Rolls Royce, SIA host blockchain challenge for engine maintenance

Earlier this month Rolls Royce announced that Hong Kong-based Block Aero won its “Blockchain Innovation Challenge”. The engineering firm’s aviation division partnered with Singapore’s SIA Engineering in search of a blockchain solution for Singapore aircraft engine maintenance.

Block Aero will now be participating in a blockchain proof of concept with Rolls Royce. It will also receive a grant of up to SG$50,000 ($37,000) from Enterprise Singapore, another partner in the event.

Rolls Royce aircraft engines are used by some of the most popular commercial aircrafts such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A380. There are several stakeholders involved in the engine maintenance process, which might include an overhaul or modification to a parts replacement. Either way, an inspection is often required as well.

However, the current process relies on manual checks and paper-based records, which results in inefficiencies. For the hackathon, Rolls Royce challenged blockchain startups to build a solution with the following features — traceability and transparency, integration with stakeholders and coherent, seamless and self-executing. The scenario was a scheduled replacement of a major component in a leased engine that involved a 17-step workflow.

Block Aero won the challenge by outperforming fellow finalists DEX, Kruha, PlasmaDLT and Sky Republic. The winning startup had a slight advantage as it specializes in aerospace and is working to streamline aerospace supply chains. In April, the firm launched a pilot with Etihad to improve engine overhaul times.

Singapore-based DEX develops tools to manage data and AI. It is one of the firms behind the open-source Ocean Protocol blockchain, which tokenizes data as a digital asset for use in AI computations.

Kryha is a blockchain development studio with offices in Amsterdam and Singapore. It supports multiple blockchain technologies and claims to work with BASF, Bosch, Daimler, FedEx, KLM and Shell.

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