What the aerospace industry doesn’t know about its planes is costing it serious money. And what it could do with all that knowledge has the potential to create new streams of value. According to the latest report from PwC titled “Data for the life of the aircraft: How the adoption of blockchain can provide a boost of power and efficiency to the aerospace industry” on the impact of blockchain technology on the aerospace industry.
The aerospace industry is vast, complex and interconnected. Its recent performance has been strong (2018 revenues: US$838bn) and it is poised for further growth. Yet, despite the technological sophistication of modern commercial aircraft, much of the data that’s crucial to keeping any aircraft airborne is collected manually.
With technologies such as 3d printing and artificial intelligence being crucial to transforming different industries, there’s one innovation the aerospace industry should consider and that is blockchain. Implementing Blockchain’s decentralized and considerably more secure technology makes it a perfect fit to help overcome challenges the industry faces.
Blockchain has the power of creating a digital ‘birth certificate’ for every part that’s installed in a plane and update it every time the plane is serviced or inspected by a technician, along with capturing many other details that will give an accurate view of the plane’s history.
“Having a more accurate view of a plane’s configuration and maintenance history could help defeat mercenary part resellers, reduce costs and losses related to downtime and unplanned maintenance, boost the value of planes in the secondary market at the end of leases, and improve worker productivity,” says Scott Thompson, US Aerospace and Defence Leader.
PwC analysis has found that efficiency gains enabled by blockchain could increase the aerospace industry revenue by as much as 4%, or US$40bn, while cutting Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) costs by about 5%, or US$3.5bn.
It’s worth noting that, blockchain won’t revolutionise the aerospace industry overnight. Rather, it will supercharge other innovations that companies are already adopting, like the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and data analytics.
Our Global Blockchain Survey showed that across industries, 54% of executives with blockchain projects say the effort sometimes or often hasn’t been worth the result. That’s why a successful blockchain data record for the life of an aircraft will necessarily start small with one system or process — not with an entire airplane.
The transformative potential of blockchain technology, can improve visibility across multiple parties (suppliers, vendors and customers), while safeguarding their data from competitors; hence building trust among participants, which is an important ingredient in successful blockchain implementations.
Successful blockchain projects require a great deal of trust between participants. That may seem ironic for a technology that’s supposed to be ‘trustless,’ but creating an ecosystem in which all participants can feel confident that they will benefit takes careful coordination and collaboration. That’s especially true when competitors must find common ground to create a system that works for all.” says Rachel Parker Sealy, Industrial Products Technology Principal, PwC US