“We’re quite confident that (blockchain) has big, big implications in supply chain, transportation and logistics. In the area where FedEx makes its living, this could be a big deal.”
That’s what FedEx CEO Fred Smith told the Consensus 2018 conference in early May. The blockchain technology Smith is excited about was touted by many at the Consensus conference, and could be applied in a range of industries. Steven Norton reports for The Wall Street Journal:
Speaking at the Consensus 2018 conference, panelists described how distributed ledger technology could create an immutable data source that identifies 3-D-printed parts down to the machine that made them, the technician who worked with them, and the atmospheric conditions under which they were produced.
Firms throughout the supply chain could use that data, shared on a common, unalterable ledger, to certify the provenance of parts, ensure they were manufactured properly, and quickly identify the source of any defects.
“Right now it takes companies months to go through papers to distill where the fault is,” said James Regenor, business unit director for transformative technologies at Moog Inc., which manufactures systems and components in the aerospace, defense and industrial sectors, among others. A distributed ledger could create a trusted — and ideally unbiased — source of information for manufacturers and their customers throughout the supply chain.
“Because we have audit trails, we don’t have to have the part in front of us to trust that it was built the right way,” Mr. Regenor said.
Large firms are experimenting with blockchain to track food through the supply chain. The technology could prove especially helpful during recalls or other food safety scenarios, allowing firms to figure out the source of an offending item during a recall. FedEx Corp. on Monday said it was developing technology that would allow it to monitor shipments beyond its own tracking systems.
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