At the Forum Digital Technologies in Berlin, over 2,000 people have seen the demonstrator of the blockchain solution that PROSTEP developed together with partners as part of the SAMPL project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The solution enables the tamper-proof exchange of 3D print and process data and the unambiguous identification of the printed components.
The Forum is a networking platform and exhibition space for selected research projects and innovations in the field of digital technologies from Germany. It is intended to promote discussion and the transfer of knowledge between national and international actors from the worlds of business, science and politics. Interactive demonstrators for hot topics such as augmented reality, digital twins, machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and blockchain are currently being showcased in the Forum’s showroom.
Last year, PROSTEP set up the SAMPL demonstrator in Berlin. It demonstrates how to create a trustworthy data transfer chain for additive manufacturing. This makes it possible for companies to send 3D print and process data to an external print service provider in order to, for example, manufacture spare parts without compromising their intellectual property. A key part of this chain of trust is the OpenDXM GlobalX data exchange solution and SAMPL-capable 3D printers. They not only ensure that the licensed number of print jobs are executed, they also allow the printed components to be tagged using RFID chips or other methods for ensuring traceability and unambiguous identification of the components.
“We are proud that the Forum Digital Technologies selected our SAMPL demonstrator to serve as an example of innovative research results,” says Dr. Martin Holland, coordinator of the consortium project, which has been brought to a successful close. “With the development of the Secure Additive Manufacturing Platform, we have pioneered the use of blockchain technology in a variety of different application areas.” PROSTEP has now fully integrated the blockchain module in its OpenDXM GlobalX data exchange platform so that, in addition to highly secure exchange, it can also be used for the tamper-proof documentation of product and process data of any kind. In addition, business processes can be automated via smart contracts in the blockchain.
“We are proud that the Forum Digital Technologies selected our SAMPL demonstrator to serve as an example of innovative research results, With the development of the Secure Additive Manufacturing Platform, we have pioneered the use of blockchain technology in a variety of different application areas”Dr. Martin Holland
Employees at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) are responsible for Forum showroom. They present the demonstrators to experts, political decision-makers, representatives from the scientific community and members of the press from Germany and abroad during guided tours. During the course of the current year alone, the topics SAMPL and blockchain where part of 63 guided tours and independent visits to the exhibition, with 853 people on site and over 300 participating online.
“Blockchain technology will dramatically change the way companies ensure compliance with contractual agreements in collaborative scenarios,” says Marc Reznicek from Fraunhofer HHI. “The SAMPL demonstrator provides a good example of how the technology can be applied in industrial environments. We are pleased that it is generating so much interest among visitors.”
By Martin Holland