The exchange of manufacturing data would be about product design and quality inspection information to share technological knowledge
Japan is characterized as a country that works together to grow and some of its companies want to follow this example by sharing production data related to how to improve their efficiency, information they hope to share through a blockchain network.
The development of this platform in which some 100 Japanese companies would participate, seeks to exchange and store information in a secure manner, with the opportunity to decide how much to share and even at what price. Additionally, it seeks to prevent companies that are the competition from accessing the aforementioned data if it is not desired.
Mitsubishi Electric, a leading worldwide manufacturer of electrical and electronic products, and Yaskawa Electric (one of the leading suppliers of AC servos, CNC controller systems, and robotics) are among the 100 Japanese manufacturers that will share production data using a blockchain platform, according to what Asian newspapers reported recently.
This objective would be possible since blockchain allows identifying the parties involved in different types of operations and giving access only to those who are allowed.
Until now, manufacturers have protected the data in their factories, since it contains technical knowledge directly related to competitiveness. However, some companies have changed their opinion and now consider that sharing that data in a secure manner will reinforce their performance. Previously, these companies have worked by their own to experiment with new technologies in their factories. Now, they would work together.
Growth of the Manufacturing Sector
The project would start in the spring of 2020 and will be overseen by the Industrial Value Chain Initiative (IVI), a group of manufacturers that started promoting the Internet of Things (IoT) in Japan in 2015.
“Blockchain is expected to reduce the risk of data leakage compared to the management of information on servers, as well as it would reduce operating costs”, part of the statement says.
Among the possible participants are DMG Mori, Mitsubishi Electric and Yaskawa Electric. DMG Mori and other machine tool manufacturers would join those and other companies to share some production data to improve overall efficiency.
For this reason, this project could attract not only large corporations with advanced production technologies from Japan, but also smaller players from other regions.
Only useful information would be shared to accelerate their productions. For example, parts suppliers could start mass production faster if an electronic products manufacturer shares the data of computerized numerical control machines.
If machine tool manufacturers and their customers share equipment usage data, they could better understand how parts wear out and maintain equipment more efficiently. In this way, they can also predict when machines will break down, so parts can be changed in advance and downtime reduced.
The movement follows others in an enthusiastic market for blockchain technology. Blockchain is more than the cryptocurrency transaction support platform. It is expected that this technology help reduces the risk of data leakage, compared to the management of information on the servers and to reduce operating costs not only in the technology industry, but also in the area of providing public services in different regions of the world.
By María Rodríguez