Nowadays, the manufacturing industry is seeing rapid growth and transformation. With the coming of numerous advanced technologies, companies are making significant investments in their future. To stay competitive, they are looking for innovative solutions that will bring processes automation, intelligent connections, and smart analytics.
Internet of Things and blockchain can have a huge impact on the entire industry. How can these two pieces of technologies work together in manufacturing to help simplify workloads and provide a more precise understanding of assembly processes? Let’s find out!
The power of IoT
IoT has been improving the interoperability between various tools, computers, and across different departments in the manufacturing sector. Interoperability relates to the interconnection among employees, devices, and machines to exchange data to make more accurate decisions.
Also, connected devices can instantly inform the manufacturers about possible failures or defects during the assembly processes, that would normally only have appeared during testing or a later failure in the process. Moreover, the manufacturers can cooperate back to the internet-connected products to automate particular processes that beforehand needed direct human intervention.
Even though these positive effects have been technologically available for some time now, the IoT trend is only entering the mass market right now. The prices have dropped to a level where it makes sense for most manufacturers to leverage IoT technology. And as more manufacturers adopt IoT technology, they are demonstrating its value for a larger variety of use cases that others should follow.
The power of blockchain
Blockchain technology offers huge benefits in a scenario where trust is lacking between parties that have to collect, store and share important data in a secure manner.
Blockchain is a relatively decentralized platform. And to share, transfer data and information, it doesn’t require any third-party service. The time taken to complete a blockchain transaction is unbelievably quicker than any traditional method of completing a transaction. This is because blockchain is lowering the number of intermediates. The result: production efficiency is improved.
Blockchain stores data with high encryption, as well. Furthermore, the stored data will not be visible without the unique decryption key allocated to each user. This can improve trust, safety, and transparency among suppliers, customers, and manufacturers.
Also, with blockchain, a manufacturer can communicate instantly and securely with a supplier on both the local and international markets. The manufacturer will be able to deliver goods to consumers on local and foreign markets without delay, without any border limitations, and will also be able to do all of this at a lower cost.
The convergence of Internet of Things and Blockchain
The IoT is entering the mainstream, with sensors and similar technologies becoming accessible to just about everyone. At the same time, we are seeing blockchain technology evolve to the point where it can be heavily depended on for a wide range of business use cases.
By mixing these two technologies, the manufacturers will be able to completely change the way products are built and distributed.
Manufacturers should have a security system that allows them to communicate with the devices while restricting attackers or other fraudulent activity from interfering. This is where Internet of Things converges with blockchain technology.
Security represents a huge challenge for internet-connected devices because their transparency is exposing them to a larger variety of attacks and manipulations.
At this point, blockchain’s distributed ledger technology is a huge basis for IoT devices to share reliable information with many of users. Since the data is monitored on a decentralized network instead of a single database, manipulation becomes much more difficult for anyone. And this level of security is incorporated into blockchain technology, allowing manufacturers to avoid external safety and compliance expenses.
Furthermore, the decentralized nature of blockchain technology makes it an ideal platform for data sharing between manufacturers, suppliers, and even end-users. This adds an extra layer of trust that can’t match direct reporting.
For manufacturers, incorporating IoT technologies and using blockchain to share the data will soon become as popular as automated conveyor belts or simple process improvements. The possible advantages are so wide; and the actual prices so low that only a tiny proportion of manufacturers would decide that the technology is not worth it.
The future integration of blockchain and IoT technologies will assist the various stakeholders in ensuring traceability along the chain and reducing risks. The sharing of a unique blockchain across different supply chain stakeholders – production, freight, and consumers – will ensure the authentication of the exchanged and manipulated goods, preventing potential fraud and making data accessible.
IoT, on the other hand, will act as a link between the physical and digital world by providing reliable data on the materials and products to the blockchain.
Overall, these two technologies will change the way different actors in a supply chain collect, transmit, and access data on a secure, shared, and transparent platform.