PLM as a bedrock for bringing all digital traces together

Information from various systems within a business is comparable to clues in a criminal case. Every single trace conceals information. Some of them drop out due to a lack of documentation. The rest of the traces can only provide a decisive clue to solving the case when combined with other footprints. For this reason, a combination of all the information from all the footprints, their evaluation, and identification is essential. This is the only way to draw the right conclusions and make decisions.

Valuable footprints exist in many companies. Often these remain unaccounted for or are only found individually in different areas. Whenever a company is looking for footprints, the question is what is the most applicable tool and which methodology is the right one.

Systems integration based on OSLC methodology

Tracing the digital thread

Schaeffler, a leading global automotive and industrial supplier, aims to combine these individual “traces” into one big whole.  The company’s goal is to develop an integrated, agile, and comprehensive IT environment for developers, thereby simultaneously implementing the verification requirement for automotive test and measurement procedures throughout the product life cycle.

Existing paths, scattered across heterogeneous system environments, needed to be connected, clear and transparent across all systems. The Connected PLM solution was created on the basis of ThingWorx. Information from all working memories and silos was thus combined and the basis for the digital thread was created. The integration of the systems was performed based on the OSLC methodology. As a result, applications can combine and share data and perform create, request, update and delete operations, yet without copying. This guarantees the documentation of each trace, and therefore the information. The challenge here was the various OSLC capabilities of the systems.

The goal of connecting all the footprints was to create a Digital Thread. This solution ensures the flow of information both from RAMs and silos to suppliers and OEMs, as well as the integrity of cooperation in all areas. The new capabilities gained with product technology networking were integrated into processes and workflows in Schaeffler’s IT environment. Schaeffler is thus able to share information more quickly and effectively. But this is not the end of the “search for traces” at Schaeffler. More on organizational networking as well as networking within the supply chains will follow. Further information will therefore be exciting.

Tracing the digital thread

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