Authentise, an expert in data-driven workflow tools for additive manufacturing, is leading a team in a project titled “Digital Supply Chain Adoption Curve (DSCAC)”, which has been accepted for a UK Innovation grant for the competition “Manufacturing made smarter: digital supply chain, feasibility studies”.
The project, which started on the 5th of April, will run for a projected period of 6 months and aims to provide a product roadmap that helps deliver the vision of a fully integrated, digital supply chain. While the vision is not new, it has been stifled by a lack of adoption. That’s despite the fact that such an integration could deliver significant value in terms of efficiency, agility, and security.
Yet, the vision has been held back by the fact that tools don’t address the needs and fears of supply chain participants, particularly SME’s. Through its previous work on both connected Manufacturing Execution Systems and research related to lightweight digital supply chain tools, Authentise discovered a myriad of opportunities that potentially exist that deliver value but, in falling short of full integration, address some of the challenges that have prevented this full integration from occurring. Intermediate products that address a particular need while limiting the information requirement, the adoption of a fully digital supply chain can be sped up. It is important that these tools are considered holistically to ensure that they are contributing to the vision of a fully integrated supply chain.
Thus, in this feasibility study the main aim is to learn (including reviewing existing solutions and literature and questioning key supply chain stakeholders), design (including identifying potential product areas – both served and unserved – and compiling full product definitions on each of them), and test (including a high-level test with industry interviews and granular test in the TWI testbed) an integrated digital supply chain.
The result is not just a report but a full set of product definitions that industry participants can use to identify and de-risk potential market opportunities. This type of holistic review yielding a product roadmap has not been available previously. The combination of research organizations (JI4C, TWI) with a software vendor (Authentise) and a certification agency (Lloyd’s Register) will ensure that these solutions have both regulatory and academic rigor whilst maintaining an action-oriented approach that software vendors can use to deliver real-world results, which may be pursued through a follow on Industrial Research application.