The technology could make it much easier to trust the provenance of parts ordered.

Counterfeits have always been a challenge in the aerospace supply chain – research suggests that in the US military, up to 15% of components could be counterfeit.

Simon Thacker, Supply Chain Strategy Consultant, Accenture, talked to us about the blockchain-powered supply chain platform it is demonstrating with Thales to tackle the issue.

The solution uses sensors, blockchain and digital fingerprinting. Thacker says these technologies “present the defence industry [with the opportunity] to improve security and certification through the supply chain.”

How it works

“Blockchain is not hosted by a single party,” Thacker says. “It’s distributed across a number of parties. Each time a player transacts within that supply chain, they effectively add a record to the blockchain.

“By using information from digital sensors, crypto-seals and digital fingerprinting, we’re able to improve the credibility of that record on the blockchain so that ultimately the customer can have complete trust that the item they receive is indeed the item they ordered.”

Accenture was showing a demonstrator but Thacker says “things are moving fast” towards a commercial product.