A digital thread for engineering supports product development from beginning to end. It helps ensure teams work on the same information to improve collaboration and consistency across products. When it comes to the digital thread for engineering, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind.

But First—What Is the Digital Thread?

When it comes to digital transformation, there’s a lot of buzz. We talk about it as . . .

The digital thread is an integrated view of everything about an asset or product throughout its lifecycle that enables improved communication and collaboration.

The ultimate goal is to improve productivity and product quality while cutting costs. This is especially important to keep in mind when designing a digital thread for engineering.

How Do You Build a Digital Thread for Engineering?

1.    Start with Your Data Foundation

Data is the foundation of a robust digital thread for engineering. Data must be integrated, maintained, and updated from various sources to be effective. Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the logical starting solution to build this data foundation. PLM makes it possible to bring together processes and information to create your digital thread for engineering. Then, it can be built and modified to address needs now and in the future.

Creating a data foundation supports the rest of your digital thread for engineering to enable cross-functional collaboration.


2.    Break Down Data Silos

Organizations must uncover and integrate existing siloed systems to build an effective digital thread for engineering. By making information more readily available across departments and geographies, new potential is unlocked to improve processes, connect assets, and establish a single source of truth.

Breaking down data silos creates a single source of truth for all products.

3.    Close the Loop

Implementing a digital thread for engineering makes it possible to close the product data loop. In addition, leveraging connected assets feeds more insights to the engineering team, so they can work with manufacturers to quickly iterate improvements and make informed decisions.

Closing the data loop enables more informed decision-making, which results in better products.

Bringing Solutions Together

While PLM is the foundation of a digital thread for engineering, leveraging the family of PTC products ensures all your data inputs work together in concert. For example, implementing Windchill PLM is the basis for establishing the digital thread. Then connecting systems with ThingWorx can empower informed decision-making based on the real-time status of the shop floor. And, Creo can be used in conjunction with the other CAD systems your partners work with to support increased collaboration.

The ultimate digital thread for engineering is connected and layered. Once it is established, it can be scaled across the enterprise. The more the core foundational data is used, the more transformative the digital thread can be and the more ROI it provides.

Interested in learning more about the potential a digital thread for engineering can provide your organization? Contact us.