Recently, the publication IndustryWeek along with MESA International (Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association) completed a joint research project. The aim was to identify and discuss the similarities and differences between various companies’ approaches to what has come to be referred to as Smart Manufacturing.
While the full findings have yet to be published, they have released some informative early-reveals, which we will discuss in greater detail. These will help us to further ascertain the current state of the production and distribution sectors, and the ways they have been influenced by this new phenomenon.
Smart Manufacturing is synonymous with Industry 4.0. The terms refer to the value that advancements in Internet and communications technologies have delivered throughout the industrial supply chain since the beginning of the decade.
More specifically, the term denotes ways in which automation and efficiency of production/distribution processes are informed by concepts such as big data and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Solving the Problems of Industry 4.0
The Productivist Blockchain project is an initiative led by a cohort of industry veterans including a handful of the management team at collaborative 3D printing platform Freelabster. It will be an open, Ethereum-backed system that will effectively manage the decentralization of production.
If the observations of the MESA and IndustryWeek report are accurate, then it would seem that Productivist has their finger on the pulse with regards to the current status quo of smart manufacturing.
The interview, in which the currently published findings can be read, cites concerns and similarities that can be summarized as follows:
- Concerns: The methodological approaches taken by each company are disparate, as are the associated code infrastructures supporting their solutions – as well as corporate/technical terminologies applied to processes and systems. Another issue mentioned is the inherent data security risks associated with the use of centralized cloud storage systems and the interconnectivity of data.
- Similarities: Most companies in the sector are attempting or have attempted to design and implement their own respective approaches to smart manufacturing. An even greater proportion of said organizations possess almost identical goals for their projects including the reduction of operational costs and the increase of performance and efficiency.
A New Standard: Industry Redefined
Productivist aims to create and implement a “new standard” in the smart manufacturing market to accomplish their objectives. Key performance indicators (KPIs), according to the project’s whitepaper, include “quality, fair pricing and efficiency” across all areas of manufacturing.
This standard is posited to ensure the maximization of efficiency and minimization of sourcing costs while eliminating obstacles such as minimum order quantities and a lack of cross-company real-time tracking protocols.
Security and provision will be ensured in part through the use of Smart Contract protocols. These ensure the automated enforcement of digital agreements across legal and cultural boundaries. They also (like all transactional data on Productivist) are stored on a decentralized Blockchain, and are public-key encrypted ensuring the sanctity of information and the immutability of records.
The Future: To ICO and Beyond
Productivist has slated their pre-ICO launch date for May 1, 2018 with the ticker for their proprietary token (used for all on-platform payments) being ‘PROD’. The total supply of this ERC20-compliant token makes 385,000,000 PROD, where 1 PROD = 0.1€. The project is hard capped at equivalent of 20 Million € EUR, while the soft cap constitutes 2 million € EUR. In case Productivist fails to raise its soft cap, all funds will be returned to participants. Early contributors, who participate in the ICO before May 31st, will receive 18% bonus, which will go down to 3% by July 15th.