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Thales, Accenture demo Aerospace supply chain blockchain

aircraft engine

Today Accenture and Thales are demonstrating a new aerospace blockchain prototype at England’s Farnborough Air Show.

The solution is intended to track, trace and authenticate aircraft parts and materials. It uses the Hyperledger Fabric protocol as well as Internet of Things (IoT).

The solution includes multiple innovative technologies including Thales’s physically unclonable function. This involves adding a coating to a silicon chip which contains special particles which react to electricity.

Additionally, the application uses startup Chronicled’s cryptoseals. Cryptoseals are tamper-proof, and the startup developed the adhesive in conjunction with Cellotape. The seals contain a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip embedded with unique identity information.

Thales has a digital innovation program and used that to develop the application with Accenture jointly.

“The aerospace and defense industry has one of the world’s most vast and complex supply chains,” said John Schmidt, global managing director for Accenture’s Aerospace and Defense practice. “Blockchain technology offers a new, elegant and secure way for the industry to track and trace myriad components while deterring counterfeiting and improving maintenance capabilities. Used in combination with technologies like digital twins and digital threads, blockchain could ultimately be a game-changing innovation for this sector.”

Accenture’s recent research report concluded that 86 percent of Aerospace and Defence companies expect to use blockchain technology by 2021.

“Identifying counterfeit and grey-market goods in the A&D supply chain can be challenging,” said Gareth Williams, vice president for secure communications and information systems at Thales UK. “Using blockchain in combination with cryptoseals and physically unclonable functions allows you to build a trusted history behind parts. This demonstration builds on the strong relationship Accenture and Thales have created developing innovative digital solutions for a variety of industries.”

Accenture is involved in multiple supply chain blockchains. A few months ago they tested a solution in conjunction with Anheuser-Busch InBev, APL the shipping container company, and logistics business Kuehne + Nagel.

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