Last year, the VDMA's Information Technology department held various events on blockchain, which generated a great deal of interest among members. In order to perpetuate this interest, nine member companies of the industrial association have set up a committee on blockchain to intensify the exchange of information on the technology and to investigate the possible applications in more detail. The committee is affiliated with the VDMA's IT department and is basically open to all member companies interested in blockchain. Among other things, it addresses the question of which applications the technology is particularly suitable for.
PROSTEP is an active member of the blockchain committee. At one of the regularly held meetings, we presented our blockchain-based solution for the forgery-proof exchange of 3D printing and process data and the doubtless identification of printed components to the members. Blockchain technology is now an integral part of our OpenDXM GlobalX data exchange solution, making it available to a wider range of users.
We are seeing more and more interesting blockchain applications outside of the pure payment function. In addition to the automation of business processes through smart contracts, the technology offers great potential, particularly in the inalterable documentation of transactions that can be used in court.
At the last meeting of the VDMA committee, we were able to present a practical example. The solution from Holland makes it possible to store the history of the creation of complex CAD models in the blockchain and thus to prove the authorship of the data without gaps. The solution is particularly interesting for collaborative open innovation scenarios in which several engineers work simultaneously on a new development.
“Members of VDMA, including PROSTEP, have developed a number of applications that are really exciting," says Kai Kalusa, Head of Digital Public Affairs at VDMA. "We are currently discussing presenting these applications to a wider group of interested parties as part of a larger event to bring blockchain technology closer to our member companies."