Digital thread

Evaluating solutions to integrate and share data across manufacturing operations

The ability to seamlessly connect and integrate all the data captured throughout the product lifecycle is still a challenge, with much of the asset’s data traditionally siloed. Data within design and manufacturing operations still requires manual input into systems that are often disconnected. In comparison, the concept of a ‘digital passport’ can be thought of as a digital narrative of the asset, a key element of the move to digitalisation from paper and manual systems. Exploitation of digital threads, passports and twins form the foundation for the digital transformation of an enterprise. 

Using the National Composites Centre as a test bed, this project will scope the processes and systems need to create a ‘factory digital thread’, exploring different systems solutions and their ability to integrate and share data. Factors including cost and complexity will be compared to find the right solution to suit small and large companies.

The study will also explore product tagging solutions, such as serial numbers and RFID, to look at how a robust digital thread can be captured across the manufacturing journey, creating a ‘digital passport’ for each component.

Off the back of this new systems architecture, the team will explore how companies can improve productivity by interrogating each process in a ‘Factory Digital Twin’, a secure operational management control centre, capable of displaying data including equipment performance, environment and logistics to support decision-making.

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