Japanese Manufacturers Join Forces on Data Sharing Blockchain

Japan blockchain data sharing Mitsubishi Electric Yaskawa Electric internet of things Industrial Value Chain Initiative

A consortium of manufacturing companies in Japan have reached an agreement to share data on a new platform powered by blockchain technology, according to reports emerging today.

The group of over 100 manufacturers, which includes the likes of Mitsubishi Electric and Yaskawa Electric, agreed to use the technology for collaboration and data exchange, with a view to boosting the efficiency of the manufacturing process.

The project is being led by the Industrial Value Chain Initiative, a group established in 2015 to explore the internet of things, and how new technologies such as blockchain could be implemented within industry in Japan.

The model has been compared to a similar agreement between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group of car manufacturers, who established a blockchain environment for sharing data including around product design, quality inspections and production equipment and machinery.

It is hoped that the partnership will allow the firms to increase their global competitiveness, as well as benefiting productivity throughout the manufacturing sector.

The blockchain structure allows companies a greater degree of security compared to sharing data on regular servers, while offering full control to companies participating in the scheme, in terms of the type of information they want to share and the parties they want to share it with.

The technology will also allow firms to exchange information on a paid-for basis, with payments handled within the blockchain environment.

According to reports in Nikkei this week, the initiative is aimed at helping both major corporations and smaller, independent manufacturers, creating a more level playing field through which knowledge and insights can be shared to the benefit of the whole sector.

Among important data that could be shared is information on the wear and tear of production machinery, which is expected to allow for more efficient maintenance, as well as reducing production downtime from dilapidations.

The project is currently in development, and is expected to launch early in 2020. It is only the latest example of companies working together on blockchain projects, and utilizing the benefits of blockchain technology to improve work flows and boost efficiency.