Enabling Connections in the Product Lifecycle using the Digital Thread

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Virginia Tech


Product lifecycles are complex heterogeneous systems. Applying control methods to lifecycles requires significant human capital. Additionally, measuring lifecycles relies primarily on domain expertise and estimates. Presented in this dissertation is a way to semantically represent a product lifecycle as a cyber-physical system for enabling the application of control methods to the lifecycle. Control requires a model and no models exist currently that integrate each phase of lifecycles. The contribution is an integration framework that brings all phases and systems of a lifecycle together. First presented is a conceptual framework and technology innovation. Next, linking product lifecycle data dynamical is described and then how that linked data could be certified and traced for trustworthiness. After that, discussion is focused how the trusted linked data could be combined with machine learning to drive applications throughout the product lifecycle. Last, a case study is provided that integrates the framework and technology. Integrating all of this would enable efficient and effective measurements of the lifecycle to support prognostic and diagnostic control of that lifecycle and related decisions.



Product Lifecycle Management, Digital Thread, Smart Manufacturing