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Blockchain: Driving the future of aviation

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Blockchain: Driving the future of aviation

Building an airplane requires assembling a variety of components. This requires complex relationships between OEMs, suppliers and maintenance companies that make up the supply chain. Given the large volume of data and information used or produced during the product lifecycle, the complexity and decentralization of the process presents many challenges and margins for error.

For example, the many data collection points lead to isolated databases, data security issues, data redundancy, and inefficiency. Add to that the task of assessing the durability of the product used, and the challenge multiplies. Assessing a product’s sustainability and compliance with ecological and social standards is only possible with considerable effort.

These challenges in the aerospace supply chain call for a strategic solution. The answer: Blockchain!

Benefits of Blockchain

The aircraft supply chain is a critical use case for blockchain in aviation, enabling effective solutions that positively impact industry players and end consumers. The basis of the design of the blockchain allows an exchange of information without any manipulation. This includes data on material used or needed, process and product details, overall quality, maintenance, etc. The platform also enables authentic document flow, with end-to-end project status information acting as a digital framework of the entire supply chain network.

The benefits of blockchain include automation and synchronization of processes, transparency, quality and availability of information. In addition, it guarantees increased security without any errors thanks to decentralization and encryption tools. Most importantly, blockchain allows for more efficient tracking of aviation parts, predicting when repairs are needed, and dramatically improving maintenance procedures to meet performance standards. It can also track when a part is added or removed from an aircraft, how long parts have been used, who performed the repair, when and where it was performed, etc.

Blockchain also ticks the sustainability box. It takes a lot of work to assess the durability of a product. Blockchain technology can lead to standardized data collection for the product lifecycle, secure and transparent transmission, and emission-free product development. It enables holistic assessment of data to meet ecological, environmental and social standards across the entire value chain.

In the aftermath of the COVID pandemic which has affected the aviation industry the most, the deployment of blockchain technology will help reduce costs through better information gathering, improve overall efficiency, enable better maintenance and diagnose potential problems.

In short, blockchain may well be the silver bullet to the unique challenges the aerospace industry will face in the future.

(Chidanand Hiremath is VP, ER&D, Aerospace & Defense, Capgemini India)

Published on

August 07, 2022

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