Accenture, Thales Showcase Blockchain System for A&D Supply Chains


Published Jul 17, 2018 05:05AM ET

Updated Jul 17, 2018 05:20AM ET

Accenture, Thales Showcase Blockchain System for A&D Supply Chains

Ireland-based professional services and management consulting giant Accenture has collaborated with French aerospace and defense (A&D) major Thales to create a blockchain-powered system. The new solution, which was presented at the Farnborough Air Show, can secure and speed up processes in A&D supply chains around the world.

The system was built under Thales’ digital innovation program, the partners said in a statement on Monday. The platform uses Hyperledger Fabric, a technology developed by Linux-backed blockchain project Hyperledger, and relies on the distributed ledger technology (DLT), internet of things (IoT), and other emerging technologies.

John Schmidt, the head of Accenture’s A&D unit, commented:

“The aerospace and defense industry has one of the world’s most vast and complex supply chains. Blockchain technology offers a new, elegant and secure way for the industry to track and trace myriad components while deterring counterfeiting and improving maintenance capabilities.”

“Used in combination with technologies like digital twins and digital threads, blockchain could ultimately be a game-changing innovation for this sector,” he added.

The prototype will help A&D industry players improve parts tracking in the supply chain. Mark Walton-Hayfield of Accenture Digital in London told Forbes the system would cut costs, confirm authenticity, and enable more accurate recalls of defective parts. The platform will allow suppliers, manufacturers, and intermediaries to benefit from a unified and shared image of the supply chain.

Accenture found that an overwhelming 86% of A&D companies want to integrate blockchain into their system in about three years from now.

Gareth Williams, Thales UK’s VP for secure communications and information systems, stated:

“Identifying counterfeit and grey-market goods in the A&D supply chain can be challenging. Using blockchain in combination with cryptoseals and physically unclonable functions allows you to build a trusted history behind parts.”

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