Digital Thread vs Digital Twin: Difference and Comparison

Investing in ideas with uncertain results leads to a waste of effort and finances. To avoid all these problems, science found solutions out of the imagination of ordinary people.

They sort of prepared digital models of the project to analyze the output before the investments. Both terms are confusing as they are used in the same environment and field. 

Key Takeaways

  1. A digital thread refers to a virtual representation of a product or process that captures and shares data across the entire product or process lifecycle.
  2. A digital twin replicates a physical asset or system that can simulate and analyze its performance and behavior in real time.
  3. The digital thread is focused on data management and communication, while the digital twin is focused on the simulation and analysis of physical assets or systems.

Digital Thread vs Digital Twin

The difference between Digital Thread and Digital Twin is that Digital Thread is the lowest state that collects all the pre-existing data and unifies it. It makes a timeline of a product from its creation to the end. In contrast, a digital twin is the visual representation of a procedure, service, or physical object before producing the actual thing. 

Digital Thread vs Digital Twin

Digital Thread is the foundation of the digital twin and is defined as the lowest level of design while creating a digital representation of a physical object.


Science Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to science

1 / 10

Fermentation is the process of ______.

2 / 10

The first link in all food chains is-

3 / 10

Balloons are filled with

4 / 10

Non-stick cooking utensils are coated with

5 / 10

A passenger in a moving bus is thrown forward when the bus suddenly stops. This is explained

6 / 10

An atom is considered to be ____________ when the number of protons and electrons are equal.

7 / 10

Which of the following is used in pencils?

8 / 10

Soda water contains

9 / 10

Which of the following metals remain in liquid for under normal conditions?

10 / 10

Which among the following is not a synthetic fiber?

Your score is


In this, various sets of data which are interrelated are unified. It is just like a record of data from the creation of a product till its end.

Using today’s technology, a Digital twin is defined as a digital representation of a physical object, service, or process. Many replicas of objects like jet engines, buildings, or wind farms can be formed using digital twins.

Not only that, whole cities can be represented using digital twin technology before construction starts. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDigital ThreadDigital Twin
DefinitionIt is basic information about the object from its creation to the end.It is the term used for creating a digital representation of a physical object to understand the output.
LevelIt is used at a lower level.It is used at various levels.
ImportanceIt gives the details of the object from starting till the end.It is essential to understand the object. 
RepresentsIt represents all relevant information for the interpretation of the product’s performance.It represents the product service, procedure or output before manufacturing the physical object.
ApplicationIt helps in understanding the defects and finding their solution.It helps in judgement and understanding the behaviour of output using digital representation.

What is Digital Thread? 

Digital Thread is the lowest level design of digital twinning. Without this stage of work, digital twining or digital representation is not possible of the physical object.

This helps by collecting all the related data and unifying them.

Then the result values are concluded from them to have all the information of the object from the beginning to end. 

Digital Thread is essential as:

  1. Provides insight into life cycle: It provides insights into the whole life cycle of the associated product or service. It helps in avoiding the wastage of resources.
  2. Estimating the process: This technology estimates the required process, output, and work. A blueprint is ready to start a new project.
  3. Empowers people with new analytics: It Empowers people and the whole team with new analytics and ideas for the best approach to move on a project.
digital thread

What is Digital Twin?

Digital Twin is a digital representation of any service, physical product, or process. It gives the output of any physical object way before its manufacturing starts.

The main motive is to know how the object will react to the physical world when it comes into existence.

Digital Twin is essential because:

  1. Provides information about what happened in the object: Digital twin provides all the information required as it represents the physical twin of the object.
  2. Improve productivity: it represents the physical twin giving all the information, increasing productivity.
  3. Lower the Maintenance Cost: Digital Twin can lead to lowering the maintenance cost as it can predict any breakdown before it happens.
  4. Avoid wastage: wastage of resources will be avoided as the team will know the behaviour of the physical twin towards the environment. 
  5. Planning improves: all the actions and work are planned as the main model is in front of the team with all the upcoming problems.  

Digital Twin comprises three main elements: 

  1. Past Data: it includes all the data of the past.
  2. Present Data: it includes the data of present or the real-time data 
  3. And Future Data: it includes the machine knowledge and inputs of engineers.

It is used at various levels, including components, assets, systems, and processes.

digital twin

Main Differences Between Digital Thread and Digital Twin 

  1. Digital Thread is the lowest level of the Digital Twin. Without digital thread, digital twinning is not possible.
  2. Digital Thread is used at a lower level, whereas Digital Twin can be used at various levels. It is not limited to the lower level.
  3. Digital Thread is important to rectify any mishappenings in the future, and Digital twin is important to understand the object.
  4. Digital Thread provides all the information about the object from its creation till its end, and Digital Twin only represents the physical-digital representation of the object.
  5. Digital Thread is helpful when any defects arrive in the object as it has all the information related to it, making it easy to rectify. Digital Twin represents the actual state of a defect in the physical representation of that object, making it easy to know where the defect is.

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