The problem of counterfeiting is huge in scope since almost anything can be counterfeited. It is widely spread across industries, harming companies and customers that unwittingly purchase fake products. Counterfeiting causes potential loss of life, monetary loss, loss of customer trust and brand damage. The International Trademark Association states that the worth of counterfeit goods sold in 2016 was estimated at $460 billion.
According to a research by Customs and Border Protection, apparel and accessories account for 20 percent of all the counterfeit products, making it the most counterfeited segment in the market. The aerospace and automotive parts are in 10th place among the most counterfeited products, accounting for only 2 percent of this illegal business. However, fake parts in these two industries are among the most dangerous as they put the unsuspecting people at risk of injury or death.
The problem of counterfeiting in the aerospace industry
The counterfeiting of components in the aerospace industry is nothing new. In a report made in 2008 by the Boeing Company states that anything can be counterfeited:
- Fasteners (bolts, nuts, rivets);
- Electronics (capacitor, resistor, integrated circuits);
- Materials (titanium, composite chemicals);
- Anything else (electronic assemblies, pumps, actuators, batteries, etc.)
The accidental application of fake parts in aerospace projects can yield devastating results. The infiltration of counterfeit parts into the supply chain has been a growing threat for many years. In 2009 the US Customs and Border Protection Service seized 4 million dollars worth of counterfeited products, including networking equipment and semiconductor devices, meant for use in the aerospace industry.
Such situations are the main driving force behind the development and adoption of best practices of identifying the source of fraudulent parts. However, there is still no tool that can help stop such items from finding their way into the supply chain. And the inspection that takes place as soon as parts come in from a supplier does not always help to identify unapproved parts.
Mitigating the problem with decentralized solutions
The main task of the aerospace industry is to effectively reduce the introduction of fraudulent parts into the aerospace supply chain and minimize their impact. While the existing systems and services can’t guarantee protection against counterfeiting, the Emercoin blockchain provides the needed resources.
The EmerDPO solution is designed to protect digital and physical products from being counterfeited. The service assigns a unique ID to each manufactured product and connects it with the manufacturer in the Emercoin blockchain. Anyone can view the information and check the authenticity of the product being sold or purchased.
The technology can be used to create a supply chain free from the usual obstacles that let counterfeit parts slip through. The information in the Emercoin blockchain is immune to unauthorized changes, as only the owner of a private key can update or delete it on behalf of the manufacturer.
EmerDPO can bring many benefits to the companies that use it:
- traceability of spare parts and other aerospace components;
- protection of products from being counterfeited;
- prevention of unapproved products from entering the aerospace supply chain.
EmerDPO is more efficient when all partner companies integrate it. This way they can ensure the protection of all products: from the materials being used to final products.