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5G and Blockchain Ensure Manufacturing Supply Chains

Imagine you are a medical device manufacturer and need to find certain components from an overseas supplier. How do you make sure that such components are high quality, meet regulations and delivered at the right times? How do you collaborate with the supplier, and pay them safely and effectively? How can you trace the situation and location of components throughout your supply chain?

Problems with logistics and transportation, insufficient semiconductors production availability due to high demand drivers, the need for supply chain risk control or the definition of further uncertainties – only a part of the problems manufacturers encounter while conducting global complex chain management. As such, given today’s turbulent market of a global pandemic, restricted trade implications on free goods movement across countries or regions induced by systematic customs checks following Brexit. Also, compliance with environmental obligations and social initiatives requires manufacturers to improve their supply chains by incorporating efficiency, reliability applied towards product efficacy quality as well as sustainability. One possible solution is to leverage the power of two emerging technologies: 5G for manufacturing and blockchain.

If you recognise the challenges and the solutions, join us as we discuss alliance next-gen mobile networks and blockchain, their benefits for manufacturing supply chains, as well as how they can work together to improve transparency and trust.

5G benefits manufacturing logistics

What if you could communicate wirelessly with blazing speeds, extreme reliability and amazing connectivity? This is the power of 5G. More specifics: 5G devices from UCtel, with the help of which private networks are formed, provide peak data rates of up to 20 Gbps, ultra-low latency and massive network throughput. It also may facilitate the launch of other new applications and industries such as self-driving cars, remote healthcare, smart cities and so on. Finally, this communications revolution can improve manufacturing supply chains in terms of efficiency, quality and sustainability. Advantages:

  1. Live data exchange and remote control facilitate the optimisation of production while minimising downtime.
  2. A seamless integration of IoT devices for the real-time view of goods and assets.
  3. Improved customer services by way of making features such as customisation and personalisation.
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Among the 5G applications in the manufacturing supply chain include the Bosch smart factory located at Stuttgart, which will have wireless connectivity and DHL’s strategic alliance with Huawei to optimise its logistics efficiency using 5G. What if you are driving an intelligent car able to communicate with the environment of the Internet of Things — with other cars, traffic lights and pedestrians, smart home/city? This is what BMW, a German company that manufactures automobiles and motorcycles, nowadays focuses on. The term V2X, meaning vehicle to everything, relies on 5G technology that is super reliable and offers speed, enabling you to get more options for entertainment, be updated about things in real-time and avoid collisions. Built In provides details and benefits of what V2X technology can bring to drivers, passengers, manufacturing distribution and society.

Blockchain relates to the manufacturing supply chains

Blockchain is a technological recording of transactions and other data in a secure manner by verifying it from multiple sites. For instance, blockchain can trace the origin and quality of foods being consumed through supply chains like that recorded in IBM’s Food Trust. Blockchain can also assist manufacturers in checking the integrity of their products, digitally relying on suppliers and adhering to social standards as well as environmental laws. The use of blockchain technology can significantly improve the efficiency, transparency, and trustworthiness of supply chain operations as well as logistics by facilitating trading value creation of a new type while collecting information at every stage when transporting products.

Blockchain’s unique features include transparency, coordination, and efficiency, offering benefits to manufacturing supply chains:

  1. Transparency and traceability guarantee that every transaction is visible as well as trackable, maintaining product quality necessities.
  2. Coordination and trust are established without intermediaries, which enables collaboration among the supply chain partners.
  3. Paperless elimination, minimising errors and control of fraud results in preparedness and efficient cost-effectiveness.
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Examples of blockchain applications within the manufacturing supply chain include Volvo checking and ensuring where cobalt for electric car batteries comes from, IBM providing food safety guarantees, Circularise tracks plastics lifecycles to create a circular economy and so on. Read more about the impact of blockchain technologies on the logistics chains of modern cargo transportation on mdpi.com.

5G & blockchain enhance production ecosystems

In the manufacturing supply chain, the combination of 5G and blockchain unleashes a virtuous cycle where these two technologies bring to their advantage each other.

5G acts as the foundation upon which blockchain operations rely on secure data infrastructure and a steady communication network. By transmitting fast yet reliable data, the blockchain can effectively record and validate transactions. In addition, 5G’s ability to connect many devices and sensors makes more information available from which blockchain can be stored and shared.

  • Blockchain’s Contribution

Alternatively, the blockchain creates an immutable record of transactions and events, ensuring security and governance over data transmitted through 5G. It ensures a decentralised and democratic style of data network governance which does not require intermediaries such as central authorities.

●     Challenges and Opportunities

Even so, integration of these technologies requires not only human skills and resources but also overcomes various challenges such as technical problems due to interoperability that are applied from the arguments regarding standardisation implications and organisational barriers like making motivations within supply chains even for partners. The experience of one of the integrators of private 5G manufactories, UCtel, suggests that given these problems come opportunities for innovation in the form of innovating new business models and value propositions.

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In Practice

  1. Digital Twins: In the case of a Gas Turbine Digital Twin from Siemens, 5G and blockchain are employed for effective real-time monitoring control optimisation with predictive maintenance.
  2. Smart Contracts: TradeLens, which has been developed with the help of blockchain technology, benefits from 5G aligning and underpinning smart contracts contributing to an automatic process through document streamlining and payment networks within a supply chain.
  3. Circular Economy: For example, the circular economy set up via Volvo and Circularise uses 5G networks in conjunction with blockchain to trace the lifecycle stages of plastic goods; this establishes a closed-loop system for reusing resources.

The emergence of 5G and blockchain additionally does not only dissolve issues but creates new opportunities for manufacturers, and customers in a broadening field with better characteristics of services moored to sustainable practices.

Conclusion

As we conclude this discussion, we’ve had a closer look into 5th gen manufacturing and blockchain, — are they helping to shape the ever-well-known complex manufacturing supply chains in an entirely new way? While working together, they promote the transparency and trust that facilitate change, especially in how we manage these processes.

However, it is also essential to understand the intricacy of both 5G and blockchain infrastructure pervading across different parts of society. This is an aligned path that presents a way to position for untapped sources of innovation and value creation.


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Miranda Cosgrove

My Miranda cosgrove is an accomplished article writer with a flair for crafting engaging and informative content. With a deep curiosity for various subjects and a dedication to thorough research, Miranda cosgrove brings a unique blend of creativity and accuracy to every piece.

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