Blockchain For Aircraft Parts Developed By GE Aviation, Microsoft

Blockchain, News | May 14, 2019 By:

GE Aviation, in collaboration with tech giant Microsoft, has developed a supply chain track and trace blockchain to strengthen the aviation industry.

GE Aviation, part of the General Electric conglomerate, is among the top aircraft engine suppliers, and offers engines for the majority of commercial aircraft. It designs, develops, and manufactures jet and turboprop engines, components, and integrated systems for military, commercial, business and general aviation aircraft, and ship propulsion applications worldwide.

The new supply chain track and trace blockchain, dubbed TRUEngine, is a permissioned fork of the ethereum blockchain. The solution will be used to monitor and collate data related to the manufacture and life cycle of critical aircraft engine parts.

“Our vision is being able to trace parts as they are manufactured and the engine when it’s shipped,” David Havera, blockchain CTO of the GE Aviation Digital Group, said in a statement. “Then how that engine performs in the field, when to repair it and then re-enter it into the field.”

According to Havera, GE Aviation Digital Group, a GE Aviation business unit that has over 700 employees worldwide and sells software to other companies within the industry, has been working on the blockchain solution for over two years with partners like MTU Maintenance. He said that they believe the blockchain solution will be able to structure data within the ecosystem in a single format and streamline a number of processes.

“If you think about it, a quality event in the aircraft engine industry is catastrophic,” Havera, said. “And to research that takes months of manual time. Driving efficiencies, accountability and visibility into the process of making an engine will make us all safer.”

Mike Walker, the senior director of applied innovation and digital transformation at Microsoft, said that the blockchain solution has the effect of stitching their entire supply chain into one view, giving the platforms “one ecosystem repository instead of hundreds, if not thousands.”

“So what we have done brings cost optimization and significant safety improvement, but now we are exposing a new business model,” Walker said. “We are creating a profit center for what I lovingly referred to as ‘the boneyard’ in Texas, where essentially they put all these parts where they don’t have the GE Aviation genuine paperwork – and you can do that for all the other boneyards out there, too.”