General Electric is going through some tough times. It is no longer part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It is spinning off its health care unit and selling its stake in oil and gas company Baker Hughes. But that doesn’t mean the conglomerate has forgotten its supply chain.
According to a patent filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, GE’s application outlines a method to create a blockchain-based manufacturing history that can help with tracking and authenticating objects in its supply chain that are made using 3-D printers.
GE claims that if an industrial replacement part is made using a 3-D printer, anyone with access to a 3-D printer could conceivably reproduce that part. As a result, according to GE, end users can’t verify whether the replacement part “was produced using a correct build file, using correct manufacturing media and on a properly configured additive manufacturing device.”
GE is serious about blockchain, Coindesk reports, having recently joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, a group working to develop blockchain standards in the cargo transport industry. Read more here.