Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

128 V I EWPO I NT Digital thread: powering transformation S T E V E DE R T I EN : P TC The combination of digital thread and digital twin technologies can help manufacturers to reach their transformation goals quickly and effectively Approaching the new year, digital transformation is well underway at nearly all industrial companies. They’re investing significantly in IT and other digital tools. In fact, IDC forecasts that digital transformation spending will reach $1.8 trillion in 2022. Businesses are increasingly depending on their digital initiatives being successful to enable them to remain competitive, differentiate themselves in their market, and meet the demands of customers, regulatory organisations and supply chains. While digital transformation is often associated with technology, it’s the physical parts of a business – products, processes, people and places – that are impacted most. Products and their life cycles are at the crux of everything manufacturing companies do. You simply can’t envision engineering, manufacturing or aftermarket services without picturing the products and processes that are at the heart of each function. That’s why the most effective digital transformation strategies need to be anchored in the product life cycle – and a digital thread provides the foundation to do just that. A digital thread creates a closed loop between the digital and physical worlds and spans the entire product life cycle, ensuring accurate product and process information is available to the right person, at the right time, in the right context, across the value chain. In other words, a digital thread unlocks the type of collaboration and visibility necessary to achieve significant business value across an entire organisation. PTC has a powerful portfolio of technologies – computer-aided design, product life cycle management, application life cycle management, internet of things (IoT), augmented reality and service life cycle management – that transform existing business processes and drive customer engagement, employee productivity and business resiliency. For example, in engineering, we help companies improve quality, reduce rework, accelerate sustainable innovation, and expedite new product development and time-to-market. We do this by helping companies modernise product development processes and establish governance with solutions for model-based definition, product data management, configuration and change management, and bill of materials management, along with more services. At the same time, in manufacturing, we help companies drive efficiency with solutions for asset optimisation, workforce productivity, quality improvement and speed to industrialisation. We also work in aftermarket service to help companies improve customer satisfaction by enabling remote visibility into assets, which improves technician efficiency, reduces dispatches and their associated emissions, and allows for better service parts management. Optimising the processes within each of these business functions has value all on its own, but when it’s part of a bigger effort to create a digital foundation for product life cycle data, there are more transformative benefits. Companies improve collaboration within and between each of the functions and their relationships with customers and supply chain partners.