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The team at RAZR Hub explain why there is a new set of opportunities for future industrial manufacturing and its called blockchain.

Blockchain technology facilitates two or more entities that may or may not know or trust each other to securely exchange value over the internet without including a third party and is a foundation for distributed ledgers offering an innovative platform for decentralized and transparent transaction mechanism in industries and business enhancing trust and traceability within any transaction of data, goods and financial resources. This is the technology that powers the Internet of Transactions.

At the heart of blockchain technology are Smart Contracts. Smart Contracts can be described as “bundles of coded logic or procedures which sit beside the entries in the ledger.” If the preconditions of the contract are satisfied, the agreed upon business operations will automatically commence and do not require additional human interaction.

The benefits of using smart contracts are numerous and while the majority of research projects are still focused on the technology itself and applications in the finance industry, the interest to exploit blockchain in to the manufacturing industry is increasing.

Transaction cost reduction and increased transparency are two key elements achieved through increased digital efficiency by cutting out the middleman. Reducing the settlement time for example will not only yield in a quicker transfer of assets, but also reduce the default risk in case the counterparty is not paying.

The consensus view is that blockchain can fundamentally demonstrate huge efficiencies within industrial ecosystems and as discussed in the following practical examples specifically relevant to the RAZR Hub ecosystem:

Part 1. PAYMENT TRANSACTIONS

Cross boarder payments within a global industrial activity are a fundamental cost function and a decentralised payment system taking advantage of cost efficiencies signifies a strategic use of blockchain technology.

Although information moves around the world instantly, a single payment from one country to another is slow, expensive and unreliable and a typical international payment, takes 3-5 days to settle, has an error rate of at least 5% and an average cost of $42.

Worldwide, there are $180 trillion worth of cross-border payments made every year, with a combined cost of more than $1.7 trillion a year.

Until now, selling, buying or exchanging assets has required an intermediary such as a bank, marketplace (physical or digital), credit card company, or third-party booking service. Blockchain technology, allows assets to be transferred from one party directly to another, with no middleman. The transfer is validated, permanent, and completed instantly. Value is now able to move around the world as information does.

This feature can create direct cost efficiencies for globally centric operations.

Part 2. SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

Supply chain visibility is a key business challenge, with most companies having little or no information on their own second and third tier suppliers. End-to-End supply chain transparency and visibility can help model the flow of products from raw materials to manufacturing, testing and finishing goods, enabling new kinds of analytics for operations, risk and substantially.
The vast majority of today’s supply chains are sequential and siloed and since large amounts of data are copied and passed up and down the chain via batch processing, data takes a time to propagate throughout the supply chain. This slows down operations that are driven by the data, and causes a supply-demand mismatch, creates excess inventory, out of stocks, and high logistics costs when stock needs to be moved quickly for replenishment. For Supply Chain Directors a re-imagining of the supply chain strategy for the configuration of future business needs and processes that answers the following operational questions:

• Do multiple parties need to access the same data or write to the data store?
• Do all the part
ies need assurance that the data is valid and has not been tampered with?
• Do you rely on an intermediary that adds no value? Or do you rely on a complex unreliable process to reconcile the transactions of multiple parties – when all should have the same data? Or is there a system available today that does what you require?

Aligning supply chain with present and future strategy is a fundamental challenge as the promise of a data-driven, ‘smart’ approach as a redesigned supply chain network that delivers high levels of service where needed and drives cost efficiencies where possible.

Achieving secure, high-performance supply chains requires the marrying of performance and permissibility with the transparency and trust of blockchain technology, by combining blockchain with a proven network platform, companies today can integrate blockchain with supply chain networks.

It looks like the future to us...

The Ed.
The team at RAZR Hub explain why there is a new set of opportunities for future industrial manufacturing and its called blockchain.

Blockchain technology facilitates two or more entities that may or may not know or trust each other to securely exchange value over the internet without including a third party and is a foundation for distributed ledgers offering an innovative platform for decentralized and transparent transaction mechanism in industries and business enhancing trust and traceability within any transaction of data, goods and financial resources. This is the technology that powers the Internet of Transactions.

At the heart of blockchain technology are Smart Contracts. Smart Contracts can be described as “bundles of coded logic or procedures which sit beside the entries in the ledger.” If the preconditions of the contract are satisfied, the agreed upon business operations will automatically commence and do not require additional human interaction.

The benefits of using smart contracts are numerous and while the majority of research projects are still focused on the technology itself and applications in the finance industry, the interest to exploit blockchain in to the manufacturing industry is increasing.

Transaction cost reduction and increased transparency are two key elements achieved through increased digital efficiency by cutting out the middleman. Reducing the settlement time for example will not only yield in a quicker transfer of assets, but also reduce the default risk in case the counterparty is not paying.

The consensus view is that blockchain can fundamentally demonstrate huge efficiencies within industrial ecosystems and as discussed in the following practical examples specifically relevant to the RAZR Hub ecosystem:

Part 1. PAYMENT TRANSACTIONS

Cross boarder payments within a global industrial activity are a fundamental cost function and a decentralised payment system taking advantage of cost efficiencies signifies a strategic use of blockchain technology.

Although information moves around the world instantly, a single payment from one country to another is slow, expensive and unreliable and a typical international payment, takes 3-5 days to settle, has an error rate of at least 5% and an average cost of $42.

Worldwide, there are $180 trillion worth of cross-border payments made every year, with a combined cost of more than $1.7 trillion a year.

Until now, selling, buying or exchanging assets has required an intermediary such as a bank, marketplace (physical or digital), credit card company, or third-party booking service. Blockchain technology, allows assets to be transferred from one party directly to another, with no middleman. The transfer is validated, permanent, and completed instantly. Value is now able to move around the world as information does.

This feature can create direct cost efficiencies for globally centric operations.

Part 2. SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

Supply chain visibility is a key business challenge, with most companies having little or no information on their own second and third tier suppliers. End-to-End supply chain transparency and visibility can help model the flow of products from raw materials to manufacturing, testing and finishing goods, enabling new kinds of analytics for operations, risk and substantially.
The vast majority of today’s supply chains are sequential and siloed and since large amounts of data are copied and passed up and down the chain via batch processing, data takes a time to propagate throughout the supply chain. This slows down operations that are driven by the data, and causes a supply-demand mismatch, creates excess inventory, out of stocks, and high logistics costs when stock needs to be moved quickly for replenishment. For Supply Chain Directors a re-imagining of the supply chain strategy for the configuration of future business needs and processes that answers the following operational questions:

• Do multiple parties need to access the same data or write to the data store?
• Do all the part
ies need assurance that the data is valid and has not been tampered with?
• Do you rely on an intermediary that adds no value? Or do you rely on a complex unreliable process to reconcile the transactions of multiple parties – when all should have the same data? Or is there a system available today that does what you require?

Aligning supply chain with present and future strategy is a fundamental challenge as the promise of a data-driven, ‘smart’ approach as a redesigned supply chain network that delivers high levels of service where needed and drives cost efficiencies where possible.

Achieving secure, high-performance supply chains requires the marrying of performance and permissibility with the transparency and trust of blockchain technology, by combining blockchain with a proven network platform, companies today can integrate blockchain with supply chain networks.

It looks like the future to us...

The Ed.
On the horizon is a novel and modern approach to uniquely connecting the world of digital manufacturing, blockchain and the use of digital assets, crypto currencies specifically designed for the automotive industry, known as the RAZR Hub.

Building cars is both complex and demanding yet breakthrough advances in digital manufacturing through the adoption of the 4th Industrial Revolution are fundamentally changing the way cars can be built and the key to tomorrow’s automotive products.

The smart businesses realise that to survive and prosper they need to both adopt efficiencies that technology can deliver as well as enhancing collaborative and mutually beneficial industrial alliances for technology provision, skills acquisition and strong supply chain.

The proposed RAZR ecosystem will be an industry practical and commercial support platform for digital manufacturing technology, blockchain and crypto currency transaction adoption.

THE RAZR HUB ECOSYSTEM CORNERSTONES

• Be the enabler of crypto-transactions within a blockchain decentralised ecosystem

o Eliminate exchange rate fees and provide instant transactions for international payments
o Integrate existing supply chains

• Be a Business Network Connection Hub to inspire, encourage and connect digital manufacturing proponents

o Connecting suppliers and OEM’s for collaborative associations

• Be an enabler to develop digital manufacturing skills and talent acquisition

o Connecting industry with young talent
o eLearning and skills development

• Be the enabler for the implementation of the *Sarthe cars production.

o Technology ‘Sandbox’ for Sarthe products
o Provide core connections within digital manufacturing
o Provide a continuous improvement platform within a developing ecosystem

• Be a facilitator to industry for funding

o Provide access to funding options from 3rd party providers.

*Sarthe Special Vehicles - Building cars for Sarthe will fundamentally identify the efficiencies of a connected digital crypto industrial process and forensic recording of the entire process will provide industry feedback for the good of the industry.

The Ed.
499
The automotive supply chain is incredibly complex, consisting of numerous types of parts, hardware/software/firmware suppliers, distributors, dealers, regulatory agencies and insurance companies. Trusted suppliers are thoughtfully selected and managed, as well as checked and certified for quality, reliability and consistency. Blockchain technology enables the development of secure digital product memory records from the source of the raw materials, to how and where they were manufactured, including their maintenance and recall history. Product and assembly ownership, authenticity, trading, purchase and license use of each component can be protected with blockchains, allowing multiple supply chain partners to collaborate easily. Blockchains could significantly streamline supply chain processes, especially those that rely on regulatory and compliance approvals.

Blockchain technology is a foundational technology that has opened up a world of innovative opportunities for the automotive industry. OEMs could use blockchain technology as a platform to enhance their overall cybersecurity for vehicles, validate software bills of materials, enable secure micropayments, strengthen identity management and improve data validation. Blockchain will add the levels of trust and security necessary for a self-driving future for example.

The consensus view is that blockchain can fundamentally demonstrate huge efficiencies within industrial ecosystems and as you may recall from our recent article of the RAZR Hub and their project to build a supply chain that uses blockchain/smart contract technology specifically integrated into the build of ultra-sports cars by Sarthe Special Vehicles. This will be intetesting to watch!

The Ed.499
As a start up low volume sports car manufacturer Sarthe Special Vehicles stands out as something intriguingly different to the normal. There are a few reasons why we can say this, the extensive use of digital manufacturing or the use of blockchain technology and the use of a tokenised crypto supply chain ecosystem but one that stands out is the how the proposed product range is inspired by the cars that raced the 24 hour of Le Mans.

Although the initial range of cars will be specifically inspired by the Porsche 917 an icon of the 1970's but also the evolution of the Jaguars, Mercedes and LMP1 racers of Audi and Porsche to todays super tech hybrids.

This is a starting point for Sarthe, but fundamentally the creation of the Sarthe cars will be dominated by extensive use of digital manufacturing that allows for a product range that can evolve efficiently and rapidly throughout the life cycle of any build.

Founder of Sarthe Special Vehicles Ian Howe says 'Accessing and integrating the technologies of the future for cars built for today is something that really excites me and the opportunities for the creation of bespoke low volume specialist cars is absolutely possible.' Ian continues to add, 'Take a look at what Singer have done, they have integrated the iconic original styling of the 911 and built cars that are super enhanced by the use of modern materials and technologies delivering some of the most desirable vehicles money can buy'.

Ian goes on to explain 'Our Goal with Sarthe is to evolve an initial range of cars kicking off with the RAZR One which will be a homage to the 917 by being as visually close as we can get as a road and track variant. Under the skin will be a 21st century tub and chassis that will underpin the range of Sarthe cars, safer, stronger all created using digital manufacturing. The power will be delivered by modern V10'.

This first car will allow our team to develop and evolve to the RAZR Two car, which will be an ultra-sports car, again both road and track but with a special V10 powertrain and will be a celebration again of the 917. An increased level of digital manufacturing will allow the car to be customer bespoke and be a further showcase for the latest industrial technologies and materials.

From here the third car will be focused towards homologation for the new and evolving Ultra Sports class at Le Mans as a super light performance hybrid. This car will be truly stunning with a totally collaborative use of not only additive manufacturing but also CFD, Computational Fluid Dynamics delivering performance aero.

At the heart of the project is a unique co-operative and collaborative ethos to help bring together the very best skills and talents to produce amazing cars.
Looking forward to seeing the progress of this exciting project.

The Ed.
508
History shows us that behind the creation of amazing things are truly disruptive innovators. Steve Jobs, Satoshi Nakamoto or Elon Musk those who lead the pursuit of human future possibilities allied to fundamental technology breakthroughs.

It was with no real surprise that Elon Musk had to act and step down as chairman of Tesla, this must have hurt not to mention the $20M fine, as a result of a misguided tweet…

Whatever your view is of electric cars, it cannot go unnoticed that Elon and his team have been at the forefront of a true change in perception to electric cars. Previously except for a few advocates our perception was negative to the real potential, change of this perception has been glacial.

In fact the change in perception transcends the ‘here and now’ with a trajectory of opinion change that could even deliver the ultimate vision of how we perceive the car as transport. So much so that the young will know a car as different from what it is today, just like we do not think a phone is a thing on the wall with a cord on it!

Tesla spearheaded the change in this perception by thinking differently and by using A silicon valley technology startup’ mentality with agile progressive industrial re-thinking coupled to leading edge technology ensuring Tesla the status of undisputed disrupter to the automotive industry!

Arguably Tesla is a software company that happens to make cars and the automotive equivalent of the iPhone. Strong use of design, simplicity for the user experience, software at the core with ‘over the air’ (OTA) software updates, much like ownership of your smart phone, a configurable gadget as a car.

The true disruptors follow through the vision, and Tesla for example, have addressed the infrastructure challenge of electric cars, solved by ‘Supercharging Stations’, powered by solar, completing the product circle and in the process building a whole new complimentary industry. This is truly defining the Future.

Tesla with Musk at the helm have taken a whole new approach to an extremely well established industry and do things completely their way, in the process, redefining true industrial innovation, something to applaud, surely?

There is still legacy to be achieved...
518Digitalisation can help manufacturers save time, reduce costs and respond more effectively to customer demand, all as part of the culture of innovation and continuous improvement embedded within the DNA of the automotive sector.

By fully embracing digitalisation, the automotive sector in the for example the UK, stands to gain £6.9bn every year by 2035. The cumulative total benefit to the UK economy could be £74bn by 2035. This is a significant prize, but there are challenges that need to be overcome, by the sector and by government if it is to be realised. The UK’s digital infrastructure needs to be improved, clear policies on cyber security must be developed, the skills gap must be addressed and investment in digitalisation must be accelerated.

Digitalisation technologies have found applications across the manufacturing value chain and have had beneficial impact on suppliers, OEMs and end-customers. While some technologies have more focused applications (e.g. robotics on production), others such as cloud computing, analytics and cybersecurity are progressively leading to an unprecedented sharing of information and new applications across the value chain.

The digitalisation of manufacturing is already underway. Both manufacturers and their suppliers benefit from productivity gains, quality improvements, greater flexibility and shorter times to market. Customers are also likely to benefit from more personalised, higher-quality vehicles with a greater level of product content and connectivity.
In truth manufacturing has been increasingly using data to raise productivity for decades, but many commentators now foresee an exponential growth in the use of this data, driven by five new disruptive technologies.

1. Firstly, connected devices and sensors using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology have become sufficiently affordable allowing a physical system to be replicated in digital form and visualised in real time.
2. Secondly, predictive analytics, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence powered by algorithms that have become sufficiently sophisticated and validated through real-world examples are now able to make decisions and predictions based on this real time data. In the future, the advent of deep learning – a high performance, dynamic way of computerised decision-making that can learn patterns automatically and more accurately with the more data you give it – will enable further augmented decision-making.
3. Thirdly, the human-machine interface has developed to a point where widespread adoption of mobile, touchscreen and now virtual reality allow for more intuitive interaction between physical and digital worlds.
4. Fourthly, the ability to directly produce from a digital construct through technologies such as 3D printing and intelligent robotics have enabled an entirely new flexible system of production to be imagined.
5. Finally, despite a rise in cybercrime, significant improvements in cybersecurity technologies and the blockchain are giving companies the confidence to connect their factories and store vast amounts of intellectual property-sensitive data in the cloud.

Ultimately, digitalisation applications often involve the creation of a “digital twin” of a physical product, manufacturing process, factory or supply chain. Once the digital twin is created it can be analysed for many purposes. Changes can be made easily in digital form allowing for the simulation of different scenarios.

HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT INDUSTRY

The previous scenarios can help in a multitude of applications that span the value chain to:

1. Design production lines move quickly and with greater certainty through the use of virtual reality and analytics to optimise the flow of materials and movable assets;
2. Better execution of new vehicle model launches and exchange of product development and pre-production data;
3. Optimise throughput in a factory by creating a digital twin and then simulating alternative production processes and techniques in alternative scenarios to better plan product
ion and remove bottlenecks;
4. Eliminate defects with in-vehicle diagnostics to better understand the factors leading to component failures leading to faster root-cause identification;
5. Better plan plant maintenance and algorithms to predict future usage, substantially reducing unplanned machine downtime;
6. To reschedule production and automatically communicate changed production plans to suppliers in response to crises such as a major logistics disruption or supplier failure;
7. Reduce inventories and lead times through track-and-trace inbound supplies which give real-time estimated times of arrival.

SOURCE The Digitalisation of the UK Automotive Industry KPMG
You will likely not have heard of the RAZR Hub, yet this initiative has been created to merge the technologies of blockchain, digital manufacturing within an industrial support platform.
There are several key aspects to this project that has evolved from the desire to launch a brand of ultra-sports cars under the brand of Sarthe with products that defined by the use of the very latest in additive and digital manufacturing.
The automotive industry is littered with brands that could not quite keep a long-term hold on the business and when you analyse this many of the difficulties that befall companies there are a few categories that dominate failure, finance and skill acquisition.
RAZR Hub is designed to address these issues in a cooperative and collaborative ecosystem that can be adopted at any level by OEM's and suppliers to dynamically deliver physical and fiscal support.
As a proposed total support ecosystem to industry is aimed to not only implement blockchain technology but the RAZR Hub will consist initially of complementary and functional portal gateways specifically added to enhance the app for a wider user base and will consist of the following four main building blocks:
1. Supply chain & Digital Asset Transaction module – Crypto Transaction Gateway
2. Access to digital manufacturing technology – Digital Manufacturing Gateway
3. Access to Finance – Backing & Finance Gateway
4. Skills learning & Acquisition module – Skills & Learning Gateway
The RAZR Hub is currently in feasibility stage that includes building the technical and commercial collaborations.