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PLM and Digital Thread – What is the Digital Thread

What are the digital twin and the digital thread?

In our rapidly changing world, where digitalization and technology have become the norm, new terms are constantly appearing that can cause confusion. Have you ever heard of the digital twin or the digital thread? Both concepts play a crucial role in today’s Industry 4.0 and could also have a significant impact on your company. This blog post will discuss the advantages of the digital twin and the digital thread within a PLM system.

A digital twin represents a virtual representation of a real product or process. It can be used to carry out simulations and tests without consuming actual resources. In this way, potential errors can be identified early and avoided before they actually occur.

The digital thread is a sophisticated concept that represents the continuous flow of information from the beginning to the end of the product life cycle, from the design phase to recycling after use. Each production step leaves behind information that is summarized on a central platform.

But what advantages do these two concepts offer?

1. Cost and time savings: Companies can shorten their product development and testing phases by using the digital twin. With the help of virtual simulations, products can be optimized more quickly and possible risks can be identified at an early stage. This not only reduces time but also costs for physical prototypes and test runs.

2. Improved product quality: The digital twin enables careful analysis and optimization of product design. Using simulations and virtual testing, companies can identify potential vulnerabilities and take appropriate measures to improve the quality of the final product. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and increases trust in the brand.

3. More efficient production: The digital twin enables companies to optimize production processes and identify bottlenecks or “bottlenecks”. Increasing the efficiency and reducing costs of production can be achieved through simulation and monitoring of production processes.

4. Better decision-making: Digital twins and the digital thread offer companies a comprehensive data and information base. This makes the analysis and evaluation of products and processes easier. Companies can make informed decisions and derive strategic measures to increase productivity and identify growth opportunities.

5. Traceability and documentation: The use of digital solutions enables companies to provide complete documentation of the entire product life cycle. From product development to maintenance and repair, information and data can be reliably tracked.

6. Improved collaboration and integration: The digital thread improves collaboration and integration between different departments and teams. By centrally storing and linking information, employees can work together more efficiently and effectively. This leads to an increase in innovative strength and enables seamless integration of external partners and suppliers.

7. Sustainability and environmental compatibility: The digital twin supports companies in the development and production of environmentally conscious products. Virtual optimization can be used to save resources, reduce emissions and develop environmentally friendly products.

Both concepts not only offer advantages in planning and production – they also enable continuous improvement through constant data collection and analysis.

We are in the midst of a phase of the industrial revolution – a time full of innovation and change. The question now is how we can use these new tools most effectively. As with any new technology, there are many challenges to overcome, such as data security, interoperability between different systems and the need for large amounts of data for accurate models. But we are getting closer to these goals every day.


Unlock the secrets of PLM and take control of your product development journey. Click now for our comprehensive ‘PLM for Manufacturers’ guide!


Unlock the secrets of PLM and take control of your product development journey. Click now for our comprehensive ‘PLM for Manufacturers’ guide!
Now you have an idea of ​​what lies behind the terms “digital twin” and “digital thread”. Sounds interesting? Then let us embark on this fascinating journey into the world of Industry 4.0 together. Here you can find out more about implementing digital threads in your company.

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