glossary of terms
The Digital Thread is the virtual representation of the entire lifecycle of a product, process or system. It enables traceability, transparency and collaboration throughout the product lifecycle by ensuring stakeholders throughout the enterprise have the info they need.
Digital Thread has use cases throughout the value chain, including:
- Engineering: Digital design documentation, CAD files
- Manufacturing: Digital work instructions, quality control procedures, compliance documents, safety protocols
- Supply Chain Management: Inventory, order status, material specifications, shipment tracking
- Sales and Marketing: Product catalogs, pricing books, marketing collateral
- Research and Development (R&D): Research reports, patents, trademarks, intellectual property (IP)
- Human Resources (HR): Onboarding documentation, training manuals
- Customer Service/Support: Service manuals, troubleshooting guides, product warranties, field service technical support
The Digital Thread is often mentioned alongside the Digital Twin, which is the virtual replica of a physical object, process or system used for real-time simulation. The Digital Twin's primary use cases are predictive maintenance, performance optimization, remote monitoring, and real-time decision support.