Forward-looking manufacturing companies have recognized the value of digital threads that bring together design and product information across the product life cycle, connecting the dots as information flows from design to manufacturing and on to services. Creating a reliable, scalable infrastructure to support digital thread programs can be a significant challenge, given the wide variety of legacy systems involved. At Mercury Systems we are using Kafka and Confluent to drive our digital thread program and put in place a product lifecycle management process for Industry 4.0. With the substantial year-on-year growth we were seeing, we needed a cloud-ready solution that goes beyond a basic, API-based integration layer based on Mulesoft or similar technology. If you’re wondering why Kafka makes sense for a digital thread, join us to learn how a real-time event streaming platform enables core strategies around ML/AI, microservices, model-based system engineering, and continuous improvement.