How Digital Thread is Reshaping the Engineering Sector

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The main aim of a digital thread is to create simple universal access to data. It seeks to create homogeneity and follows a set of related data as it entwines in and out of business processes and functions to ease accessibility.

In other words, digital thread is a digital representation of the value chain starting from product design, engineering to manufacturing, after-market to the product in-use stage. Further, digital thread is not just limited to the internal entities but also connects the design suppliers, manufacturing suppliers as well as the service partners.

Given below is an overview of the value of digital thread:



VALUE LEVER DETAILS
Business model Product-as-a-service; If the product is a jet engine, It could be price by flying hours. For a tire, it is based on journey per kilometer, for an elevator, it could be based on the number of trips by analyzing the data from digital thread.
Quality By using the data, it is possible to improve the quality by detecting and predicting quality issues.
Traceability This is important during times of crisis like a component failure. Traceability could be of people, suppliers, materials, customers to requirements. This is done with the help of data from the digital thread.
Productivity Increasing the production throughout can lead to operational improvement, in program timing and streamlining the performance issues.
Cost Costly mistakes are identified before the production process with the help of data. Hence, the reworks are reduced.
Growth This can be achieved by identifying the service and product up-gradation methods early.
Visibility The visibility of targets, supple chain issues will be early with the help of data and this help in avoiding contingencies.
Time-to-market Visualization of both the production and Product facility provides better clarity, reduces any form delay and identifies bottlenecks, hence reducing the time-to-market.
Predictive Maintenance Insights that are received from the data generated through the product lifecycle assists with predictive maintenance and prevents unscheduled downtime.



Challenges in Digital thread implementation


The business value of a digital thread is growing rapidly on one side, but on the other side, manufacturers are facing quite a number of challenges in the implementation of the digital thread.


Challenge in the interoperability of a heterogeneous application landscape
Challenges of organizational boundaries
Lack of end-to-end ISV solutions
The difference in data semantics
Personalized user experience expectations
Lack of clear business case and sponsors
Proliferation of standards


Below are some of the digital thread platform dimension:

Seamless data and process interoperability
Architecture simplification
User experience
Pre-built components
Step-by-step methodology
Business problem orchestration
Collaboration
Domain-specific ontologies
Semantics
Industry-specific standards and mapping


Digital thread platform implementation no longer remains a theory. Implementation has already begun in the engineering sector. But there are some considerations that the manufacturers must keep in mind while implementing the digital thread, such as:

Develop a digital thread strategy
Build a business case and identify sponsors
Adopt an incremental approach to digital thread implementation
Receive from external partners
Select a digital thread implementation partner diligently
Monitoring digital thread projects and results closely
Continuously evolving the process


Currently, digital thread is in its initial stages and might seem to be an option for manufacturers who are yet to realize its business value of its past enterprise investment. Manufacturers who lag behind in implementing the digital thread are likely to be left behind in the connected world.


What AXISCADES does


With a structured phase approach of understanding your current framework at different levels, AXISCADES suggests the right digitization activities that increase efficiency. With our industry experts supporting you through the entire process, effectively manage your implementation and pick and choose the delivery model that fits your needs. We’ll help you conduct regular benefit evaluations to ensure your goals are being met and the deployment is successful.


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