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A Methodology for Digital Twins of Product Lifecycle Supported by Digital Thread



Laetitia Monnier, Guodong Shao, Sebti Foufou


The technological advancement has led to the transition of manufacturing industries to Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0. Promising concepts such as Digital Twin and Digital Thread could help speed up the transition. One of the benefits of using digital twins is to allow the continuity of lifecycle information. However, currently, most of the digital twin implementations focuses on modeling a particular lifecycle stage of a physical element in "silos". It is challenging when incorporating diverse data streams from different lifecycle stages. Digital thread has been used to represent the information flow along the product lifecycle. Using information across Product Lifecycle stages will facilitate the interoperability and reusability of digital twins. Because data from each lifecycle stage could be accessed and managed systematically, this will ensure the value and the credibility of the digital twin. A lot of confusion still remains in industry about what are digital twin and digital thread as well as their relationships. In addition, using the lifecycle data from a digital thread for digital twin implementation is complex because of the heterogeneity of standards and technologies involved. In this paper, we provide definitions of digital twin and digital thread. We highlight the benefit of using them for interoperability and reusability of a digital twin for product lifecycle management and analysis. We propose a methodology for implementing digital twins using lifecycle data supported by a digital thread. Finally, we showcase the proposed methodology by providing an example of integrating digital twins with digital thread.
Proceedings Title
International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE)
Volume 2B: Advanced Manufacturing
Conference Dates
October 30-November 3, 2022
Conference Location
Columbus, OH, US


Digital Twin, Digital Thread, Product Lifecycle, Manufacturing standards, Interoperability


Monnier, L. , Shao, G. and Foufou, S. (2023), A Methodology for Digital Twins of Product Lifecycle Supported by Digital Thread, International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE), Columbus, OH, US, [online],, (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created February 8, 2023, Updated March 22, 2024