Modelling and Analysis of Swedish Heavy Industry Supply Chain Data Management to Improve Efficiency and Security

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Sammanfattning: Product certificates are sent throughout the supply chain of Swedish heavy industry in order to show provenance and physical characteristics of objects such as screws. The data management of the certificates has been, and still is, a very manual process. The process requires extensive work in order to maintain a correct record of the certificates. In particular, tracing causes of errors and establishing compliance takes a long time and effort. The company Chaintraced is developing an application to automate the process by acting as a third party to digitalize and manage the certificates. Introducing a third party into a business-to-business process requires that data integrity is preserved and that information reaches its expected destination. Recent research has indicated that distributed ledger technologies showpromise to fulfill these requirements. In particular, blockchain-based systems offer immutability and traceability of data, and can reduce the trust needed between different parties by relying on cryptographic primitives and consensus mechanisms. This thesis investigates the application of distributed ledger technology to further automate the Swedish heavy industry supply chain and reduce the trust needed in a third party managing the certificates. Requirements for an industrial strength system is set up and several distributed ledger technology solutions are considered to fit the use case of Swedish heavy industry. A proof of concept based on the findings is implemented, tested and compared with a centralized database to explore its possible usage in the supply chain with regard to feasibility, immutability, traceability and security. The investigation resulted in a prototype based on Hyperledger Fabric to store product certificates. The solution provides certain guarantees to immutability and security while being developed with feasibility for deployment in mind. The proposed solution is shown to be slow compared to a centralized solution but scales linearly with number of certificates and is considered within bounds for the use case. The results also show that the proposed solution is more trustworthy than a centralized solution, but that adopting blockchain technology is an extensive task. In particular, trustworthiness and guarantees provided by the solution is highly dependent on the feasibility aspect and the investigation concludes that adoption of blockchain technology within the Swedish heavy industry must take this into consideration. 

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