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Digital Thread: Re-Imagining the Manufacturing Value Chain

By Dick Weisinger

Digital Threads is a digital manufacturing term that describes the flow of data through the life-cycle across the data silos. Digital threads are a concept for optimizing the delivery of data and information to the right place at the right time.

Applying digital tools to manufacturing is essential for manufacturers to stay relevant and become more agile, according to 33 percent of companies in an industry survey conducted by Supply Chain Insights.  Businesses say that digital manufacturing helps them improve their manufacturing process (55 percent), develop and share images and designs electronically (50 percent), create digital images for packaging development (48 percent), and review digital images and data for manufacturing parts and plant maintenance (43 percent).

Deloitte says that “at its most fundamental level, the digital thread is a re-imagined version of the manufacturing value chain —one powered by data and advanced analytical power, and optimized for the digital age. Each stage of the digital thread is, itself, comprised of and enabled by an integrated ecosystem of digital technologies that work in concert to tackle a particular challenge in the production process.”

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