Friday, March 3, 2017

Blockchain Technology and Manufacturing

When I am asked about blockchain technology (here is a nice beginners guide to blockchain article) and manufacturing, I like to start off with the question, "with ALL this technology we have in our pockets, why do we have to deal with hanging chads and standing in long lines to vote"?​  
The answer is that we do have the technology, but for political and cultural reasons, we are most likely never to see this implemented in the United States.  In the US, politicians and people do not trust computers for this and want to see a paper trail.  It is too bad, because is a much more elegant, trusted and much less expensive way to do it.

​Then I would take them through how blockchain voting works and point them to

​Below is the great graphic from that makes it easy it easy to explain and understand.​

To further illustrate what is happening with blockchain and voting, one could go to the Expanse demo on voting on show some more specifics on blockchain voting events the last election (admittedly a dangerous thing to do in front of US citizens, I would prefer to do this in Canada :-)    

The point is  that it shows how votes are anonymously transacted as a "VoteEvent".

As it relates to manufacturing, blockchain could be used for a distributed, immutable transactional database could be used to, as Cubichain Technologies states:

​"T​o deliver a secure and verifiable Digital Thread combined with Factory Floor deployment of advanced machine vision, X-ray Fluorescence and advanced 3D scanning techniques to identify build tampering, verify build material and certify build metrology."

There is a loose MTConnect analogy regarding an open source component as stated on Cubichain's homepage:

​"​Cubichain is utilizing the open source blockchain solution MultiChain which provides the ideal blockchain infrastructure required to enforce a reliable Digital Thread in the Additive Manufacturing indust
​I think of the old BASF commercials, " We Don't Make The Products You Use, We Make Them Better​" but for manufacturing with ​"We don't make the products you make, we prove YOU made them." OK, maybe that could be better phrased, but hopefully you get the point :-)