100 of Japan’s major manufacturers reportedly plan to participate in a new blockchain-based data-sharing initiative, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The companies plan to use a secure blockchain technology system to share information like product design data, quality control details, and status reports for production equipment, in a bid to improve efficiency.
The Nikkei article named Mitsubishi Electric and Yaskawa Electric as two of the large firms expected to join the initiative. Machine tool makers like DMG Mori are also expected to participate in the project, which is intended to boost the country’s manufacturing industry, “by attracting not just big corporations with advanced production technologies but also smaller players that are unable to invest large sums.”
The plan is part of a new approach to data management that defies a long tradition of companies maintaining strict secrecy about production details and other sensitive information related to their internal operations. As Nikkei notes:
Manufacturers have closely guarded the data gathered at their factories because it contains know-how directly linked to competitiveness. But now they believe sharing that data securely will bolster performance. This project lets participants decide how much data to share, whether to share it with one or more companies, as well as whether to charge a fee for the information.
The Industrial Value Chain Initiative is overseeing the new project, which could begin secure data-sharing early next year.