Blockchain for Enterprises Series #1 – Aviation
Author : Jessey George
Components that make up an aircraft range between 250,000, for a small aircraft, and up to 7 million for a jumbo. Manufacturers have to laboriously track the components from the point of manufacture right up to the assembly line, depending on the subsection being assembled and in various locations across the globe. Though some automation alleviates this painstaking process from start to finish, much can be done to slash costs, improve efficiency and transparency as well as establish an audit trail when air accidents or component failure occurs.
Plane manufacturer Airbus and engine maker Rolls Royce have made headway in enabling Blockchain to track, record and transfer assets across their supply chain, essentially linking a myriad of suppliers of divergent industries. In such a critical industry as this where many lives as at stake, adding better monitoring and tracing only drives into the cost of doing business along with the inherent process complications and competence building. Simpler solutions are at hand in Blockchain. As plane manufacturing requires a huge supply chain and many hours of manual labour in assembly, the responsibility of tracking the vendors and engineers need to be simplified. Automation is a key component but so is securing the information without any hint of manipulation. Blockchain is a readily available technology that is successful in tracking and tracing across many other industries because it is transparent and far simpler to deploy. Therefore, parts that are being dispatched from the many diverse locations can be located, including the transitory storage; no matter how long it takes and all parties notified when it arrives at its intended location. Further, that part can be logged into the distributed ledger when it is installed and by whom. The same methodology applies when a component is dispatched to an operator in whatever location through a secured supply chain.
“What fascinates me about blockchain is that it allows us to take transparency to the next level in a simple manner. You like to track every single part in your supply chain? You like to make sure you can track down the supplier that shipped the part that made your product fail your customer? “Lack of technology” is no excuse anymore for you not to do that.”
Simon Ulrich, Chief Technology Officer of ReGov Technologies
Though the benefits produce economic outcome, it has safety elements where tracking a single component in a part failure or an aircraft crash can be done with speeds not possible in the past. As Blockchain offers superior encrypted audit trail in a single version of the data, traceability is enhanced without the stressful, time-consuming process of combing through mountains of physical paperwork.
Similarly, American flight control systems Moog, has undertaken initiatives to track 3D printed components with a Blockchain-based company to ensure they comply with government agencies and keep up with quality demands. This enhances their governance and accountability in a highly regulated industry.
Blockchain help players in this industry to enhance cost savings, push for records automation, especially for complex products that previously required a large scale, highly skilled workforce and improve agility in retrieving manufacturing information from the factory to the final assembly. As the data are indelible, tampering and fraud cause a ripple effect and can be easily discovered; further improving their governance and accountability.
On a side-note Airbus, through its Silicon Valley arm A3, has created a blockchain donation platform called Heritage. It is intended to accurately track and gain knowledge on their philanthropic efforts and instil operational efficiency. Not only does it receive and track donations, Heritage removes the middle-men, reduces waste and fraud by keeping track of every single cent given to the charity. This aerospace leader has a charitable set up called Airbus Foundation that will celebrate its 10th anniversary and one of the celebration points will be to integrate Heritage into the foundation.
About ReGov Technologies Sdn Bhd
ReGov Technologies is a fast-growing Malaysia based blockchain innovation venture. We are a company built with the future in mind. Our products enable private enterprises & the public sector to become more transparent, inclusive and efficient.