When an F-15 Eagle fighter needed a metal part, its commanders turned to VeriTX’s virtual marketplace, where they were able to find a nearby supplier who could make it on a 3D printer and deliver it in six hours.
Using the old printed catalog system, it would have taken 265 days, on average, to get the jet flying again.
To build that marketplace, the decentralized aerospace parts manufacturing firm is partnering with Algorand, using its proof-of-stake blockchain platform to provide customers with speed and certainty along the supply chain, according to an Oct. 22 announcement.
“We chose Algorand as the blockchain infrastructure to power our platform after looking at several technology providers and rigorous due diligence,” VeriTX CEO Col. James Allen Regenor said. “Algorand was the ideal solution to onboard our ecosystem partners to the network, because of its flexible architecture, low transaction fees and transactional throughput scalability.”
Until recently, aerospace manufacturing worked like it did in the 80s, with parts being ordered from printed catalogs via fax and phone. VeriTX claims that its new blockchain-based marketplace dramatically cuts the delivery time and cost of aircraft parts for its customers, such as the Department of Defense and commercial airlines compared to those legacy systems.
VeriTX’s platform connects buyers and sellers of parts that can be 3D printed on-demand. The blockchain acts as an additional security layer, allowing the tracking of parts from order to delivery on an immutable distributed ledger, as well as verifying their origin and authenticity.
On the VeriTX marketplace, sellers digitally design the parts and upload them onto the platform alongside pricing, specifications and provenance. At this point, buyers can purchase those parts and they are finally printed as near to the buyer as possible and delivered.
Aside from the F-15, VeriTX claims it was able to supply another customer with polymer-printed parts, reducing delivery time from 133 days to one hour, as the seller’s design allowed it to be printed in the airline’s own maintenance facility.
In another case, a part for a broken business class seat was printed while a commercial airliner was still flying, allowing maintenance crews to fix it when the flight landed, rather than taking it out of service. Between potential lost revenue and the cost of flying in the part needed, VeriTX claims as much as $30,000 was saved.
As big four auditing firm Deloitte explained in its April 2019 report, blockchain is seeing fast adoption in the supply chain industry. As Modern Consensus reported last month, carmaking giant Renault has decided to use blockchain to certify the regulatory compliance of vehicle components and subcomponents.
In April, also German carmaker BMW decided to expand the use of blockchain to track raw materials and components along its supply chain.