This article discusses blockchain technology's benefits as a more effective way to digitize and decentralize manufacturing. Blockchain involves a digital ledger that is continually updated to record and track transactions, accounting and asset movement. In the context of manufacturing, blockchain can establish an organized digital thread tracking the history of apart from its digital design to production all the way to end of life. A blockchain can be shared with multiple parties that get access to the same information. According to an expert, the blockchain technology could potentially change the way how 3D printing or manufacturing processes are structured. This article also highlights that the digitization and distribution of the manufacturing process can help the companies save on transportation and warehousing costs, while getting parts to customers almost immediately. Blockchain is a technology that is attractive to manufacturers looking to solve a problem. Blockchain could also help the US Navy do just-in-time 3D printing of parts on ships at sea, and establish a superior tendering process.
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The Chain Gang
Manufacturing supply chains are more complicated than ever. Blockchain—the technology that enables cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin—may help unseen partners trust each other.
Agam Shah is associate editor at Mechanical Engineering magazine.
Mechanical Engineering. May 2018, 140(05): 30-35 (6 pages)
Paper No: ME-18-MAY1 https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2018-MAY-1
Published Online: May 1, 2018
Shah, A. (May 1, 2018). "The Chain Gang." ASME. Mechanical Engineering. May 2018; 140(05): 30–35. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2018-MAY-1
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