The digital thread enabled dramatically improved coordination between Engineering, Manufacturing, Suppliers and Sustainment since inception 20+ years ago with the revolution in 3D modeling. Digital Twins, virtual models and simulations of products, were also fathered by the digital thread and are used extensively today to support product design, manufacturing, and product testing. Advanced manufacturing technologies, enabled by the digital thread includes, robotics, automation, non-contact metrology, determinant assembly, augmented reality, additive manufacturing, and optical projection. Although digital models are the focus for manufacturing and engineering communities there is also a data digital thread that connects major IT systems such as CAD/PLM/MES/ERP/Sustainment systems allowing for data automation and reporting as well as the application of artificial intelligence to provide insight to product and business process performance.
Intended audience: DoD Acquisition and Engineering professionals
Dr. Don Kinard, Senior Fellow for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Dr. Don Kinard is a Senior Fellow for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Production Operations and has been with LM for 38 years. Don supports Digital Transformation as well as programs such as F-35. Prior to his current assignment he was lead for F-35 production rate transition and earlier the Director of F-35 Production Engineering responsible for Joint Strike Fighter Tooling, Planning, Manufacturing Engineering, and Aircraft Systems Testing. Before joining F-35 in 2004 Dr. Kinard held various positions in both Engineering and Manufacturing during his 18 years on the F-22.