Thread Spools

The Digital Thread

To create an historical record of what happens to an instance of a Digital Twin throughout its entire lifecycle, you represent this with something called a Digital Thread.

Beyond the IoT telemetry the digital twin captures from the physical entity, other significant events are captured via an ever-growing digital thread.

I’ll use an automobile to illustrate how this works. While it’s critical to have a car’s current and historical telemetry data captured & analyzed, there are other events that occur throughout the car’s life that result in a digital thread adding those events to the twin’s permanent record. Taking a car to the shop for an oil change, an accident report and repair, and performing routine service on the car all represent events that are manually added to the digital thread. You could also add pictures, 3D CAD models and other important information via this mechanism. Just imagine capturing a digital thread event where a particular type of car suffered a water pump failure at 60,000 miles. Sharing this information with all other cars of the same type would be invaluable.

In the end, this is how we tell the birth-to-retirement story of the physical entity represented by it’s digital twin.

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