The digital thread — and the data that courses through it — could change everything we have come to understand about manufacturing.

The day has arrived. The ONE Aviation team will watch as not just the bell crank, but an entire airplane — designed and built with the help of the digital thread — takes flight. As this physical object created in the digital world is put to the test, we will revisit what made it possible and explore the potential benefits and opportunities that the digital thread offers.

The digital thread — and its companion, the digital twin — could revolutionize not only the way we design and develop products, but the way we manufacture and service them as well. The thread can enable manufacturers to produce components with shorter development cycles, continually improving design, compressed supply chains, and expanded geographic flexibility.

Beyond that, the digital thread can facilitate a learning organization — one that takes data and information from previous design iterations and field experiences to enable further innovation and process efficiencies. It appears to be a central driver of both present and future value. All that is left to do now is wrap things up. We will do that in our final episode.

What to watch next
Further Reading

M. Cotteleer, S. Trouton, and E. Dobner, “3D Opportunity and the Digital Thread: Additive Manufacturing Ties It All Together,” Deloitte Insights, March 3, 2016, accessed Jan. 9, 2018.

A. Parrott and L. Warshaw, “Industry 4.0 and the Digital Twin: Manufacturing Meets Its Match,” Deloitte Insights, May 12, 2017, accessed Jan. 22, 2018.

M. Vitale, B. Tilton, M. Conner, and A. Shah, “3D Opportunity for Scan, Design, and Analyze: The First Phase of the Digital Thread,” Deloitte Insights, Dec. 2, 2016, accessed Jan. 12, 2018.

1 Comment On: Following the Digital Thread: The Digital Thread Takes Flight

  • Barry Nelson | March 9, 2018

    This is a great body of video education work that successfully reminded me of the value of modified “Engineering Design Change” technology that was born in the 90’s within the auto industry and later applied to Aircraft Part Design and change. Spectacular inclusion now of automated design or Simulated-AI.

    What I found fascinating in the end was what we never saw but had to imagine – the ‘shocking alternative-design” part actually mounted on the aircraft! For good reason and likely due the the rigours of the maintenance change records and new-part-design validation chain, including gov’t certification – so I get that! What would the whole wheel housing look like if it was reverse engineered much the same way – Probably very organic (Avatar-like) and almost scary to an engineer.

    It would be amazing to treat the airplane itself as a part and see what the system kicked out as an efficient design. This is probably not within the design abilities of the software, but it really got me thinking, so that is great. I see the value of your “Digital Thread” thinking and really appreciate the opportunity to view this professional series of video education – Thank you!

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