Blockchain technology has primarily been associated with financial services, think Bitcoin. However, it’s increasingly having an impact across industries. Manufacturing is no exception.

What is the problem blockchain addresses in manufacturing? Manufacturing companies are changing their business models from selling product to subscriptions and services — maintenance and operation are becoming the focus of OEMs. Product service and maintenance are complex processes that bring together different companies: OEMs, service organizations, technical teams, supply chain, dealers, and technical services. Involving so many different parties also means involving many different types of record keeping methods such as PLM, ERP systems, databases, Excels sheets, emails and even paper printouts.

A modern manufactured product tends to be an amalgamation of parts manufactured by many different companies. When it comes to a specific product, collecting all the required information together is very difficult, and with time constraint added in, near impossible.

Why blockchain? Blockchain acts as a decentralized ledger. This ledger provides a single unified source of data, creating a clear audit trail and consistency across all vendors involved in the manufacturing, supply, and maintenance process. Using blockchain, manufacturing companies are able to improve how quick they trace problems with a specific product, component, or material manufacturer. It helps increase safety, improve service and operation and decrease the cost of maintenance.

Suppliers and component manufacturers can tag their products and trace their parts and all related service and maintenance operations done with tagged products. In such a way, a decentralized ledger provides complete information about the product and all services and maintenance operation done on it. For certain industries such as consumer goods and food processing, it’s a very efficient way to trace the supply chain of materials and ingredients of products.

Why does OpenBOM cares about it? OpenBOM helps distributed teams collaborate and work more effectively together. One advantages of OpenBOM is its ability to manage information for different teams and organizations. As such, each BOM is an independent element of information that can “pass” between companies and people involved in manufacturing, supply chain and services. All together, records can be kept independently without a single centralized authority or central database. OpenBOM keeps and tracks all historical information about changes, who touched the product and made any changes.

Conclusion. I think, blockchain offers much potential to manufacturing companies with its ability to improve the way they manage services and maintenance operations by providing using a distributed ledger . We are keeping an eye out with how this technology can help you. Many elements of OpenBOM technologies are made with the thinking that underlies distributed record keeping and tracking changes. How do you manage your maintenance and service operation today? How do you coordinate records done by service technicians, multiple supply chain vendors and service providers. How you can get an information about product in service with all traces of operation and maintenance done to the product?

Try OpenBOM today to organize data and records about your product, make it available to all parties involved and please let me know how can we help you optimize product maintenance.

Best, Oleg