Applying Blockchain to MRO.jpg

Applying Blockchain to MRO

Technology could bring about greater visibility for supply chain processes, experts predict.

Bitcoins have been accepted by a small number for airlines for several years, but it is perhaps the technology underpinning the crypto-currency that will do more to re-shape aviation.

Retaining visibility over aviation’s complex supply chains, especially across maintenance events, is a complex task well-suited to Blockchain, the principal director of Accenture’s aerospace and defence practice has told The Engineer, a U.K.-based technology site.

Blockchain is essentially a shared ledger that offers users a complete, time-stamped record of the transactions and processes within it. Each time-stamped event forms a block in the chain, which is almost virtually impossible to retroactively alter. 

“Maintenance, repair and overhaul organisations obviously update the configuration of an engine during an overhaul. If they don’t have visibility to the current configuration of what needs to be done, they can’t schedule their capacity effectively,” said Craig Gottlieb.

Applied to aviation, the Blockchain would operate within a secure business network and be visible to authorised participants. One advantage of this private network would be much faster updates to the shared ledger than occur after Bitcoin transactions.

Others also share Gottlieb’s optimism about Blockchain.

Last month Glenn Reis, senior account partner for IBM’s aerospace and defence practice, told MRO Network about his company’s enthusiasm for the technology, alongside others such as machine learning and the Internet of Things

“We believe that this capability has great promise within the complex aerospace supply chains process and offers substantial reductions in transaction times, overhead costs of intermediaries, and creates end-to-end transparency of all constituents within a secure community network,” he said.

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