OSIsoft Research is actively exploring blockchain technology. They are working together with Blocxs on a case study on how their PI System could be used in conjunction with blockchain technology to track and manage the lifecycle of industrial assets. OSIsoft is investigating how this revolutionary technology could solve some of the almost impossible challenges that their customers are facing. OSIsoft wants to be ready for the potential disruption and new possibilities that blockchain inevitably will bring.
A case study
This week Johan Mulder of Blocxs presented for more than 300 customers and partners at the OSIsoft PI World Conference that was held from April 23rd-27th 2018 in San Francisco USA. The presentation was about implementing a blockchain solution within a PI-system world and more specific how an asset life cycle could be managed using the blockchain concept. The demo part of the case study showed the integration between of the PI system and the Hyperledger blockchain where new assets (industrial engines) were created and registered. The second part of the demo consisted of the registration of specific engine test results in Hyperledger.
Sensor data written in a backend software system
OSIsoft is a company that offers solutions for customers with equipment and machinery that have sensors implemented that can communicate with OSIsoft software systems. An example of this is an engine on a assembly plant for which the running hours, the temperature of the gear box as well as the RPM are measured with a certain interval. These figures are received by the owner of the backend systems where this data is registered.
Blockchain or not?
As the engine owner also owns the data, tempering of the data is possible but serves no purpose therefore is would be no direct case for a blockchain implementation. However this traditionally stored data can become an issue when the motor is sold to another party. If the historical engine data will be delivered as part of the sale how can the new owner trust this data?
If data (parts that are related to trust issues) had been registered in a blockchain system where data technically can not be tampered with then this sale could have been accompanied with immutable data that the buyer can trust. As the risk for subsequent owners is reduced by trustable historical data any stored engine will become more valuable and therefore might result in higher sale prices. Company data will now be transformed into a value asset.