The recent fake aircraft parts scandal has affected the operations of leading carriers that include American Airlines, United Airlines, TUI and counting. Safran SA CEO Olivier Andries is on record calling for tougher regulations on rogue aircraft parts dealers, as also tighter procurement processes to mitigate such risks in future. The scandal has led to authorities in the US, China and Europe issuing warning against the British company that perpetrated this scandal in the first place. The scandal has put a spotlight on the shortcomings of global aviation maintenance (MRO) services. This has propelled the aviation industry to affect reforms, that include warning systems to flag suspicious components or suppliers. UNIIEQ’s (www.uniieq.com) Blockchain technology can play a significant role in combating the sourcing of fake products in aviation and manufacturing by enhancing transparency, traceability, and trust throughout the supply chain. Here’s how blockchain can help in this regard:
1. Provenance Tracking: Blockchain records the entire lifecycle of a product from its creation to its delivery to the end consumer. This immutable ledger ensures that every step of the manufacturing process is transparent and can be traced back to its source. This way, you can verify the authenticity of the materials and components used in production.
2. Smart Contracts: Smart contracts are self-executing agreements that automatically enforce predefined rules when certain conditions are met. In manufacturing, smart contracts can ensure that only authorized and verified suppliers provide raw materials, reducing the risk of counterfeit materials entering the supply chain.
3. Authentication: Manufacturers can assign a unique digital identity to each product or component and store this information on the blockchain. Consumers and stakeholders can easily verify the authenticity of a product by scanning a QR code or using an app to access the blockchain data, ensuring they receive genuine products.
4. Tamper-Proof Records: Once data is added to the blockchain, it becomes nearly impossible to alter or delete without consensus from the network. This makes it extremely challenging for malicious actors to manipulate records and hide the origin of fake products.
5. Supply Chain Visibility: Blockchain provides real-time visibility into the movement of goods within the supply chain. If a fake product or component enters the supply chain, its origin can be quickly identified, and appropriate action can be taken to mitigate the impact.
6. Quality Control: Blockchain can store information about the quality control processes and inspections conducted at each stage of manufacturing. This information is easily accessible, allowing manufacturers to track the quality of materials and components used, reducing the chances of substandard or counterfeit items being used in production.
7. Supplier Verification: Through blockchain, manufacturers can maintain a verified list of suppliers and their credentials. This ensures that only reputable suppliers are part of the supply chain, reducing the risk of fake products entering the manufacturing process.
8. Consumer Trust: The transparency provided by blockchain technology enhances consumer trust. When consumers know that they can verify the authenticity of a product easily, they are more likely to choose products from manufacturers using blockchain, which can incentivize genuine manufacturers and discourage counterfeiters.
9. Global Collaboration: Blockchain facilitates collaboration among various stakeholders, including manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and regulatory authorities. This collaborative approach can lead to faster identification and resolution of counterfeit product issues.
10. Regulatory Compliance: Blockchain can help manufacturers comply with regulatory requirements related to product authenticity and traceability. The immutable records on the blockchain can serve as a reliable audit trail for regulatory authorities. In summary, blockchain technology can revolutionize manufacturing by providing a secure, transparent, and tamper-proof system for tracking the authenticity of products and components throughout the supply chain. This not only helps in the fight against fake products but also improves overall supply chain efficiency and consumer confidence.