Blockchain use cases for the manufacturing enterprise

By Staff

Findings for blockchain to be implemented for both discrete and process manufacturing. Includes spend projections, and use cases, for verifying origin and authenticity of a product, asset management, trade finance and regulatory compliance, and more for better supply chain management according to IDC Customer Insights and Analysis Group 2018, Gartner, and Oppenheimer & Co.

Blockchain hype cycle and worldwide spending estimates

Discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing

Asset/goods management – Monitor the movement of assets or goods, creating a full track and trace system or registry; creating a digital paper trail of the movement of goods; includes monitoring the movement of merchandise, goods, and materials and registering each leg of a trip or movement throughout the supply/value chain or manufacturing process.

Cross-border payments and settlements – Tracking, tracing, and managing cross-border/international payments and settlements; creates alternate payment and settlement “rails” built for immediate payment and settlement. Several companies are pursuing this solution approach using the Ethereum Blockchain or a Hyperledger ledger system. One company pursuing the former approach is DocuSign but its worth noting Venture Outsource and DocuSign engaged discussion for such a solution yet the Company failed to execute several times at initial stages.

Digging deeper into immediate payments and settlements, talking with a Silicon Valley lead engineer building decentralized blockchain applications on Ethereum and IPFS (InterPlanetary File System), a protocol and network designed to create a content-addressable, peer-to-peer method of storing and sharing hypermedia in a distributed file system, she said, “capability has not caught up with the marketing hype.”

Adding to this, from a reputable artificial intelligence scientist employed in management and also based in Silicon Valley – with peer reviewed journals, conference papers and patents to his name — “I haven’t heard about any vendors offering Blockchain-based services. I know some that are researching and building prototypes but nothing practical out there that I’m aware of.”

Equipment and service/parts management – Collecting/maintaining inspection and maintenance information of equipment involved in general operations and/or goods production or distribution; includes tracking equipment that is used within the manufacturing process or supply/value chain and monitoring product parts and services that were performed.

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Lot lineage/provenance – Verify origin and authenticity of a product as it moves throughout the value chain; captures information about all inputs of a product, enabling accurate visibility and traceability into the history of a product; includes product and brand counterfeit/fraud detection, reduction and prevention, and maintaining records to assist in quality control; and can include environmental impacts on the product such as storage container conditions as the product is transported.

Regulatory compliance – Assist in maintaining records for regulatory compliance and checks.

Trade finance and post-trade/transaction settlements – Provide a record of transactions in payments between parties involved in the transaction; in addition, facilitate the movement or flow of trade receivables and provide trade delivery and payment confirmation; and can include banks, financial institution, brokers, suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and others involved in the transaction.

Warranty claims – Track, maintain, and validate virtual warranties and warranty claims.

Others – Includes all other blockchain use cases in discrete manufacturing and process manufacturing not elsewhere classified.

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