstream changes can lead to costly versioning issues. By implementing a PLM solution to support your digital thread, you can make change management collaborative. Implementing this method ensures data governance around configurations using automated workflows. This method enables organizations to:

  • Reduce scrap and rework
  • Improve quality
  • Support enterprise-wide collaboration

Enabling the back-and-forth flow of data between teams significantly improves collaboration, which ultimately saves money and increases productivity.

Accelerated Product Innovation

One of the all-encompassing benefits of digital thread is how it empowers engineers to leverage real-world data to make informed decisions to innovate and improve products. Combining the power of CAD, PLM, IoT, and AR, teams have a solid foundation created from data that feeds back to them. This provides insights into product performance and customer experiences to drive new iterations.

Ultimately, this data can support multiple teams:

  • Sales and marketing can drive revenue growth
  • Product management can create new business models
  • Design and engineering can optimize products

Digital thread solutions help engineering teams make informed product optimization decisions based on real-world customer data.

You Need the Right Solutions to Reap the Benefits of Digital Thread

Implementing a digital thread in your organization won’t work if you’re simply adding disconnected solutions to your tech stack. The real benefits of digital thread can only be felt if there is connected data flow throughout the entire organization.

To take advantage of these benefits, we recommend the PTC suite of products. From Creo 3D CAD to Windchill PLM and more, PTC’s integrated solutions make it easy to implement a digital thread strategy across your enterprise.

Interested in learning more about how PTC solutions can empower your digital thread strategy? Contact us.