You may have heard about Blockchain specifically relating to cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. But did you know that blockchain could have implications for manufacturing, and the shipbuilding industry? Blockchain is a technology designed to be a way for digital information to be distributed but not copied, which is what made it work for a new form of currency. But manufacturing is taking this technology into the industry as well and here’s how.
One of the most fascinating implementations of blockchain is the use of smart contracts. This is code that exists in parallel to the ledger. If the previously discussed conditions of the contract are met, the next business operation will begin without any human intervention.
This can reduce cost and increase efficiency for shipyards, suppliers, and shippers. One such technology is Hyper Ledger, which is an open source project largely contributed to by IBM. It offers a variety of tools for companies to set up smart contracts.
In Combination with 3D Printing
We’ve already talked about using 3D printing technology in shipbuilding and shipping, but there is more technology that will impact this space. Blockchain is perfect for 3D printing as designers can upload their information where it can be distributed but not copied.
These design files can also use smart contracts which can run the process to find and negotiate the printing operations with out a middleman.
Supply Chain Management
Excitingly, IBM and Merck worked together to determine if blockchain had a role in shipping, and the results were fantastic. Blockchain can be used to track containers throughout the shipping process which, in turn, reduces the paperwork and effort.
This process can also reduce shipping fraud and save money for shipping companies. In the process, ever item gets a digital passport that follows it. This determines its origin and reduces the possibility of selling fake goods. It can also improve conditions of manufacturing and transfer of ownership.
We’ve also shared some insights on Industry 4.0 and what that means for the shipbuilding industry. And, as you might imagine, this correlates with blockchain technology. Preventing the manipulation of The Internet of Things is a top priority and blockchain can create a digital identity for every device.
There is also the proposed use of blockchain to create digital time stamps, which will then increase trust between companies that work together. Companies can also collect and store their data and limit access by allowing customers to purchase it through the closed blockchain system.
Are you ready for blockchain technology in your shipyard? Contact Hutco to find out more.