Blog Post

Benefits of Adopting the Digital Thread in Complex Manufacturing



Over the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to attend and speak at various industry events where the topic of the Digital Thread was discussed in great detail. However, while the topic was overwhelmingly present, we noticed the majority of individuals within the manufacturing industry were still using outdated legacy systems on the shop floor and paperwork instructions (70% of manufacturers are still using Word, PowerPoint, or basic databases for process definition). Diving into the topic further, we decided to conduct our own survey to examine how far along the manufacturing industry is with digitalization and found that between 20-30% of companies were making strides implementing a Digital Thread across the enterprise.

Adopting the digital thread means better handling of data across traditionally siloed divisions of the manufacturing enterprise. When design, manufacturing, and ERP can operate in a closed-loop digital thread, the whole shop floor can work toward the same goal with more efficiency. When thinking about whether to push for digitizing the shop floor, consider the benefits of adopting the digital thread.

See below for four main benefits of adopting the digital thread:

Benefits of the Digital Thread – for Quality

Adopting the Digital Thread can bring quality gains for manufacturers who need to manage large amounts of data and manage complex supply chains. Especially in the face of stringent regulations and compliance standards for industries like aerospace, nuclear, medical devices, and defense. In all these industries, airtight Quality processes are key. The Digital Thread facilitates the right storage and management of Quality data for ensuring you’re always on the right path.


Benefits of the Digital Thread – for Velocity

Even in a complex discrete environment, where volumes are low, manufacturing enterprises must be able to adapt quickly and meet demanding timelines. Maintaining associativity among engineering, manufacturing, inspection and maintenance allows information to flow faster. The digital thread keeps everything connected so you can make velocity gains.


Benefits of the Digital Thread – for Change Management

The Digital Thread can manage multiple layers of change, including to dimensions, characteristics, or even supplier. With a high quality MES in place, the benefits of the digital thread can multiply in the context of change management.


More Benefits of the Adopting the Digital Thread

Adopting the digital thread can be the first step toward building a Model Based Enterprise for the Smart Factory Revolution. The right software can help to provide gains in productivity by avoiding mistakes in manual translations between engineering instructions and manufacturing, and can track the entire build along the product value chain.


The Digital Thread helps complex enterprises to maintaining a clear view of every component’s journey from receiving inspection through to the final product and beyond to tracking and records for quality standards and lifecycle management.


Adopting the Digital Thread Gives You:


  • Instant access to data along the product value chain
  • Integrated view of your data from one division to another
  • Streamlined arrangement of data between departments
  • 3D models that connect Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Better product and process definition
  • Simplified experience with compliance audits and supply chain


Learn more about Digital Thread readiness among your peers, in our new infographic:



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