Assembly Line

🧀 Next Time You Buy Parmesan, Watch Out for the Microchip

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Eric Sylvers

🔖 Topics: Track Trace, Blockchain

🏭 Vertical: Food

🏢 Organizations: p-Chip, Merck

Italian producers of parmesan cheese have been fighting against imitations for years. Now, makers of Parmigiano-Reggiano, as the original parmesan cheese is officially called, are slapping the microchips on their 90-pound cheese wheels as part of an endless cat-and-mouse game between makers of authentic and fake products.

The new silicon chips, made by Chicago-based p-Chip, use blockchain technology to authenticate data that can trace the cheese as far back as the producer of the milk used. The chips have been in advanced testing on more than 100,000 Parmigiano wheels for more than a year. The consortium of producers wants to be sure the chips can stand up to Parmigiano’s aging requirement, which is a minimum of one year and can exceed three years for some varieties.

Drugmaker Merck KGaA will soon begin using the chips, which are also being tested in the automotive industry to guarantee the authenticity of car parts. The chips could eventually be used on livestock, crops or medicine stored in liquid nitrogen.

“We don’t want to be known as the company accused of tracking people,” said Eibon. “I ate one of the chips and nobody is tracking me, except my wife, and she uses a different method.”

Read more at Wall Street Journal

IOTA Data Preservation Implementation for Industrial Automation and Control Systems

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Blockchain, Industrial Control System, IIoT

🏢 Organizations: IOTA

Blockchain 3.0, an advanced iteration of blockchain technology, has emerged with diverse applications encompassing various sectors such as identity authentication, logistics, medical care, and Industry 4.0/5.0. Notably, the integration of blockchain with industrial automation and control systems (IACS) holds immense potential in this evolving landscape. As industrial automation and control systems gain popularity alongside the widespread adoption of 5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT) devices are transforming into integral nodes within the blockchain network. This facilitates decentralized communication and verification, paving the way for a fully decentralized network. This paper focuses on showcasing the implementation and execution results of data preservation from industrial automation and control systems to IOTA, a prominent distributed ledger technology. The findings demonstrate the practical application of IOTA in securely preserving data within the context of industrial automation and control systems. The presented numerical results validate the effectiveness and feasibility of leveraging IOTA for seamless data preservation, ensuring data integrity, confidentiality, and transparency. By adopting IOTA’s innovative approach based on Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), the paper contributes to the advancement of blockchain technology in the domain of Industry 4.0/5.0.

Read more at Processes 2023

🖨️ SLM Solutions and Assembrix: Pioneering Secure Remote Printing and Forging Ahead in Their Collaborative Journey

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Partnership, Blockchain

🏢 Organizations: SLM Solutions, Assembrix

SLM Solutions, a trailblazer in additive manufacturing technology, and Assembrix, a leading provider of 3D printing software, celebrate remarkable progress in secure remote printing. Building upon the successful integration of Assembrix VMS™ software into SLM Solutions’ machines, both companies are now embarking on the next phase to ensure enhanced safety and full protection of customers’ intellectual property (IP). This is made possible through the utilization of state-of-the-art blockchain and encryption technologies. Together, they are committed to further strengthening their integrated solution, aiming for industrial-scale availability. Notably, Nanyang Polytechnic’s Additive Manufacturing Innovation Centre has already embraced this technology, allowing learners to gain hands-on experience developing innovative solutions for the industry.

Read more at SLM Solutions News

IOTA Distributed Ledger: Beyond Blockchain for Supply Chains

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Cynthia Dunlop

🔖 Topics: Blockchain

🏢 Organizations: IOTA, TradeMark East Africa

The IOTA Foundation, the organization behind the IOTA open source distributed ledger technology built for the Internet of Things, envisions a future where every single trade item in the global supply chain is tracked and its provenance sourced using distributed ledgers. This vision is already becoming a reality in East Africa, thanks to the collaboration of the IOTA Foundation and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA). These organizations have teamed up to address the challenge of digitizing the export process for Kenya’s flower exporters, airlines and freight forwarders.

TMEA found that for just a single transaction, an African entrepreneur was completing an average of 200 communications, including 96 paper documents. The system developed by the IOTA Foundation and TMEA anchors the key trade documents on the Tangle, a new type of distributed ledger technology different from the traditional blockchain model, and shares them with customs in destination countries. This expedites the export process and makes African companies more competitive globally.

Read more at The New Stack

A.P. Moller - Maersk and IBM to discontinue TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled global trade platform

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Blockchain

🏢 Organizations: Maersk, IBM

TradeLens was founded on the bold vision to make a leap in global supply chain digitization as an open and neutral industry platform. Unfortunately, while we successfully developed a viable platform, the need for full global industry collaboration has not been achieved. As a result, TradeLens has not reached the level of commercial viability necessary to continue work and meet the financial expectations as an independent business.

The TradeLens platform was announced in 2018 and jointly developed by IBM and GTD Solution, a division of Maersk, as a blockchain-enabled shipping solution designed to promote more efficient and secure global trade. Maersk will continue its efforts to digitise the supply chain and increase industry innovation through other solutions to reduce trade friction and promote more global trade.

Read more at Maersk Press Release

Blockchain circular economy startup Circularise secures €11 million funding

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event, Blockchain

🏢 Organizations: Circularise, Brightlands Venture Partners, Asahi Kasei, Neste

At Circularise, founders Mesbah Sabuh and Nordi de Vos have spent the past six years commercialising a concept that was devised in their days at Delft University of Technology. With their digital product passport, Sabuh and de Vos aim to store all relevant materials data on blockchain, eliminating privacy and confidential risk that arises when sharing the information to third-parties.

In its series A round, Circularise has also won corporate support in the form of oil refiner-turned waste recycling specialist Neste, and also the Japanese conglomerate Asahi Kasei whose main dealings cover chemicals, plastics and materials science.

Read more at Tech EU

TradeLens: Transportation Transformation or Quixotic Quagmire?

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Blockchain

🏢 Organizations: Maersk, IBM

TradeLens is the highly publicized blockchain global trade network launched over four years ago by Danish shipping giant Maersk. Beyond the initial hype about eliminating duplicate invoices and digitizing paper workflows, little has been said about it. What was TradeLens all about then, where is it now, and what can we take away from its progress (or lack thereof) to date?

It appears that while TradeLens has made substantial technical and practical progress, success is not a foregone conclusion. The system is far from ubiquitous adaptation, and even industries with high market participation, such as shipping, are not able to utilize the network to digitize trade at scale. In fact, only a miniscule percentage of transactions are conducted on a fully digitized basis.

Read more at PYMNTS

DeFi: The Next-Gen Revolution in Supply Chain Financing

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Zoe Zou

🔖 Topics: blockchain

🏢 Organizations: Tata Consulting Services

For blockchain-based supply chain financing, the principle is to leverage distributed accounting to allow more ecosystem nodes to participate and contribute the data to achieve more point-to-point interaction. Because all data on the blockchain is verified and traceable, it’s becoming an important asset in capital circulation.

Looking to the not-so-distant future, DeFi systems, if enabled with NFT (non-fungible token) based currency, can not only confirm the ownership, but also facilitate tracking. Additionally, the transaction of various NFT assets can be the basis for subdivided financial market markets accelerating the leveling of the competitive landscape.

For example, the consumers of a product can invest in a token backed up by a portfolio of the Consumer Goods company’s invoices and inventory. They can increase their investment further by using a bond token as collateral in DeFi lending protocols to obtain more liquidity. Additionally, the Consumer Goods company’s suppliers will have more efficient ways to obtain funding and optimize cash flow.

Read more at SupplyChainBrain

A new perspective on the mining industry

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Fleur Doidge

🔖 Topics: Sustainability, Blockchain

🏭 Vertical: Mining

🏢 Organizations: Minexx

Certain geologies and structures ultimately have different vulnerabilities. Entering known data into a simulated environment or kind of digital twin, can help figure out the unknowns, assisting miners to decide where and how to apply their efforts. This is essential for remotely managed or autonomous vehicles that can achieve low waste, and efficient extractions in harsh or dangerous locations. Autonomous vehicles can actually extend operation hours, increasing productivity as well as reducing the use of energy hungry and personnel centred equipment. In an IoT network these may increasingly incorporate ‘intelligent’ or ‘smart’ devices that not only store or transmit but process data – as in a ‘smart factory’. “We’re seeing opportunities with sustainability oriented projects in Canada and Europe,” Sym-Smith says.

Minexx’s software platform uses blockchain digital distributed ledger, payments, biometric and IoT technologies to create much-needed trust and transparency around quality and methods of production. This helps clients manage aspects of know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering regulations as well, giving them and the artisanal miners access to markets and better prices. “Once data is on the blockchain, you can’t change it. Then essentially you give the manufacturer the key,” Scaramanga says.

Read more at The Engineer

The Role Of Blockchain In The Development Of The EV Industry

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Naveen Joshi

🔖 Topics: blockchain

🏭 Vertical: Automotive

🏢 Organizations: Allerin

Blockchain-based applications come with a track-and-trace feature. This feature allows EV manufacturers to keep tabs on the materials as they are brought for production. Certain types of materials, such as wolframite and cobalt, are sourced from hard-to-trace developed countries. Such materials change hands several times before they’re brought to factories for processing and production. Therefore, blockchain is useful to accurately store the provenance-related details of raw materials so that the manipulation of such materials coming from such sources can be prevented. Using blockchain for EV production also enables manufacturers to monitor any diversions while materials are being brought into factories for EV production. Blockchain-enabled tracking allows EV manufacturers to react to vehicle recalls in a cost-effective way. If there are any material issues that require vehicles to be recalled, the manufacturers can call back only those EVs that were built using parts or materials from the partner who supplied them. This makes your supply chain much leaner and cost-effective. A leaner supply chain results in lower production costs for EV makers.

Read more at Forbes

IoTeX Blockchain Explained Simply - Smart Contracts, EVM, MachineFi and More

Using blockchain to share and monetize telecoms assets

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: blockchain, 5G, IIoT

🏢 Organizations: Weaver Labs

Weaver Labs will be the open telecommunications partner in the Track & Trust project, which aims to deliver a scalable, cost-efficient communications platform and network combining satellite, IoT mesh and blockchain components, serving mostly supply chain use cases. The end solution will be a modular product that will provide a plug and play communication network that allows for end-to-end tracking of the supply chain. This will start from the initial supply of goods/aid and extend all the way to the last-mile shipments, even when limited or no telecommunication infrastructure is available.

Read more at Embedded

Using blockchain technology to protect robots

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Adam Zewe

🔖 Topics: blockchain

🏢 Organizations: MIT, Polytechnic University of Madrid

The use of blockchain technology as a communication tool for a team of robots could provide security and safeguard against deception, according to a study by researchers at MIT and Polytechnic University of Madrid. The research may also have applications in cities where multi-robot systems of self-driving cars are delivering goods and moving people across town.

A blockchain offers a tamper-proof record of all transactions — in this case, the messages issued by robot team leaders — so follower robots can eventually identify inconsistencies in the information trail. Leaders use tokens to signal movements and add transactions to the chain, and forfeit their tokens when they are caught in a lie, so this transaction-based communications system limits the number of lies a hacked robot could spread, according to Eduardo Castelló, a Marie Curie Fellow in the MIT Media Lab and lead author of the paper.

Read more at Plant Engineering

Blockchain and the Pharmaceutical Industry

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Georgia Wilson

🔖 Topics: blockchain

🏭 Vertical: Pharmaceutical

🏢 Organizations: Avanir Pharmaceuticals

“Blockchain can help ensure that there is reliable, accurate data and a single reliable version of the truth that is shared by every participant in the pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply chain. It can increase end-to-end visibility of the supply chain with data. Blockchain can bridge barriers between stakeholders by giving all parties the same, real-time, accurate view of the supply chain. This is an important factor for ensuring manufacturing and supply chain robustness,” says Arul Joseph, Senior Director, Pharmaceutical Development and Clinical Supply Chain, Avanir Pharmaceuticals.

Read more at Manufacturing Global

Here's How to Prepare for Blockchain

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Jim Biehl

🔖 Topics: blockchain

🏢 Organizations: Automation Alley

The potential benefits of blockchain technology for manufacturing cannot be denied. Imagine being able to track your products from raw materials to final use in the event of potential contamination or a critical product recall — something that can cost companies on average more than $8 million.

Many manufacturers use blockchain beyond the traditional tracking of financial transactions and accounting records. Manufacturers can use the technology to store legal contracts, track product inventory and monitor movement along the supply chain

Read more at Automation Alley

The Machine Economy is Here: Powering a Connected World

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Megan Doyle

🔖 Topics: IIoT, machine learning, blockchain

🏢 Organizations: Flexon Technology, Allied Vision

In combination with the real-time data produced by IoT, blockchain, and ML applications are disrupting B2B companies across various industries from healthcare to manufacturing. Together, these three fundamental technologies create an intelligent system where connected devices can “talk” to one another. However, machines are still unable to conduct transactions with each other.

This is where distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain come into play. Cryptocurrencies and smart contracts (self-executing contracts between buyers and sellers on a decentralized network) make it possible for autonomous machines to transact with one another on a blockchain.

Devices participating in M2M transactions can be programmed to make purchases based on individual or business needs. Human error was a cause for concern in the past; machine learning algorithms provide reliable and trusted data that continue to learn and improve — becoming smarter each day.

Read more at IoT For All

Evolution of Machine Autonomy in Factory Transactions

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Stephanie Neil

🔖 Topics: IIoT, blockchain

🏢 Organizations: Industrial Internet Consortium, IOTA Foundation, Siemens, IBM

So while we’ve not completely entered the age of the machine economy, defined as a network of smart, connected, and self-sufficient machines that are economically independent and can autonomously execute transactions within a market with little to no human intervention, we are getting close.

The building blocks to create the factory of the future are here, including the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain. This trifecta of technology has the potential to disrupt the industrial space, but it needs to be connected with a few more things, such as digital twin technology, mobile robots, a standardized way for machines to communicate, and smart services, like sharing machine capacity in a distributed ecosystem.

“The biggest obstacle is culture,” said IIC’s Mellor. “The average age of the industrial plant is 19 years. These are huge investments that last for decades. The organizations that run these facilities are very cautious. Even a 0.5% chance of failure can cost millions of dollars.”

Read more at AutomationWorld

How Blockchain Will Redefine Supply Chain Management

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Blockchain

In the early days of blockchain, there was the notion that blockchain can help connect parties in the supply chain. That is in general true. However, if we only want to connect parties that anyway know each other, there are many competing technologies like EDI, electronic data interchange, or what many call a supply chain control tower. The question then is: Why should blockchain be considered a promising competing technology here? We call this the control tower application quadrant, because there must be very good reasons to look for blockchain applications to achieve what competing technologies can achieve. And therefore, I think that’s the main obligation separating the myth from the truth — to honestly ask the question: Are we talking about a use case or an application area where blockchain is a unique opportunity and has big advantages over traditional technologies?

Read more at Knowledge at Wharton

Blockchain technology and electronic bills of lading

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Koji Takahashi

🔖 Topics: Blockchain

A blockchain-based bill of lading is not yet a reality. But its potential merits incubation studies to build supporting legal infrastructure. This article will begin with a brief explanation of what the blockchain is. It will then observe that the blockchain technology is capable of guaranteeing the uniqueness of tokens on a blockchain ledger and will suggest on that reasoning that transferable documents, such as bills of lading, are a most promising use case of the technology. It will also consider the advantages which the blockchain offers for the dematerialisation of bills of lading, noting that it works on an open, decentralised platform unlike the existing models of electronic bills of lading which are invariably based on a closed system with a central registry.

Read more at Trade Law (PDF)