BMW’s Blockchain Solution for Supply Chains to Roll Out in 2020

World-famous car manufacturer BMW Group plans to roll out its blockchain supply chain solution to 10 suppliers this year.

Dubbed “PartChain,” the platform has already been successfully tested by BMW in 2019, an official announcement on March 31 revealed. 

In its early version, PartChain is designed to ensure traceability and immediate data transparency for automobile components across complex supply chains that engage multiple international parties. 

The 2019 pilot implemented the solution for purchasing and tracking front lights, with the involvement of two of BMW Group’s total 31 plants, as well as three locations of the supplier Automotive Lighting.

Andreas Wendt — a member of BMW AG’s Board of Management, who is responsible for the Group’s purchasing and supplier network — said that BMW now wants to expand the project to “a large number” of other suppliers, with 10 selected for 2020.

Combining blockchain with cloud technology

In the long-term, Wendt said that BMW’s vision is to use blockchain to create “an open platform that will allow data within supply chains to be exchanged and shared safely and anonymized across the industry.” 

Whereas the pilot had been limited to component tracking, BMW sees the platform’s future applications extending to tracing critical raw materials for manufacturing “from mine to smelter.”

Together with blockchain — which provides for tamper-proof, verifiable data collection and transaction —  PartChain uses cloud technologies from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. 

Intra-industry development

Wendt revealed that BMW now intends to share the PartChain solution with other members of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), which BMW co-founded back in 2018. 

As Cointelegraph reported at the time, MOBI is the result of a collaboration between BMW, GM, Ford and Renault — as well as high-profile blockchain, tech and engineering firms including Bosch, Hyperledger, IBM and IOTA.

The project has led to the creation of the MOBI Vehicle Identity Standard, which aims to establish a blockchain-based database for Vehicle Identity Numbers. This supports unique digital certificates for information such as vehicle identity, ownership, warranties and current mileage, which can be securely stored in an electronic wallet.





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