Addressing the Challenges

Large, multi-faceted end users, or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), will often have different teams working on different areas of a project – their own ‘piece of the puzzle’.

Working in silos can often mean communication between teams is limited and, in some cases, where solutions or efficiencies are identified by one team, there may be unknown duplication of solutions already found by another team. They might even be creating unintended inefficiencies. Other challenges include timely visibility into manufacturing performance metrics, ROI justification, and disparate systems and data sources.

This is where the digital thread can help. However, for OEMs, establishing a digital thread framework presents challenges of its own.

  • Where to start – organisations might be unsure of who the key stakeholders are, what functions or departments will be involved, which partners sit in the supply chain and what skills are needed to develop a framework.
  • Identification – companies need to identify what new, valuable data needs to be captured, over and above the data that has traditionally been collected.
  • Process – there is often a lack of clarity around the processes for capturing and tracking product lifecycle data, as well as changes and decisions made during the development, manufacturing and service stages.

CFMS and the digital thread

CFMS is an independent, neutral and not-for-profit organisation with a vision to drive a practical revolution in engineering design capability. To do this we demonstrate the value of delivering innovative concepts. CFMS works with both large and small organisations to show how a future system can operate, tracking data, design changes and predicting performance and maintenance requirements, offering impartial guidance on how to make improvements to capture, curate and connect vital information throughout the product lifecycle.

Our aim is to help industry organisations develop their digital capability, having access to the right infrastructure, the ability to understand how data is captured, collated and connected. Focusing on driving value for the customer is at the heart of CFMS. We are one of the few companies bringing the product life cycle together, where the design, manufacture, service and decommission phases have historically had very distinct and autonomous roles.

If you are interested in finding out more about digital thread and developing your own framework, you can contact CFMS by email at

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