Adaptive Blockchain Technology for Additive Manufacturing

NCMS Project #: 140915

Problem: There is growing anxiety about supply chain management for defense systems, which increasingly use commercial-off-the-shelf components for warfighter systems. The concern is that these components may contain deliberate vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an adversary at the time of his choosing. From the creation of the additive manufacturing (AM) design to final production on the shop floor, AM files can be easily transmitted with the click of a mouse. The digital nature of AM means that parts and products are easier to share and transmit, enabling the creation of digital supply networks and supply chains. Additionally, it creates the opportunity to make AM part development fully documentable and attributable. In the absence of a strong data- protection framework, a digital design-and-manufacture process creates the potential for tampering or data theft.

Benefit: In its essence, Blockchain eliminates the ability for hackers, or others with ill intentions, to infiltrate the digital systems, thereby arresting them in their tracks of polluting or corrupting a file making all parts safer. With the security of Blockchain technology, industries could rely on AM with confidence and turn more of their catalogue toward printing just-in-time pieces. Blockchain provides validation of manufacturing process for part qualification and certification. Organizations that need share technical data packages for AM among organizations is protected using this technology.

Solution/Approach: To fully realize the benefits of AM within a defined distribution network, secure data transport must be addressed. The objective of this project is to test and evaluate the digital distribution of an AM file on a blockchain based solution. The participants will authenticate and, authorize a secure workflow for the AM file, before ultimately printing the file. The blockchain based solution will provide part provenance and track a part through its lifecycle in DFARS 252.204-7012 and NIST 800-171 cyber secure environment.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Protected technical data packages for AM parts
  • Validation of manufacturing process for part qualification and certification
  • Authorization, authentication, traceability, and tracking of parts
  • Cost savings of disposal of unused maintenance and sustainment parts

DoD Participation:

  • U.S. Navy (NUWC Keyport)
  • U.S. Air Force (Wright Patterson)
  • U.S. Air Force (Tinker)
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • U.S. Army AMRDEC
  • U.S. Marine Corps
  • Rapid Tech Transition Office
  • Joint Staff J4
  • U.S. Navy (FRC Southwest)
  • U.S. Navy (NAVAIR)

Industry Participation:

  • MOOG, Inc.
  • Guardtime Federal, LLC
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Mx management improvement

Focus Area:

Additive manufacturing