Globally, the exciting new buzzword in the manufacturing industry is Blockchain Technology, for the potential it offers, to bring about a revolutionary change in the way things have been done. The blockchain is especially useful in those industries that rely on transactional data.
IBM Blockchain is the only integrated business-ready platform that incorporates the complete life cycle of a blockchain network. It provides need-based solutions to organizations the world over, to revolutionize their businesses. In addition to IBM Cloud, the IBM Blockchain Platform is now available on more clouds globally. With this multi-cloud flexibility backed by over 1500 industry and technical experts, IBM Blockchain Services can help unleash immense potential and value for your business. In tandem with IBM Hyperledger Fabric, creating a vehicle manufacturing programme and subsequently moving it to production is now a seamless process.
Blockchain in vehicle manufacturing
Let us take an example to illustrate the functionality of blockchain technology. The code pattern used in this example shows how to use the IBM Blockchain Platform to develop an application. This app will display the view of the vehicle manufacturer, a regulator as well as the buyer. Blockchain can improve supplier order accuracy and quality of the end product. It also helps the manufacturer meet delivery timelines and enables them to make a larger number of sales.
In the above illustration of a vehicle manufacturer, let’s assume a concept car has now been cleared for production. Given the heavy influx of orders, there is an immediate requirement for a way to track the entire process, from manufacturing to assembly. Further, the company would also need to maintain accurate and complete records of their business dealings, in order to meet stringent regulatory and compliance standards. This is where blockchain comes in; the technology can be effectively deployed to provide a seamless end-to-end process.
The code pattern that follows will demonstrate how a vehicle manufacturing programme can be created with blockchain, using Hyperledger Composer. It will be demonstrated using a Node.js web application. The application goes on to showcase the scenario of buying and manufacturing a vehicle.
There are three dashboards in the app, viz.:
- Dashboard one, which is for the vehicle buyer. This dashboard allows them to select their preferences and make their purchases.
- Dashboard two, which allows the vehicle manufacturer to see purchase requests from potential buyers, track the manufacturing process as well as check the car delivery status.
- Dashboard three, which can be accessed by the vehicle regulatory officer, allows the individual to regulate the car manufacturer and check the complete list of transactions as recorded on the blockchain.
Through the entire manufacturing process, the blockchain gets updated, thereby providing regulatory oversight that does not require manual regulatory approval.
On completion of this code pattern, the takeaway will include:
- Knowing how to create a basic business network using Hyperledger Composer
- Learning to manually deploy the network to IBM Blockchain Starter Plan
- Learning to build a Node.js web application to interact with the blockchain network using Composer.
Detailed instructions can be accessed here on GitHub.
Given below is the process flow to be followed to develop the code pattern.
Here is the step-by-step process:
- Vehicle buyer views the catalog of cars on his dashboard.
- Buyer personalizes the vehicle by selecting the model, exterior, and interior options and other packages/ add-ons available for the vehicle.
- Buyer submits the order.
- Manufacturer employees receive the order on the dashboard where they can view the progress of the vehicle assembly and the shipment status.
- Vehicle regulator views and tracks all details and changes with respect to the order on the blockchain, allowing maximum transparency.
Alternate applications for blockchain technology
The use of blockchain is gaining prominence amongst large organizations especially with regards to supply chain and logistics functions. To cite an example, it can be used to track shipping containers across the world in a digitized supply chain. This technology can help users view whether the goods are in transit, as well as effectively manage inventory and thereby reduce cost.
Blockchain can also be used in the pharmaceutical industry, with regards to not just inventory but tracking products to ensure that they are fit for consumption.
The bottom line
In 2019, the future is clearly blockchain. What businesses need, is to gear up and handle this revolutionary technology with the expertise it requires. When applied in the right manner, blockchain can add tremendous value even to the most ordinary, routine businesses.
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