Unravelling the Product Digital Thread: A Guide for Discrete Manufacturers

In the fast-paced world of Discrete Manufacturing, staying competitive requires embracing new data management strategies. One key concept is the Product Digital Thread, which is essential for manufacturers looking to boost efficiency and integration across the product lifecycle.

This article delves into the basics of the Product Digital Thread, its role in Discrete Manufacturing, and why it's a game-changer. Using a Cable Winch—a complex product with diverse design and manufacturing needs—we'll explore the stages of product development, sales, manufacturing, and beyond, highlighting the importance of the Product Digital Thread.


Understanding the Digital Thread: Navigating the Lifecycles of Innovation

The Product Digital Thread is the backbone of modern manufacturing, enabling smooth data flow across a product's lifecycle. Let's examine its role in different phases using the Cable Winch as an example.



1) Multi-CAD

In the Multi-CAD environment, various computer-aided design (CAD) systems collaborate during the product's conceptual phase, including the Cable Winch. By integrating mechanical and electrical design software into a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system, information is transferred seamlessly, ensuring the Product Digital Thread remains consistent throughout development.

Beyond just a digital representation, the Digital Thread fosters collaborative design, allowing for unified data flow among different components. Starting in the Multi-CAD phase, the Digital Thread harmonizes design efforts, enhancing integration and efficiency in later stages, improving the overall development process.



2) Product management and design

As the Cable Winch moves through its lifecycle, the Product Management & Design phase becomes crucial. Here, the Digital Thread connects diverse data sources into a unified digital model, capturing the detailed specifications of the Cable Winch. This collaborative method ensures the digital twin accurately reflects the design details, manufacturing specs, and operational considerations. The Digital Thread thus provides a comprehensive view, facilitating a smooth transition into sales, manufacturing, and delivery.


3) Sales
During the Sales phase, the Product Digital Thread is vital for Engineer-to-Order (ETO) and Configure-to-Order (CTO) scenarios for the Cable Winch. For ETO, it refines the order-specific product model into a dynamic digital twin, ensuring precise customization. In CTO scenarios, it guides module assembly, streamlining processes and reducing errors to deliver tailored solutions efficiently.
This phase also integrates B2B ecommerce and customer portals, showcasing various winch options. Customers can configure the winch, fostering collaboration and satisfaction, and speeding up the sales cycle. Essentially, the Digital Thread redefines customer engagement, providing personalized experiences and building lasting relationships.



4) Manufacturing

As the Cable Winch enters the Manufacturing phase, the Digital Thread continues to play a crucial role in production. It enriches the digital twin with components like traceability, quality monitoring, and cost tracking. The Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) capabilities are pivotal in this phase. MOM coordinates and optimizes the manufacturing processes, while MES functionalities provides real-time data on production operations, ensuring everything aligns with the digital specifications. This synchronization, supported by the ERP-system, promotes accuracy and efficiency, resulting in a high-quality product.

5) Delivery

When the products are ready for delivery, the Digital Thread transitions smoothly into the Delivery phase. When manufactured, each cable winch receives a unique serial number linked to its digital twin, ensuring each delivered winch matches the digital model, enhancing customer satisfaction and reinforcing the brand's reliability.



6) Service

The lifecycle extends beyond delivery into the Service phase, where the Digital Thread remains vital. It provides a real-time view for managing services like warranty support, maintenance, spare parts sales, and updates. The digital twin, enriched with lifecycle data, becomes crucial for coordinating these services. Customers can order spare parts using 3D views on the B2B ecommerce portal, ensuring prompt and effective support throughout the product's life.


The Role of Roimas’ Digital Thread in Product Development

Roimas’ Digital Thread facilitates a connected data flow throughout a product's lifecycle, starting from the conceptual phase. The Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system acts as the backbone, combining data from various sources into a unified digital product model. Whether it's Engineer-to-Order (ETO) or Configure-to-Order (CTO), the order-specific product model becomes the digital twin, managing the procurement process through the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

Bringing the Digital Twin to Life

As the physical product is assembled, Roimas’ Product Digital Thread enriches the digital twin with data related to traceability, quality monitoring, and cost tracking. Each product is identified by a unique serial number, linking it seamlessly with its digital counterpart. The digital twin becomes a dynamic asset, managing various lifecycle-related actions such as, online CPQ and ordering, warranty and maintenance work, spare parts sales, and modernizations.

Maximizing Value & ROI: The Benefits of Adopting the Product Digital Thread for Manufacturers

The Product Digital Thread offers numerous benefits to discrete manufacturers, improving decision-making, quality control, innovation, cost efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Real-time access to integrated data empowers stakeholders, fostering collaboration and growth. Adopting the Product Digital Thread ensures ROI by enhancing operational efficiency, reducing errors, improving quality control, fostering innovation, and building long-term customer loyalty.

Embracing the Product Digital Thread is essential for manufacturers aiming for sustainable success. The seamless flow of integrated data enhances efficiency and quality control, positioning companies for innovation and market leadership. By leveraging the Product Digital Thread, manufacturers optimize resources, minimize errors, and reduce costly rework, positively impacting their bottom line. The Product Digital Thread is not just a technological upgrade but a strategic necessity, offering a comprehensive view of product lifecycles.

In conclusion: Navigating Success with the Product Digital Thread

The Product Digital Thread is a transformative concept for Discrete Manufacturing. Our exploration of the Digital Thread shows its significant impact on data management. Using the Cable Winch as an example, we see how this approach connects Multi-CAD environments, design, sales, manufacturing, delivery, and services.
Roima's Product Digital Thread fosters a connected data flow from concept to delivery, efficiently managing ETO and CTO scenarios. It creates a dynamic digital twin, vital throughout the product's lifecycle.
The Product Digital Thread is crucial for manufacturers, providing immediate benefits and ROI. In a data-driven world, it ensures agility, competitiveness, and sustained success. Beyond a technological upgrade, it offers real-time insights, unlocking growth and efficiency opportunities. Embracing the Digital Thread guides manufacturers to success in the competitive world of Discrete Manufacturing.


Read more about the solutions in Roima's Product Digital Thread



Understanding the Digital Thread: Navigating the Lifecycles of Innovation

The Role of Roimas’ Digital Thread in Product Development

Bringing the Digital Twin to Life

Maximizing Value & ROI: The Benefits of Adopting the Product Digital Thread for Manufacturers

In conclusion: Navigating Success with the Product Digital Thread

  • Total: 6
  • Roima product

    Parttrap® ONE

    Additional text for product cardERP-integrated B2B ecommerce & PIM platform with CPQ and Spare Parts Management for manufacturers and distributors that want to build Customer self-service portals.

  • Roima product


    Additional text for product cardEfficient warehouse management and automation control in the same software.

  • Roima product


    Additional text for product cardStreamlined product lifecycle management with real-time data, collaboration tools, and integration capabilities for efficient, quality product development.

  • Roima product


    Additional text for product cardPowerful SaaS tool for efficient intralogistics and warehouse operations.

  • Roima product

    Lean System

    Additional text for product cardModular ERP enhances industrial efficiency with real-time data, agile planning, and cloud/on-premises deployment.

  • Roima product


    Additional text for product cardA complete Integrated Business Planning package designed to help you navigate rapid changes in your business and profitably manage your supply chain.

  • Total: 6

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