Blockchain technology is here to stay. Originally developed to keep track of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, blockchain technology is being embraced worldwide by industries as diverse as financial services, real estate, health care, manufacturing and – of course – aerospace.
Aerospace companies of all types and sizes recognize that blockchain networks can help them improve operations and securely share data across many domains and touchpoints, from the airline ticket counter to the flight line. Here are some ways that aerospace companies are using blockchain to improve aircraft maintenance.
Making Record-Keeping Easier
Airlines and other operators are using blockchain to transform the way they record maintenance activities. Blockchain replaces the databases, spreadsheets and, yes, paper logs used today and creates an immutable digital record of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance activities on each plane. The operator knows which task was performed, on which aircraft, by which technician at every maintenance interval.
Linking the Entire Supply Chain
Blockchain can improve collaboration across the aerospace supply chain by establishing a “single source of truth” regarding aircraft parts. When a part is made, the manufacturer can start a blockchain and other supply chain participants, like distributors, operators and maintenance techs, can add their own blocks to create a comprehensive and indisputable history of the part that can inform the maintenance process.
Establishing Trust in the Used Parts Market
Operators can significantly reduce costs by purchasing quality used and reconditioned parts for their aircraft. With blockchain, they have the confidence that they’re getting what they bargained for. Honeywell is using blockchain to protect buyers and sellers on its one-of-a-kind GoDirect Trade online aircraft parts marketplace. Blockchain ensures that every listing includes images and quality documents for the exact part being offered for sale. It establishes the pedigree of each part, using encrypted data trails to create and share a digital ledger of previous transactions for each part.
Tracking Every Part in Stock
It doesn’t matter whether a particular part is installed on an airplane, stored in the warehouse or out for repair. With blockchain an operator can keep track of every component of every airplane and know its full history, current status and location. Currently, only the most valuable parts – like engines or auxiliary power units – get this level of scrutiny by many operators. Blockchain technology makes it easy, fast and inexpensive to keep tabs on everything in the inventory.