PLM for Digital ThreadChoosing PLM for Digital Thread Initiatives (buyer’s guide)


PLM for Digital ThreadHow can PLM enable manufacturers to streamline engineering and create digital continuity with a cohesive digital thread? What should they look for in a PLM system to support their digital thread initiative? Our new eBook, Choosing the Right Enterprise PLM to Support the Digital Thread, shares survey results analyzing the value of the digital thread and shares requirements to achieve the practices of top-performing companies.

Please enjoy the summary below. For the full report, please visit our sponsor PTC (registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Choosing the Right PLM
  • Introducing the Buyer’s Guide
  • The Digital Thread Imperative
  • What to Look for to Streamline Engineering
  • What to Look for to Create Digital Continuity
  • Digital Thread Business Value
  • Considerations by Role – Engineering
  • Considerations by Role – Manufacturing
  • Considerations by Role – Quality
  • Considerations by Role – IT
  • Considerations by Role – Service
  • PLM is the Digital Thread Backbone
  • Special Considerations – Emerging Technologies
  • Special Considerations – Industry Requirements
  • Implementation Considerations
  • Vendor Considerations
  • Conclusions and Next Steps
  • About the Research
  • Acknowledgments

Introducing the PLM for Digital Thread Buyer’s Guide

Digital Thread and PLM Survey Highlights

A recent survey of over 250 manufacturers and engineering firms highlights the strategic value of the digital thread and the vital role that PLM plays to achieving their objectives. In fact, over three-quarters of manufacturers view the digital thread as either important or critical to achieving their business strategy.

Structure of this Guide

This buyer’s guide analyzes the strategic value of the digital thread and then shares the things companies should consider when choosing a supporting solution. The guide shares functional requirements needed to streamline engineering and create digital continuity across the product lifecycle. It also shares some critical things to look for by key roles in the manufacturing enterprise.

The guide then goes beyond functional considerations to identify special considerations, vendor requirements, and important factors to ensure successful implantation and adoption.

PLM for Digital Thread Requirement

The Digital Thread Imperative

Business Strategies Demand a Cohesive Digital Thread

Over three-quarters of companies say that the digital thread is either important or critical to achieving their business strategy.

Surveyed companies report a variety of important goals for their digital thread initiative (see chart). The range of goals highlights the many potential digital thread benefits.

While definitions vary, there are two primary values of the digital thread; streamlined engineering and digital continuity.

Digital Thread ObjectivesStreamlined Engineering

The digital thread streamlines design by allowing product development teams to share and reuse design data across the stages of innovation. Design continuity along the digital thread allows designers to add their design information to a cohesive design model, directly incorporating and extending design data from prior steps.

Digital Continuity

The digital thread ties product information, decisions, and history together in a structured, integrated way that captures product innovation and knowledge throughout the product lifecycle. It establishes traceability from early in the front end of innovation through development, manufacturing, service, and field operation.

Conclusions and Next Steps

Invest in the Digital Thread

Invest in the digital thread to streamline engineering and create digital continuity. Top Performers are 2.6 times as likely to view the digital thread as critical to supporting their business strategy.

Extend the Thread across the Lifecycle

Adopt a comprehensive scope that incorporates cross-departmental data. Top Performers are more likely to include manufacturing, quality, and service plans in the scope of their digital thread, and enrich it with actual data from the IoT.

Leverage PLM as the Digital Manufacturing Backbone

Adopt PLM to support the digital thread. Top Performing companies are 2.4 times as likely to view PLM as critical to supporting the digital thread and are much more likely to use PLM to support the digital thread.

Enjoy the Benefits

The digital thread provides significant, measurable benefits including, increased engineering efficiency, improved quality, faster time to market, enhanced innovation, and better compliance. Top Performers gain even higher benefits than others. For example, these more successful product developers enable their technical resources to spend 27% more time, on average, on value-added activities than their poorer performing counterparts.

*This summary is an abbreviated version of the research and does not contain the full content. A link to download the full report is available above.

If you have difficulty obtaining a copy of the report, please contact us using the “Contact” link below.