Current situation / problem :
In the industry, companies work with suppliers / partners for design or manufacturing tasks.
They typically :
Design the main product structure / organization and some small part of the product, but actually outsource design of specific parts of the product to other expert companies to design some specific parts of the product. In the case of an airplane, this could be the engine, the electrical harness, the seats, the wings structure…
When it comes to manufacturing, they will usually assemble the main structure, but have external manufacturers build the specific components (again : engine, electrical harness…)
They actually need these partners as some of the tasks are not the company’s specialty and they do not have the inside expertise nor tools to do it themselves.
So a lot of data exchange processes are involved in this kind of situation between the main company and its partners / suppliers / manufacturers.
In such cases, for a partner to be able to do its design or manufacturing job, the company needs to send some information.
Typically, the type of data being exchanged would be :
- Technical / functional specification (documentation)
- Actual 3D/2D CAD models
- Weight and balance information
They will need CAD models to run some clash calculation / weight and balance calculations / motion simulation that are crucial to the product design.
When it comes to data exchange between an airplane or satellite company and its suppliers / partners, most of the time the data exchange process is a pain in the ass.
The reason behind it is that some of the data that is needed by the partner is either :
- military classified
- internal data that must not get out of the company for Intellectual property reasons
- data delivered to the company by other suppliers (equipments, typically) that should not be sent to other suppliers
The main reasons are : intellectual property and military classification rules.
These rules are extremely important to follow and if broken, will lead to legal actions.
So when defining a data exchange process between a company and its partners :
- Both companies’ legal departments spend quite a lot of time defining legal contracts as to what kind of information needs to be exchanged.
- When actual data exchange starts, it is extremely important to filter the product structure to only send appropriate / authorized data. It sometimes results in not sending enough data for the partner to be able to properly work.
The needed data never being provided to the partner results in the partner not actually being able to deliver a complete / proper product design.
In this case the partner will deliver the incomplete design and the Aircraft company will have to run the calculations / simulations on their side, and provide some feedback to the partner, who will modify its design, send it back, and so on.
This creates a lot of back and forth communication between partners, and a lot of lost time that could have been avoided in the first time if the partner had access to the right data.
Nillion value :
This is where I think Nillion technology could theoretically come really handy and save a lot of trouble for industry actors.
Due to the nature of NMC, data that is needed for partners to work could be stored on the nillion network and the really sensitive data could actually never be directly sent to the partners.
The 3D models themselves would be stored as particles on NMC nodes, invisible to the partners.
All the computations needed to design a proper product could be run directly on the NMC nodes :
- Clash collisions
- Weight and balance calculations
- Motion simulation
All of that could actually be run without actually needing to reveal the classified data to partners
This could actually also potentially be built on some internal company network based on NMC technology.
Limitation for now:
There is still a long way to go to be able to implement this kind of solution as for now, there would be some obvious legal issues when it comes to storing confidential data on the Nillion network. (this might be easier if done on some internal company network based on Nillion tech)
Rules for storing some of this data (military data for instance) are defined at government level, which is not the best actor to adopt innovation.
On the other hand, they also currently use some standard encryption processes (so not ITS secured) for this kind of data, which, when quantum computers get real, will be a problem. So they might be more willing to change security rules as the research on quantum computers advances.