NewsDate: 07-08-2019 by: Tiffany Won
RENASCENCE OF TRUST THROUGH BLOCK CHAIN
With the dawn of “Industry 4.0” we observed the need of “Internet Of Things” & necessity for OEMs’ to provide access to their resources to the external world. In this process the factor of “Security” plays an important role. The authorization system, which will provide access, should be absolutely tamper proof.
The automotive industry is moving towards DevOps model of implementation rapidly. With this approach there comes the responsibility to adapt to the requirements very fast. And provide solutions, updates as soon as possible.
Block chain technology, which is a global decentralized ledger, can be used to tackle these issues. Block chain enables secure, peer-to-peer transactions that can be verified without any centralised authority. The authentication & transactions are ensured through the digital signature, which builds the security of the system & trust within the stakeholders.
Here we will be discussing a use case of block chain with Teamcenter. Teamcenter is one of the most preferred software in automotive world. This well known PLM software is not only capable of holding the product data but also brings various streams of product development under a single roof. Such as Requirement management, various BOMs, CAD data, light weight data(JT data etc). Along with this Teamcenter is well equipped with various integrations such CAD integration, SAP integrations, integrations with analysis software. But above all these features the most important strength of Teamcenter is its Service oriented architecture. The sound foundation of SOA made Teamcenter open for any future integrations & adapt to ever changing requirements.
Teamcenter with help of its Systems Engineering module brings a new dimension in PLM software industry. Through systems engineering module the data related to any product, right from Requirement, phase can brought into Teamcenter & we can create co-relations between various types of data such as BOM, MBOM etc.
Collecting best of each world & by bringing them under a single application can help us to build a systems which can provide access to rightly authenticated parties in OEM’s PLM systems & vice versa. Through Teamcenter we can collect all the product data under a single roof, using systems engineering we can relate data with each other & generate the data aggregation. While through Block chain we can ensure the security & authenticity for the transactions within the involved parties.
With building of such a system an OEM can have secure access to products’ data throughout its lifespan even after sell of the product to end user. This system will give an opportunity to any OEM to bring all the involved parties such as OED itself, product dealers, service providers, end consumers under a single system. The inherent quality of Block chain will help to identify the genuine entities & can provide further access. With this system in place OEM’s can built vast variety of solutions on top of this.
Here are few solutions which can be built on top of this system:
- Collection of usage & performance statistics.
- Authorized Product’s Software updates.
- Effective change management
- Fast defect identification & updating product design
- Quality inspections of various components & further production planning.
- Solutions build through connect cars can be made secure.
- And last but not the least Digital Twins
Use case: Authorized software updates
Let's discuss a real world use case. With concept of connected cars & related applications, OEM’s has to tackle inherited problem of software updates. This use case deals with updating such software installed within an automotive.
Before discussing about use case,
Let’s first understand the common terminologies in block chain:
Larger the block chain members/nodes stronger is the security of block chain systems. First steps in this solution is to identify the involved parties, here various departments within an OEM and cars are considered the involved parties.
Various departments of OED will have individual wallets. And thus we can record and track the interactions between any two departments. And few nodes to maintain the data within.
For any OED the end product (i.e. Car) is the main asset. Wallets will be created against each car. Car being an integral part of the system gives an access to its overall data.
Using Teamcenter’s systems engineering, OEM can generate software (e.g. Software used by mechatronics department). And tracelinks will be created between involved product data such as requirement, Simulink designs, BOM etc and baseline software.
As we have various departments & Car under the block chain system, with help of block chain transactions we can generate & maintain not only the progress within an assembly line but also details of software, such as version of software, installed in a Car. And in this way we can bring the current ecosystem of any OEM under block chain system.
Next step would be to integrate the outside world with this system. And again we need to identify the involved parties here. OED, Car dealers, service providers & Car can be the members, but as the OEM & Car are already in block chain system, we just need to focus on dealers & service providers.
For the sake of simplicity we will consider Car dealers & service providers just as dealers. For each dealer a wallet & a node will be created. Having a node at every dealers end will help to main the security & robustness of the block chain system. And thus we can create a system that can interact between OED, dealer, Cars, in short the complete ecosystem is under the block chain.
Now whenever there is any update or modification in products data within Teamcenter the same can be pushed to Car. While building the block chain system, we have created tracelinks between product data & base lined software and have recorded the transactions with Cars. So using that data we can easily identify any change in software version present within OEM & Car.
Once such change is identified, and if Cars are online these changes can be pushed over the internet. Or if cars are not connected, we can push this change through dealers.
A sample transactions flow can be seen in below diagram.
Finally we can conclude, by bringing all participants on single platform allows us easy & fast transfer of data, reduction in communication costs. The processes became thin & lean. With block chain at its backend, we can create the transparency between shareholders - beneficiaries and thus will renascence the trust amongst them.