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At SMART2023 on 4th July 2023, Lampros Leontaris, Research Assistant at Information Technologies Institute, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH-ITI) presented the following paper authored by his colleagues: Enhancing defect traceability and data integrity in Industry 4.0 using blockchain technology.

Authors: Andreana Mitsiaki, Nikolaos Dimitriou, George Margetis, Konstantinos Votis, Dimitrios Tzovaras

Brief description: This study was conducted in the context of OPTIMAI’s three pilot lines in Televés, Microchip and Kleemann. Factories still face challenges when it comes to the traceability of defects and automation actions related to optimisation and security aspects along the production chain. Current industrial solutions use a centralised client-server architecture. However, if something happens to the central authority, the system can fail. In this regard, one of the most promising technologies is blockchain, as it is a decentralised technology based on a peer-to-peer network instead of a client-server model.

In this paper, the authors propose a blockchain framework based on the Ethereum platform, which was applied in OPTIMAI’s three pilot lines, in Televés, Microchip and Kleemann. A private for defect detection as well as firmware updates for the production equipment. The experiments demonstrate that the smart contracts have certain advantages compared to existing practices in terms of traceability and cybersecurity. In addition, a blockchain API that connects the proposed framework with an industrial middleware platform and the overall OPTIMAI Industry 4.0 ecosystem has been developed.

Findings: The experiments in each of the three production lines indicated that the proposed approach has potential in terms of security, storage, traceability and transparency. The developed blockchain API connects the framework with industrial middleware and the OPTIMAI Industry4.0 ecosystem. Blockchain has potential to improve manufacturing practices, enhance equipment reliability and ensure traceability in the supply chain.

Interested in finding out more? The paper will be published as an open access publication in the SMART 2023 conference proceedings.

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