Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

129 For example, with remote visibility into products at your customer site, you’re better able to anticipate their needs and ensure your products are operating optimally. Or, by improving your digital foundation and product engineering data, you’re better able to closely collaborate with your supply chain. The robust data of digital thread lays the foundation for digital twins – virtual representations of a physical product, process, person or place that can mirror and measure their physical counterparts. Digital twins provide a connection between the digital definition and the physical experience, and they can unlock more opportunities for automation. For instance, performance and condition-based maintenance is triggered when the digital twin crosses a threshold for that event. Those thresholds can be triggered as an event, the use of rules, analytics or machine learning, even a simulation. Companies can then take appropriate action, which improves service quality and customer experience. Vestas, the global leader in wind turbines, has been continually expanding its digital thread for years. Managing the complex build process for their turbines requires global collaboration and seamless orchestration of thousands of supplier materials. With PTC’s tools, Vestas’s CAD designs promptly reach the factory floor, where they’re turned into accurate and comprehensive process and work instructions for production machinery and Vestas’s workers. Vestas’s digital thread enables a real-time data exchange between these previously siloed systems and information sources, which improves time-to-market, product quality, flexibility in adding new product features, and worker productivity. A connected product strategy, powered by IoT data, ensures that Vestas’s digital thread is dynamic and reflects product performance and usage in the field. This valuable connection fuels continuous engineering improvements and provides necessary insights that help Vestas more effectively service customers. With a digital thread as an authoritative source of truth, companies like Vestas are achieving transformative gains across the value chain. As you consider the trajectory of your company’s digital transformation in 2023, you should prioritise building a digital thread foundation to take business plans from incremental improvements to transformative success. Learn more about PTC’s digital thread capabilities at: Steve Dertien is executive vice president and chief technology officer at PTC I NDU S T R I A L S & MANU FAC TUR I NG