Europe Union

DigiTrac – Digital Product Footprint Tracking System

DigiTrac is a system built on the concept of Digital Product Footprint (DPF) developed by the engineers at in collaboration with THALES, Netherlands. It is based on three core viewpoints: a product-centric, a business process-centric, and an end user-centric approach to product management, i.e., it considers business processes and the people in charge of them to be the essential parts of product management.

DigiTrac - Digital Product Footprint Tracking System |

The DPF may be seen and explored using the system. It provides a graph description of all the pieces used to build an item (for example, a car) together with all the information such as the original manufacturer, manufacturing date, maintenance, repair history, and so on. It is already being used in the transportation industry.

DigiTrac is a functioning prototype that exhibits the effectiveness of Product Lifecycle Management and can be customised for use in various industries. DigiTrac was showcased at the Productive 4.0 Industry 4.0 conference, receiving an excellent response.


The concept of a Digital Product Footprint is the result of a problem-solving process in which the management of a product, as a primary business process for a product owner (who is not a customer/owner), is revisited because existing solutions in terms of process descriptions and underlying tools and methods have eroded and become less performant because of the following trends: Digital Transformation, Smart Industry, Smart Industry++, Realisation of Industrial Internet of Things.

As a result of adopting the view that the creation and use of a man-made product must be trackable and traceable, in all required detail, via data in the digital domain (or the virtual world of digital data, or however you want to describe it), we face the challenge of defining and implementing an all-inclusive set of digital data items that together and in part describe all aspects of a product over its entire lifecycle (i.e. from its conception to its decommissioning and destruction).

Thales products are made up of several components that the firm obtains from a wide range of suppliers. The purpose was to create a platform that keeps all component documentation, providers of individual components, and replacements. The organisation searched for a partner with experience in enterprise architecture development; this is where came in to expand the state-of-the-art. 

DigiTrac - Digital Product Footprint Tracking System |

The Solution: How does it work?

The DPF’s main principle is as follows: for any business process that handles product-related data, the DPF provides an access point (interface) for a human in charge of that business process. The product-centric DPF interface lets that human user do the essential data-handling operations, reaching across the proprietary data structures of multiple organisations that are part of the product’s supply network. DPF offers a different user interface for each process or sub-process, allowing for concern separation and security.

DigiTrac, facilitated by Data Space, enables a collaborative product life cycle and supply chain management. It connects distributed PLM systems run by many parties in a multi-stakeholder ecosystem to provide visibility of product and component interdependence across the value chain. DPF helps the bidding process, product configuration, and change management by incorporating all data items necessary to control all elements of a product.

DigiTrac provides access to an anonymised representation of an existing complex product involving a multi-stakeholder supply network and spanning as many lifecycle phases as possible, supplemented with other data items to cover another business process involved in DPF management, namely the Logistics process. As a result, the DPF will enable access to a wide range of data items, including design data (software, hardware, and mechanical parts), manufacturing data, supplier data, supply and logistics process and network data, and data on the product’s operating performance, maintenance, and support. This product’s change processes will comprise a variety of small and significant effect events, such as a mid-life update, ownership change, export limitations, obsolescence management, and supply network changes.

DigiTrac - Digital Product Footprint Tracking System |