What is Block Chain in Manufacturing

As factories around the world become increasingly interconnected, the influence of blockchain is becoming more prevalent. The Factory of the Future spans across a whole network of machines, parts, products and value chain participants. Now, more than ever, manufacturers face the challenge of securely sharing data. Blockchain can give transparency and trust through all stages of the industrial value chain, from sourcing raw materials to delivering the finished product. Places it could address:
  • Supply chain monitoring for greater transparency
  • Materials and counterfeit detection
  • Engineering design for high-complexity products
  • Identity management
  • Asset tracking
  • Quality assurance
  • Regulatory compliance
What is blockchain? Blockchain is essentially, a chain of blocks. However, instead of a physical chain, there’s digital information (the block) stored in a public database (the chain). When a block stores new data, it is added to the blockchain with public and private keys. Blockchain can seamlessly aggregate all of the information to deliver value for companies and unlock the full potential of advanced technologies, like augmented reality, IoT and 3D printing.   Blockchain in manufacturing Increasing visibility across all areas of the process from suppliers, strategic sourcing, procurement and supplier quality to shop floor operations which include machine-level monitoring and service. Supply chains can make use of blockchain’s distributed ledger structure and block-based approach to aggregating transactions to improve efficiency. Enhance tracking. Companies can leverage blockchain to exchange data more easily, accurately and securely within complex supply chains. These benefits are important if the supply chain includes several participants with independent IT systems or if there is a lack of trust among participants. Organizations across manufacturing industries face how to protect Intellectual Properties. Simplifying and safeguarding quality checks Advancing machines as a service. Instead of selling production equipment, a machinery provider charges for the equipment’s use. For example, instead of selling a compressor, the machinery provider sells compressed air by volume instead of owned machines. Manufacturers can avoid large upfront investments and can easily upgrade equipment to gain access to the latest technology. Enabling machine-controlled maintenance. Blockchain can support new maintenance approaches, like automated service agreements and shorter maintenance times.  In order to facilitate outsourced maintenance, users change service agreements related to each device to the blockchain record, creating a digital twin of the device. Blockchain can then allow for the automated execution of and payment for scheduled maintenance. A machine that requires maintenance can trigger a service request and generate a smart contract for the work or for a replacement part. When the service is provided, payment processing happens automatically. In addition, documentation of the maintenance history is made to the blockchain record.   What does the future hold? With technology such as blockchain, AI and machine learning , the Factory of the Future is set to look very different. As blockchain technology matures, it will allow more efficient factory operations that require data sharing and collaboration among networks of companies and machines. Click here to check out my video on what is Block Chain. https://vimeo.com/712870891      
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