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Over at North Carolina State University researchers are proposing to make an open-source network that uses blockchain to share manufacturing data. Companies could compare and contrast notes in order to find manufacturers capable of consistently producing what they are demanded of by said companies.
"Small- and medium-scale manufacturers often lack the resources and network reach necessary to make all of their potential clients aware of their manufacturing capabilities," said Binil Starly, corresponding author of a paper on the project and head of NC State's Data.
"Our approach, called FabRec, would allow companies to automatically report about their manufacturing activities: which machines are being used, what materials they are working with, raw material inventory levels, whether the work is being completed on time, and so on," said Atin Angrish to NC State News.
The paper is called, "A Case Study for Blockchain in Manufacturing: "FabRec": A Prototype for Peer-to-Peer Network of Manufacturing Nodes," and it will be presented at the SME North American Manufacturing Research Conference in Texas around June.
It is a call to simplify the purchases and demands of manufacturing for both the makers and the buyers. This attempt to establish a reliable and public resource for supply chain professionals requires both manufacturers and IT sector partners to help build and establish the network.
"Future steps also include developing software that would allow us to authenticate sources entering data into the system – as well as identifying any unreliable sources," said Angrish.