Aerospace Parts Could be Tracked With Blockchain


Biotechnology it’s becoming very popular among aerospace suppliers allowing them to better track parts and no more about their supply chain. This comes about since the tragic accident that occurred in the previous month with Southwest Airlines. Blockchain technology itself is basically a digital transaction that supports Bitcoin. Its capabilities are to record, track and move assets through industries and eventually provide cuts to costs, smooth out operations and enhance management of cash. During that earlier month tragic explosion, it was revealed that many airlines fail to track their history of each individual parts that can go inside an engine. The aerospace industry is facing a huge problem when it comes to knowing where all of the these parts are in their inventory. Aside from Blockchain technology providing great cost benefits, smoothing out operations and making parts management easier, it will ultimately make safety checks after any tragedy go faster. Industry experts also state that aerospace suppliers are hoping Blockchain is the solution to this new problem.

When using this technology, Blockchain allows for an encrypted secure audit simply because there is only one version of it. This basically ensures there will not be a huge amount of paperwork when it comes to tracking parts. As an example, the technology currently is being applied to tracking cobalt from Congo mines to smartphones. One U.S. manufacturer business that handles fly control systems called Moog, works with various partners in an effort to create Blockchain solutions they call VeriPart. This allows for the tracking of 3d printed parts.

George Small is Technology Chief at Moog. He found they were spending a lot of time and effort tracking their supply chain and individual parts just to keep up with regulatory and quality requirements. He further states the aerospace industry is just like other regulated sectors that include either nuclear power or the medical industry. Small further added that he sees Blockchain technology increasing the transparency and efficiency when it comes to sharing particular data. He also notes that they have received positive feedback from customers at this point. VeriPart, while in development, Moog continues to connect with customers about the use of the technology. He believes the solution does apply to manufactured goods and associated data that needs to be tracked from origin to delivery then to service, all across the entire supply chain.

Advocates say that the encryption of the technology brings about insured transparency because of the decentralized and openness of Blockchain. This provides an opportunity for many parties to transfer and share information. Another company working with the Blockchain developers includes the well-known engine designer Royals Royce. Their goal is to discover how they can use it in their own supply chain and already see it bringing in a lot of solutions. A Rolls-Royce spokesman has stated the company clearly sees the opportunities to begin automating all records for their complex products that currently needs a huge manual push to make sure everything is actually running correctly.

Another technology company called Sabre definitely sees a clear case in using Blockchain to track their parts as well. Philip Likens, Director of Sabre Labs, says it comes down to when you don’t need super fast technology, but you do need a Blockchain record you can trust. Likens further adds that by using Blockchain you will know the parts creator, the specific date of the creation, when it was applied to the plane and the exact hours of the plane’s operation. He emphasizes that it’s imperative that all of these elements are correct and right. As for Airbus, the planemaker is considering a job addition with a title such as Blockchain solution architect. They are looking at posting online for this particular position at their work sites in Filton, Toulouse, Hamburg or even Broughton.

They have gone as far as creating a work group inside the company where they can spot company challenges that are worthy of using the Blockchain technology. Their spokesman has stated it seems to be a natural fit for the supply chain overall. She adds that the technology will ultimately improve the tracking of inventory and add to, but not replace, the software used by suppliers. It should also be noted that Blockchain technology is not alone in allowing businesses to track their supply chains.

Enders Analysis says the technology itself is a bit misunderstood and over-exaggerated. It also states companies could possibly use their existing technology to perform the same functions as Blockchain. In addition, even though the hype around Blockchain’s ability to track and manage supply chains and give transparency, there really is no guarantee goods are actually delivered as the Blockchain may state. However, the analysts did say that it is important to upgrade systems as technology advances and can certainly improve efficiency. This was directed at those companies that might be considering adding Blockchain technology to their systems. The analysts go on to state further that there’s no sense in using Blockchain just because it’s available.

To give an example of other technology aside from Blockchain that could enhance the efficiency of a supply chain, the Airbus company has made a move last week bringing on Premium Aerotec, an aircraft structure maker, to there aviation data platform that is cloud-based called Skywise. It handles orders, production, data quality from both companies then takes the data and analyzes it in an effort to stabilize manufacturing giving their supply chain more transparency. Premium Aerotec CEO Thomas Ehm made his point to Reuters stating that Airbus has to know where all parts are located and when they arrive to build the their aricrafts. By using Skywise, they get more visibility when it comes to manufacturing.


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