A digital thread describes the framework which connects data flows and produces a holistic view of an asset's data across its product lifecycle. This framework addresses protocols, security, and standards. Typically, the digital thread connects digital twins, digital models of physical assets, or groups of assets. A digital twin is the current representation of a product or system, mimicking a company’s machines, controls, workflows, and systems. The digital thread meanwhile is a record of the lifetime of a product or system, from its creation to its disposal.