The manufacturing industry has increasingly moved more into the use of WIFI connected technology to streamline processes and improve efficiency through SMART manufacturing. From measuring raw materials to assembling products, labeling and packing, the introduction of this technology has encouraged more efficient and lean manufacturing so as to meet targets, save on staff employment, maximise working hours, reproduce exact processes and analyse data through key performance indicators (KPIs) which provide vital feedback to businesses so that they may streamline their operations.
Whilst these processes have proved invaluable to companies, unfortunately there have also been some negative repercussions. For any business operating on an IT network, SMART manufacturing leaves SMEs in particular, open to cyber security vulnerabilities.
Because of these threats, manufacturing companies have sought to find new ways to manage their IT system networks and now it seems that by operating them through a blockchain network, could be the answer.
In a recent article by justfood.com it refers to a recent report by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US who have found a way to do exactly this!
“Digitally transmitting manufacturing data, such as blueprints, between multiple parties there is the risk of data theft, tampering and corruption within the process”.
The report goes onto explain that because blockchain is built up by a serious of nodes that have to operate within a certain routine which are time stamped and tamper resistant, it means that blockchain is less easy to hack which makes the platform a unique match to the manufacturing industry. This means “that it would allow digitised manufacturing instructions to be safely transmitted between stages without the risk of tampering”.
With this in mind, the NIST has now taken its first steps to create a ‘Unified Modeling Language’ which includes detailed statements and codes in a computer modeling standardised system, so it is worth watching this space on how collaborations and partnerships could be formed as the basis for how it could be used to support businesses and their SMART manufacturing processes in the future.
For more information on SMART manufacturing and protecting your business against IT issues and cyber security, please contact us at Crendon Insurance Ltd. We support manufacturing companies and industry specialists with bespoke commercial insurance packages to cover all aspects of a company from buildings and equipment insurance cover through to stock assembly and staff employment.
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