Challenge

The aftermarket remanufacturing (reman) process in the commercial vehicle manufacturing industry is laden with manual steps, numerous involved parties, burdensome documentation requirements, and supply chain challenges. An inherently cumbersome process, it involves the rebuilding of commercial products using a combination of reused, repaired, and new parts, and the replacement of obsolete components and modules. Typically, reman efforts require handoff of information and equipment between a number of parties, ranging from parts manufacturers, vehicle manufacturers, refurbishment providers, and dealers.

Recent studies have suggested that the broader reman industry in the U.S. employs more than half a million people and represents a more than $50 billion annual market. But the tremendous amount of opportunity that exists is countered by high operation costs, complicated supply chain management, parts counterfeiting, and lack of efficiencies across various stages. Further, financial reconciliation and payment processing between the many parties involved is unnecessarily strenuous and time-consuming.

Still, reman is more economical than producing new inventory. Improvements that can expedite the return speed, improve supply predictability, and ensure trust and documentation throughout each stage can create significant value.

Solution

One of North America’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers recognized the opportunity to improve, automate, and streamline its reman core exchange operations. It became clear that blockchain offered a number of benefits that would address many of the most common challenges. Looking to Filament’s Blocklet™ technology, the manufacturer began to explore how blockchain for transportation could help automate, reduce overhead, and increase transparency and visibility into the reman process.

Tracking outstanding cores and liabilities in near-real time and expediting payments to dealers after inspections were topline priorities. Filament’s Blocklet technology provided a permissioned blockchain for all members of the reman value chain, allowing the company to monitor core status after orders were generated, facilitate redemptions, and track and attest the entire process on the blockchain. The ability to provide immutable records for every party involved improved trust and process security. Blocklet further boosted security by controlling ledger access (specific writing privileges) through bonded Blocklet USB Enclaves, ensuring access to records was appropriately controlled.

With Filament’s Blocklet solution, the company is the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to establish a secure peer-to-peer connection platform for remanufactured components. The implementation is creating greater efficiencies and reducing costs. Moreover, the manufacturer views this as the beginning of a fully transformed reman process, in which its machines can transact value, create new business models, and provide more efficient streams of revenue.

Filament’s Blocklet technology provides:

  • Improved visibility of outstanding cores and total liability
  • Quicker payment process
  • Automated expirations and Smart Contracts
  • Established trust between suppliers and dealers
  • Reduced overhead and enabled efficient deployment of capital

System Architecture and Security

Built on Filament’s Blocklet USB Enclave, the solution establishes end-to-end trust by providing immutable, blockchain based data transactions between parties participating in the reman value chain. The Blocklet USB Enclave integrates vehicle and parts data to a cryptographically-secured, end-to-end distributed ledger. Blocklet verifies, signs, hashes, and encrypts data, which is then is transmitted to a validator node within the distributed ledger. The validator node verifies and authenticates the source, then publishes the transaction to the ledger.

During an installation pairing-process, the Blocklet USB Enclave and supported host permanently bond, thereby establishing a unique identity for the combined devices. The bonding enables supported configurations to engage in sensitive transactions requiring uncompromised device identification and digital signatures. Attempts to use a Blocklet USB Enclave with any host other than the host the USB was originally bonded with will be unsuccessful. This solution leverages BigChainDB, an open-source business blockchain.

Features

Introduces visibility into every stage of complex remanufacturing operations

Provides automation that enables the ideal “zero sum” reman system, without the significant overhead required by current manual processes

Establishes trust and security through attestation of vehicle and core data

Plug-in capability to enable blockchain native software on any vehicle

Creates peer-to-peer platform for remanufactured parts, driving increased revenue