Cyber-physical supply chain using ranked blockchain

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Beer, Benjamin Michael
Gupta, Deepak P.

The complex nature of modern supply chains has made the traceability of goods throughout their lifecycles very difficult. Modern technology and the digitization of the supply chain have created vast amounts of data that would be useful for traceability; however, the transference of this information throughout the supply chain as the products are moved is a difficult and costly problem to solve. Traceability systems have been built; however, these are typically confined to single organizations and the portions of the product’s lifecycle that are within the custody of that organization. This thesis proposes the creation of a ranked blockchain-based cyber-physical supply chain system. The use of blockchain technology allows for the creation of a decentralized system that, through smart contracts, can enforce arbitrary logic at a transactional level. Blockchain also creates an immutable ledger of the past in which information, once written, can be guaranteed to persist forward. Furthermore, ranking can abstract some of the informational aspects of products and enhance traceability. Two prototypes were constructed, the former being a simple prototype demonstrating how a Cyber-Physical Supply Chain (CPSC) system could be created using blockchain. The latter is an expanded version and includes integrity management. The results from these two prototypes show how a CPSC blockchain traceability system can be created.

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Thesis (M.S.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Industrial, Systems, and Manufacturing Engineering