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Why did Boeing, a company that makes airplanes, use blockchain?

Time : 07/06/2022 Author : ghluj7 Click : + -
        According to public media reports, the 787 aircraft, known as the "Dreamliner", is the longest delayed aircraft in Boeing's history,. A key reason for the delay is that in the 787 project, a large number of work of Boeing headquarters was outsourced to global suppliers, and Boeing itself was only responsible for about 10% of the production process & mdash& mdash; Tail and final assembly work. Boeing 787 is a complex global supply chain. Once one of its links fails, delivery will be delayed again and again. In this process, Boeing only has direct contact with 23 Tier-1 suppliers in the world. That is to say, Boeing can not supervise and control the remaining 90% of the production links, and can only rely on the supervision of primary suppliers on sub subcontractors.
 
        In the previous blockchain series articles, the spy introduced the technical features of blockchain, such as its non tamperability, traceability, and permanent preservation of data. Facing the surging wave of blockchain technology, which industry adopts blockchain technology fastest? The answer is & mdash& mdash; manufacturing For China, in the era of industry 4.0, how can blockchain help the development of manufacturing industry? Silicon Valley insight research institute tries to analyze and discuss in this paper. In March of this year, statista, a famous Data Statistics website; In April, more than 1000 senior managers from seven countries including China, the United States, Britain, France and Germany were surveyed, and the proportion of blockchain technology adopted by different industries was counted.
 
        The 1000 senior managers are mainly engaged in 10 industries including consumer goods and manufacturing, healthcare, bioscience, automation and TMT. According to statista data, as of April 2018, the consumer goods and manufacturing industry adopted blockchain technology at the fastest speed. According to the three levels of blockchain research stage, concept testing stage and production application stage, about 74% of the respondents from the consumer goods and manufacturing industry said that their company was in the testing stage or production stage of blockchain technology development (29% + 45%), with the highest proportion in the application of blockchain technology in various industries.
 
        In addition to statista data, the 2018 global blockchain survey report (hereinafter referred to as the Deloitte report) released by Deloitte shows that most industries are still in the research and learning stage of blockchain technology. However, from the process of adopting blockchain technology in different industries, nearly 30% of the respondents in the consumer goods and manufacturing industries said that their enterprises were in the application stage of blockchain, that is to say, blockchain technology has begun to integrate with the company's existing business. The next two industries are Life Sciences (23%) and technology / media / Telecommunications (20%). As the case of Boeing introduced at the beginning, Boeing has become a typical representative of the global supply chain in the era of globalization.
 
        Boeing's adoption of the global supply chain strategy undoubtedly enables Boeing to focus more on its core business such as aircraft design and development, assembly, supply chain management, marketing and brand, and also reduces the supply cost of Boeing. However, in the context of global supply chain, there are also corresponding hidden dangers. That is: once the supply chain is not properly managed, the shipment will lag behind, and even more serious cases such as fake goods and intellectual property infringement will occur. The predictability of the supply chain is a very critical business challenge for the manufacturing industry. Most companies have little information on their second and third tier suppliers, which is exactly the current situation that Boeing only contacted the first tier suppliers before.
 
        Keeping the transparency and visibility of the end-to-end supply chain helps many enterprises in the chain to quickly understand the production process, from raw materials to manufacturing, testing and finished products, and provides new analysis for enterprise operation, risk and sustainability. Not only that, other participants in the chain also include the government. As Robert Rencher, senior systems engineer of Boeing, revealed, through the blockchain, Boeing has complete source details of each component. This information is then accessible to every manufacturer, aircraft owner and maintainer, and even to government regulators in the production process. In addition to real-time information exchange, blockchain technology can even use smart contracts to realize order release and purchase, and respond to production needs faster.
 
        For example, suppliers publish smart contracts on the blockchain platform, which specify product definition, quantity, price, availability date, transportation and payment terms. The manufacturer automatically searches the blockchain for smart contracts that meet its requirements, verifies the quality and timeliness of the seller according to the data on the chain, and then completes the transaction without manually generating a purchase order. This helps to reduce human intervention and ensures faster resolution of payment issues. In the Deloitte report, when interviewed industry executives were asked about "the advantages of blockchain over existing systems", the highest proportion (32%) answered that it was faster. This shows that enterprises hope to accelerate business processes and obtain higher operational efficiency by using the real-time information exchange function of the blockchain.
 
        According to the statistics of the scientific and technological consulting company cognizant, the global supply chain generally involves thousands of institutions, and manufacturers and other raw material users face $300 billion of supply chain fraud and leakage every year. The main reason is that determining the supply chain is an extremely slow and expensive process, which requires a combination of paperwork, e-mail, telephone and on-site visits. In addition to supply chain fraud, the organization for economic cooperation and development (OECD) estimates that nearly $500 billion of pirated goods is a problem every year. In the automobile industry alone, counterfeiting causes us $12 billion in sales loss each year, affecting up to 200000 jobs.
 
        It can be seen that when the manufacturing industry joins the blockchain technology, the goods and processes are more transparent and traceable, and the characteristics of the blockchain cannot be changed, which helps to crack down on counterfeit products and protect intellectual property rights. Therefore, in the increasingly complex manufacturing supply chain, more comprehensive and transparent regulatory technology is needed to provide the industry with high efficiency, more reliability, seamless and predictability. The traceability and transparency of the blockchain technology can be closely combined with every link of the manufacturing industry. In addition to Boeing, there are many other large companies in the pace of global enterprises trying to blockchain. Next, Silicon Valley insight research institute will analyze the cases of global and Chinese manufacturing industries adopting blockchain technology.
 
        Pain point: Traditionally, the information system of the international shipping industry uses paper legal documents, and electronic data is transmitted through electronic data interchange (EDI). Although EDI is a technology with a history of 60 years, electronic data does not represent real-time data. Paper documents are prone to delay in transportation due to document errors or asymmetric information. Specific projects: in January 2018, Maersk and IBM jointly launched the tradelens platform. In this cooperation, maserk, as the world's largest container shipping company, is responsible for providing professional overall arrangement services, and IBM, as a technology giant, provides blockchain technology.
 
        At present, 94 organizations have joined the tradelens platform, about 234 sea ports have participated, 20 operating terminals have been established in the main ports of Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, Sydney, Rotterdam, Philadelphia and other cities, and more than 154 million events have been recorded on the tradelens blockchain network. Through the blockchain technology, tradelens realizes real-time information sharing, secure file transfer and all-round cargo tracking among the buyer, the seller and the intermediate links. All relevant parties in the supply chain can view the tracking information of goods arrival time, customs release, commercial invoice, bill of lading and other documents in near real time through the licensed blockchain ledger.
 
        To be more specific, in the past, tracking a batch of goods may require five people to go through 10 procedures before and after. Now, through tradelens, only one person needs one operation. Extended case: in the blockchain + supply chain application participated by IBM, another interesting case is & mdash& mdash; Diamond identification. IBM provides "blockchain as a service" based on IBM cloud. Everledger, a British start-up, is mainly engaged in tracking and identifying diamonds and jewelry. At present, more than 2 million diamonds have passed password authentication on the blockchain.
 
        Before that, everledger also used Ethereum (public chain), Eris industries (private chain), etc. The IBM service adopted today is the alliance chain based on the hyperledger. Pain point: with 3D printing playing an important role in manufacturing fields such as printing preliminary samples and rapid prototyping, designers and inventors can create new products anywhere, but they need to "borrow" the equipment of the 3D printing factory. The factory also has printing problems such as sample "damage". How can designers find printing equipment faster without leaking the data of printing products to equipment manufacturers? There are problems such as lack of mutual trust, tracking of printing records, and protection of intellectual property rights.
 
        Specific projects: in July this year, the US trademark and Patent Office announced GE's patent in 3D printing. Ge is using blockchain to validate and validate 3D prints in its supply chain. Once the printing manufacturer replaces the minor parts, it is sometimes difficult for the receiving end user (such as the designer) to verify whether the printing parts are accurately generated and whether they will be replaced. Ge believes that the use of blockchain technology can provide a pedigree for all 3D manufactured parts of Ge, from design to production, and the certification of materials, machines and processes used, so as to ensure that there is no possibility of counterfeiting. Extended case: for example, the U.S. Navy Department also began to use blockchain technology to remotely manage 3D printers and projects since June last year.
 
        Today, the US Navy has more than 40 projects for 3D printing. This is because 3D printing can save money and significantly shorten the lead time, especially for offshore work. Specific projects: last December, the four parties jointly launched China's first safe food blockchain traceability alliance. The project is jointly operated with jd.com, and the National Engineering Laboratory of e-commerce transaction technology of Tsinghua University participates in the guidance. In this cooperation, IBM is responsible for providing blockchain technology, and Tsinghua University is responsible for providing guidance on key technologies and food safety in China. Under the cooperation of the four parties, the application of blockchain technology is expected to achieve real-time tracking of food from raw materials to production, processing, storage and distribution, to supermarket shelves and finally to the table, thus greatly improving food safety.
 
        Once a food safety accident occurs, the pollution source can be quickly found. Wal Mart stores in China have started pork traceability. Yan Zhinong, executive director of Wal Mart's food safety cooperation center, gave an example in an interview. In the past, paper-based methods were used to connect wires for seconds. Significance: in China's 13th five year plan, the food traceability system is listed as the key construction point. It is expected that all food on sale in China will be traceable by 2020. For the application of blockchain in the whole industrial field, the 2018 white paper on China's blockchain industry (hereinafter referred to as the white paper) issued by the Ministry of industry and information technology of China has greatly affirmed this distributed manufacturing mode. From the perspective of local policies, Tianjin, Guangdong, Anhui, Hangzhou, Fujian and other provinces and cities have promulgated policies related to the manufacturing industry.
 
        For the manufacturing industry, blockchain technology has multiple advantages such as solving supply chain security and mutual trust. However, at present, it also faces multiple challenges and obstacles. The obstacles for enterprises to use blockchain technology can be seen from the external and internal challenges. In its "blockchain in manufacturing" report, cognizant interviewed 281 manufacturing enterprises in Europe and America, and more than 50% of the respondents' enterprises had an annual income of more than US $500 million. From the outside, the most frequently mentioned by respondents are: privacy and security (68%). This mainly involves whether common public chains such as Ethereum can meet the security and privacy needs of B2B manufacturing industry.
 
        Because the data on the chain can be accessed publicly, but some supply chain data should be accessible only to partners. The second most frequently mentioned obstacle is the development of industry standards. Although it takes time at the early development stage of the blockchain, the interviewees believe that creating a set of standards for the application of the whole industry will help to maximize efficiency. Indeed, large companies have emerged in different industries. In 2017, Bosch, Cisco and Foxconn Group's first private equity fund HCM capital jointly launched the IOT alliance, hoping to develop open-source blockchain protocol standards that support IOT technology, develop APIs, various software development kits, etc., so as to serve a variety of IOT devices.
 
        Internally, the interviewed enterprise executives believe that the first obstacle is to understand the business value of the blockchain. More than half (56%) of the respondents said that this was the biggest internal obstacle to the use of blockchain technology. Closely related to business value, enterprises need to consider cost-effectiveness (46%) and uncertainty about when benefits will be generated (42%): Although blockchain technology has advantages, how fast and cost-effective can it be expanded?. Secondly, enterprises have different opinions on which blockchain platform to adopt. Today, the most common are public chains (37%) and private chains (33%). However, considering the requirements of function, privacy, security and speed, manufacturers still need to choose the platform that best suits the requirements of each case.
 
        Of course, it also depends on the speed of development of various public chain platforms. From the case introduced above, more enterprises choose private chain and alliance chain, and most large enterprises like IBM and Ge that are working in the blockchain also use these two methods. When the respondents were asked "what platform will become the choice of the company's blockchain project", Ethereum still ranked first with 62%. According to the above enterprise executives, for manufacturing enterprises, the primary goal is to understand the commercial value of blockchain. In the end, in which application scenario will blockchain technology have more potential in the manufacturing industry?. In combination with the report "analysis of the application potential of blockchain in manufacturing industry" by the blockchain center of Frankfurt business school in Germany, the Silicon Valley Insight Research Institute believes that from the perspective of the potential of blockchain application in manufacturing industry, from the perspective of potential and the number of years of market input, the field of rapid effect will appear in the fields of crowdfunding, management of tram charging network, energy tracking, etc., and the transfer of intellectual property rights and supply chain tracking will take the second place, It takes longer.
 
        The one with the greatest market potential is one of the cases mentioned above & mdash& mdash; 3D printing and distributed manufacturing. According to the report of the Ministry of industry and information technology, China firmly believes that blockchain technology is expected to become one of the underlying technologies of the fourth industrial revolution. According to the requirements of key factors in the era of industry 4.0, the three major elements of automation, connectivity and digitization should be met. Just imagine, if an enterprise adds a blockchain to the parts supplier and the factory network system, once the machine can place orders and replace parts independently through the smart contract, will it realize automation? This is exactly the taste of the blockchain 2.0 smart contract era
 
        
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