The proposition of using blockchain to share verifiable manufacturing data has been brought forward by researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State). The system could be used as a peer-to-peer network that allows companies to find small- and medium-sized manufacturers that are capable of producing specific components on a reliable basis.
The technique implemented by the researcher is termed as FabRec, will allow companies to automatically report about their manufacturing activities: which machines are being used, what materials they are working with, raw material inventory levels, and whether the work is being completed on time, says Atin Angrish, a Ph.D. student at NC State and first author of the paper.
Binil Starly, author of a research paper on the subject, “Small- and medium-scale manufacturers often lack the resources and network reach necessary to make all of their potential clients aware of their manufacturing capabilities,” he says.
To demonstrate the viability of the concept, the researchers created FabRec – a publicly-accessible, prototype network that currently accepts input from a handful of machines.
“Our network shows that the concept is viable, but the next step would be to establish agreed-upon protocols with participating manufacturers,” Starly says. “That would allow the creation of code that permits users to report – and search for – any given set of parameters, such as type of product, production time, cost, and so on,” as reported on by North Carolina State University.