Under the new infrastructure: Blockchain + Industrial Internet has huge development opportunities

Author: Du Ting, Shanghai Information Technology Co., Ltd. Ding shark chief commercial officer; Yang Yaodong, Shanghai Information Technology Co., Ltd. Ding shark Principal Investigator

The global epidemic situation has not been effectively controlled. In response to the risks, the country has also proposed a "new infrastructure" to stimulate economic growth and alleviate the downside risks of the global economy. Xinhuanet also published an article saying: "New Infrastructure" has become a consensus for development, which not only represents the future direction of high-quality economic development, but also a new engine for the development of the digital economy, and will become the basic production tool of society like water and air. [1] .

Among them, as many export-oriented industrial enterprises directly facing the downturn of the global economy, can they withstand this risk, and build the digital capabilities of enterprises under the opportunity of new infrastructure will become the key to rapid economic recovery after the epidemic. As a trust machine, the blockchain provides a safe, efficient, and credible technical method, which brings opportunities for solving the problem of efficient collaboration between institutions, institutions, people, and equipment. Therefore, chain (blockchain) network (industrial Internet) collaboration is imperative.

The "Three Mountains" of Manufacturing

Manufacturing has a decisive position for a big country, which is also an important reason why President Trump has proposed to return manufacturing to the United States in recent years. China is a major manufacturing country, and the level of manufacturing development is related to the country's development and the people's living standards. However, in recent years, China's manufacturing enterprises have encountered some difficulties and problems in their business development. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that the "three big mountains", "the iceberg of the market, the high mountain of financing, and the volcano of transformation" are the most prominent.

These "three mountains" have hit the pain points of manufacturing enterprises. For example, there are many restrictions on market access, and various “rolling door”, “glass door” and “revolving door” are urgently needed to break [2] ; changes in the external environment, especially the spread of the epidemic this year, have been adopted by many countries The means of blocking the source of infection, including the "closure of the city", has suppressed global consumption of pneumonia. This situation puts tremendous pressure on the export of enterprises. Due to partial disconnection from consumer demand or insufficient resistance to risk, the product cannot be sold; financing has encountered obstacles, which has led to tight capital chains and restrictions for enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. Enterprise reinvestment and development capabilities; product quality, technical standards, and brand recognition are not high, and fierce market competition has led to difficulties in enterprise transformation.

These problems have become a "blocker" for the high-quality development of the manufacturing industry, and also a key issue that must be solved for China's economy to move toward high-quality development. Only by removing the "three mountains" mentioned by the general secretary can we create a better environment for the high-quality development of the manufacturing industry [3] .

For example, in the field of electronic information, SMT (Surface Mount Technology) as a new generation of electronic assembly technology is an important basic industry with a wide range of applications. Since the reform and opening up, China's electronic information industry has made tremendous achievements, and the SMT industry has contributed greatly.

China's SMT industry is developing rapidly, and it has become the world's largest and most important electronic manufacturing service market. The number of SMT production lines in the country exceeds 80,000, of which China Electronic Information Industry Group's manufacturing plants have more than 400 production lines. But for some time, the market, financing, transformation and other issues have restricted the high-quality development of the industry. From a market perspective, with the acceleration of the development of the electronic information industry, users' demands for high-end equipment, substitute production, quality control, and timeliness of delivery are becoming more and more strong, and the product quality and technical standards of traditional SMT production enterprises are difficult to meet the demand. .

At the same time, SMT's multi-variety and small-batch characteristics lead to high procurement costs and difficulty in developing substitute materials business, which poses great challenges to SMT companies. The development of the market has seriously affected financing, and the gross profit of the SMT industry has gradually decreased. Small and micro enterprises among them have begun to face the problems of difficult financing and expensive financing. From the perspective of transformation, on the one hand, fierce competition forces enterprises to transform, on the other hand, enterprises lack low-cost funding sources, resulting in insufficient investment in high-end equipment, product quality, technical standards, and brand recognition. Carrying out, in the "transitional crater", enterprises are advancing and retreating.

As another example, in the field of consumption (retail), with the new generation of "post-00" gradually becoming the main force of social production and consumption, their living taste and cognitive level are significantly different from their parents, and consumption upgrades have already occurred. E-commerce platforms featuring Internet, smart vending equipment, O2O, and other models are increasingly becoming a form of consumption accepted by society. In this context, advanced technologies such as the Internet, blockchain, big data, and artificial intelligence will play a very important role in promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and is an effective means to solve the pain points of enterprise development.

However, due to the application of new e-commerce platforms and other technologies, and the exploration of new business models, they often have high costs and high risks. Under the pressure of survival, most small and medium-sized enterprises have no ability and willingness to adopt new technologies and explore new models, resulting in ineffective Good, can not adapt to new market needs.

Faced with these challenges, how should Chinese companies break through?

In 2012, General Electric Company of America first proposed the concept of "industrial Internet". According to what was said at the time, "Industrial Internet is to connect people, data and machines." [4] In recent years, due to the rapid rise in labor costs, companies urgently need to use the Internet of Things to reduce their dependence on labor and improve productivity and quality.

Specifically, the enterprise closely connects equipment, production lines, employees, factories, warehouses, suppliers, products and customers through an open and global communication network platform, and shares various elements and resources of the entire process of industrial production. Make it digital, networked, automated, and intelligent, so as to achieve efficiency improvement and cost reduction. At present, many giants have launched their own platforms, and there are international high-quality solution providers such as Siemens, ABB, and GE. The domestic market also has participants such as Haier, China Aerospace Science and Technology, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. It seems that the traditional manufacturing industry has high hopes for the industrial Internet.

The more participants, the bigger the problem with the Industrial Internet?

In 2020, the Industrial Internet is included in China's new infrastructure. According to the plan currently seen, the new infrastructure will consist of 22,000 projects, continue to invest for many years, and a large plan with a total investment value of 49.6 trillion yuan will be implemented in 2020 by 7.6 trillion yuan [5]. As an integral part of the new infrastructure, there is no doubt that the Industrial Internet will develop rapidly in the coming years.

Despite the large number of participants, all of which are the world's top technology companies, technology sounds very advantageous, and the country also attaches great importance to it, but the Industrial Internet also has its defects and problems that are difficult to solve.

(1) Poor network interconnectivity

Unlike the consumer Internet with a unified and open network, the Industrial Internet currently does not have a unified communication protocol. Different industrial devices have different data interface access interfaces, resulting in difficulties in data acquisition and circulation. To put it simply, the Industrial Internet itself wants to connect factories, suppliers, and enterprise customers, but because everyone uses different equipment or different levels, even the communication protocol may be different, which leads to The industrial network is fragmented, the information transfer between enterprises is difficult, and real-time interconnection is not possible.

(2) Network and data security are difficult to guarantee

Every industry has its own personalized network security needs. A common network security solution cannot fully meet the deep-seated needs of all industries, and it is difficult to form a common network security solution. Because the industrial Internet connects reality and the network, in addition to the theft and tampering of data files, security problems will also affect the actual production and directly affect the safety of industrial operations.

Blockchain opportunities

In response to the new needs and new challenges facing the current Industrial Internet, blockchain technology provides a "supply-side reform" solution for efficient collaboration and innovative management in the industrial field. Blockchain technology is called "the machine of trust" and it is a disruptive technology that is leading a new round of technological and industrial changes in the world. It is expected to become the "source of origin" for global technological innovation and model innovation, and promote the "information Internet". Change to "Internet of Value".

At present, China's blockchain industry is gradually taking shape, and it has begun to be rapidly applied in the fields of supply chain finance, credit reporting, product traceability, copyright protection, digital identity, government data transfer, and epidemic prevention [6] . Accelerating the in-depth integration of blockchain and industrial Internet is conducive to the "reduction of costs" and "efficiency" of the real economy, the establishment of an "integrity industrial environment", and the promotion of technological, organizational and efficiency changes in China's economic system. For enterprises, the core value of the blockchain is to comprehensively record the data of the company's daily production and operation activities through technical means, and provide true and credible, tamper-proof trust support for quality supervision, product sales, and financing activities. The specific ideas are as follows:

1. With the help of the four major technological changes of machine consensus, shared ledger, smart contract, and privacy protection, provide industrial Internet with mutual trust, interconnection and sharing of data under the premise of complying with industry norms and standards and observing inter-enterprise agreements;

2. Its multi-level architecture design of "physical distributed, logical multi-center, strong supervision center" provides a "loosely coupled" connection between government regulatory departments and industrial enterprises (government and enterprise, enterprise and enterprise) , Provide the possibility of "flexible" compliance supervision without affecting the normal production and business activities of the enterprise to the maximum extent;

3. Its distributed deployment method can provide a path of rational construction and development by industry, region, stage, step, step by step according to different conditions of the actual industry.

On November 9, 2019, at the "Industrial Internet + Blockchain" symposium organized by the China Industrial Internet Research Institute, Chen Chun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, attended the symposium. He pointed out that blockchain has credible collaboration, privacy protection, etc. Technological advantages can be deeply integrated with the Industrial Internet, especially in the fields of industrial Internet data validation, accountability and transactions. It has broad application prospects and provides a solid technical foundation for building a national industrial Internet data resource management and service system.

"Carrying out research on 'in-depth application and innovative development of industrial Internet + blockchain' is very important for promoting the digital, networked and intelligent transformation of China's industrial production and promoting the high-quality development of the real economy." Chen Chun said. Gao Zhipeng, a professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, believes that in the future, blockchain and industrial Internet will achieve integrated development in multiple fields such as logo analysis, collaborative manufacturing, supply chain finance, edge cloud collaboration, and industry innovation applications.

Tian Ye, deputy chief engineer of the China Industrial Internet Research Institute, said that the essence and core of the Industrial Internet is to tightly connect and integrate equipment, production lines, factories, suppliers, products and customers to form cross-device, cross-system, cross-plant, cross-region Interconnection. Blockchain technology is a brand-new infrastructure and distributed computing paradigm with the characteristics of multi-center, data tamper-proof, and traceability. Therefore, it has broad prospects for innovative applications in the field of industrial Internet. [7]

According to the opinions of industry experts, to further strengthen the improvement of blockchain on the competitiveness of enterprises and the external environment, it is necessary to seize the "two ends" of production and operation activities of enterprises: manufacturing and consumption. Only by realizing the authenticity of the data at these two ends can we achieve the full integration of the company's entire production and operation activities, comprehensively enhance the company's production capacity and sales capacity, and enhance the trust of the government, partners, financial institutions and consumers in the enterprise. Solve the "iceberg of the market" by satisfying consumer needs and enhancing consumer confidence; provide real proof of trade authenticity and repayment ability for banks and other financial institutions through real and effective production and sales data, and cross the "mountain of financing"; In the end, with the improvement of competitiveness and the improvement of the external environment, it helps companies successfully pass through the "transition volcano".

The four "power points" of the chain network collaboration

The main ideas discussed above are ideas. On top of the blockchain technology, a collaboration platform can be created for multiple participants in the industry ecosystem. Everyone can retain their privacy and unwilling to share knowledge, while sharing processes, rules and Data under privacy protection. How to organically coordinate the industrial Internet and blockchain technology in actual operation?

1. Encourage enterprises to connect the monitoring and management of production and manufacturing, as well as necessary procurement and sales data, through the blockchain technology throughout the process

This involves deploying a large number of sensors, collecting first-hand information, and truly achieving data credibility. There are a large number of devices in the industrial field, and a large number of people and things interact in it. Therefore, blockchain technology is needed to solve the trusted identity of industrial devices, device registration management, device access control, and device status monitoring.

When a participant (device or person) says "I am me", they can quickly verify their identity and confirm that they are trusted and safe. Industrial applications are different from other applications. The process is very complicated and there are many industries. In addition to people and institutions, the special parties also include the diversity of industrial equipment. Blockchain enables related parties to share data, processes and rules in a more secure, credible and accessible manner [8].

The data in the production link is used as an effective proof to ensure the accuracy of the purchase and sales data, and to provide government, regulatory agencies, banks and other financial institutions with a higher-than-usual contract and order-based trade authenticity certificate. Make full use of the characteristics of blockchain technology to spread trusted data to the outside, provide an effective basis for financing in the short term, and form a partial or even nationally integrated corporate credit environment data support in the long term.

2. Industrial production has increasingly evolved to "cloud" production, or networked production, which is a continuation of the social division of labor

More and more products are not processed on the same assembly line, but the original process is divided into small units, and each unit is handed over to independent companies and specialized companies. The new industrial process system is actually completed by many companies. By introducing the trusted and safe technology of blockchain distributed system, it can help the production efficiency of the industrial manufacturing supply chain system and improve the efficiency of collaboration. , Making the division of labor with higher granularity possible.

In the entire industry, a blockchain identity is assigned to industrial equipment. After the equipment, people, and institutions have identities, industrial production organizations can adopt consensus smart contracts (smart contracts represent centralized and coordinated production Organizational logic is implemented through distributed consensus) to organize the corresponding production in a multi-centric way, making its process more transparent. Figure 1 shows that the use of blockchain can connect all parties in the industry, significantly improving business processing speed and efficiency.

Figure 1 Schematic diagram of a cross-department collaboration platform based on blockchain [9] . The technical characteristics of the blockchain will play a role in all levels of the industrial Internet, so as to achieve the effective sharing of industrial data.

3. The government level strongly supports the whole society in the construction of relevant blockchain platforms, and promotes the acceptance of data on the chain by large-scale enterprises, banks and other market players

Support industry associations as a leader to build industrial blockchains. Regardless of whether the builder of the platform is a government, core enterprise, or financial institution such as a bank, as long as the role of the platform is neutral, the data is open, and the participants recognize the validity of the data, they should be encouraged and supported to improve the blockchain platform ’s Construction speed. It is recommended that the government give necessary support in terms of policies and funds, encourage financial institutions such as banks to provide financial services based on on-chain data, and truly establish a long-term mechanism of "dare to loan, willing to loan and be able to lend", so that small and medium-sized enterprises can cross the High mountain ".

4. Connect retail smart terminal equipment with "Industrial Internet + Blockchain" platform

This can directly realize the ability of commodity verification and traceability in digital retail terminals, enhance consumer confidence, promote the survival of the fittest and resolve the "market iceberg". With the personalized improvement of demand, production is also moving towards individualization, that is, upgrading to service-oriented manufacturing, which is essentially a customized production method. In this regard, shorten the distance between the supply and demand sides, upload all necessary data to the chain, provide consumers with authenticity and quality assurance at the sales terminal, provide partners with a convenient signing process within the platform, and provide financial institutions with trade truth Proof of sex and repayment guarantee based on smart contract splitting model.

On the other hand, the change of the traditional production-first-sale mode and the implementation of the "custom-made" program of sales-first-production have greatly reduced the raw material pressure of the enterprise. With the evolution of new business models, in the future, manufacturing companies will not only sell hardware products when manufacturing and selling, but will increasingly provide similar supply chain finance, financial leasing, second-hand transactions, industrial product recycling, etc. Service, so as to upgrade to service-oriented manufacturing. The sales situation is shared with banks to achieve capital management and revenue sharing based on blockchain data to ensure the repayment ability of enterprises, thereby helping enterprises to effectively finance, expand production and sales scale, and smoothly enter new retail and other fields. After "transforming volcano".

Early exploration of chain network collaboration

Blockchain can bring considerable value in all aspects of manufacturing, especially data production and transmission related to industrial data, larger-scale data collaboration, effective supervision and privacy protection. As a pioneer in the industry, Shanghai Shading Information Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Shanghai Shading Information Technology) has been committed to promoting blockchain to empower the traditional economy, and has also done a lot of exploratory work in the manufacturing industry.

1. Data generation. Data is considered to be a new means of production and a core resource in the Industrial Internet. In existing blockchain systems, the production and use of data are often closed-loop, and the data generation process is known and trusted. One of the difficulties in applying blockchain to the industrial Internet is how can a large amount of off-chain data be trusted to be on-chain? This involves using a large number of trusted sensors to collect data and can be cross-validated.

In the process of data collection, transmission and on-chain, human participation should be avoided as much as possible. Based on the above "Blockchain +" idea, we will help a certain electrical group continue to innovate in the field of electrical automation. The key is to make blockchain smart meters .

These electricity meters (which also have independent IDs on the blockchain) have independent data transmission components that regularly send power transmission data to unattended nodes, and complete the data uplink process at this node. These power data can be used to communicate with the power of the superior transmission hub The data becomes credible data after comparison and inspection. Based on these credible data, the preliminary construction of the industrial Internet logo resolution system mentioned in the Industrial Internet Development Action Plan will be derived.

2. Data transmission. After the data production process ensures the credibility of the data, the value of the data is greatly improved, and it is becoming more and more useful in all walks of life. This involves the transmission and transaction of data, among which the compliance and circulation of data is of great concern. Regarding this issue, we have carried out preliminary practice of compliance data transfer with a subsidiary of a large group.

The project will be based on the data of the government in the industry and commerce, taxation and other government departments, as well as the data submitted by the enterprise to the government early (such as the data submitted to the science and technology statistics department), after the enterprise authorizes the data requesting agency (such as a bank or other credit bureau) , The agency can access the authorized data about the enterprise stored on the government alliance chain at a specified time.

Credit reporting agencies can judge whether to grant a loan to an enterprise based on these credible data, and strict credit control and recording various access traces on the blockchain make data related parties unnecessary to worry about the data being stolen or misused. In the future, if the production data of the enterprise (such as using trusted hardware) is uploaded to the chain, if the enterprise can authorize the bank to access the data, the bank can further reduce the risk, and the enterprise can obtain maximum support.

The latest asymmetric encryption technology and zero-knowledge proof technology based on blockchain can also protect the business secrets and key customer information communicated between enterprises and customers, so that multiple companies with competitive relationships can form a business alliance and will not disclose their business secrets. .

3. Storage and sharing of large-scale trusted data. Currently, the cameras used in public security and public security are deployed in many cities in China. Originally, these cameras were in the hands of public security and traffic police agencies to monitor city security. By removing the private information and sharing it on the blockchain, it can be used as a data source for accurate maps, thereby greatly accelerating the development process of China's autonomous driving technology.

4. Industrial supervision: Combined with the automation and trustlessness of the data production process, the company's pollution data will become reliable. Environmental protection agencies can adopt the emission data collected by automatic detection devices, without having to worry about the enterprises falsifying the data to avoid penalties. The environmental protection data supervision blockchain scheme of Shanghai Shading Information Technology has been reported to the relevant departments.

5. Asset securitization and innovative finance based on blockchain. Shanghai Shading Information Technology deployed the blockchain in the traditional natural resource mining approval and mining process supervision, which not only made the traditional approval and supervision transparent, but also made the original non-financial assets through unified supervision to make it become Trusted assets can be connected to banks, exchanges, and downstream enterprises, and the process of securitization of means of production has been completed. This allows related production companies to obtain more financing tools, better cope with production risks, and expand their scale. The combination of blockchain makes the ownership of traditional production materials more clear, the circulation process is more credible, and it is easier to supervise and trade. Therefore, some production materials that are difficult to be securitized in traditional industries can be securitized, resulting in additional flow Sex.

In short, the Industrial Internet will become one of the main battlefields of new infrastructure in the future, and the collaboration between the blockchain and the Industrial Internet will make the Industrial Internet more credible and its information will have greater value. In order to do a good job in the integration of the chain and the network, the many advantages of the blockchain and the industrial Internet are organically combined. In particular, it is necessary to conduct in-depth research on specific (industrial) industries. value.

For example, to play the characteristics of blockchain detrust to reduce the trust cost of the enterprise; to play the distributed characteristics of the blockchain so that different parties can cooperate better; to play the tamper-proof characteristics of the blockchain to improve administrative and regulatory enforcement effectiveness. We believe that the integration of the chain and network is promising and will greatly promote the rapid development of the manufacturing industry.

references:

[1] Xinhuanet reports: "'New Infrastructure' Creates a New Era of Digital Economy and Enables High-Quality Social Development"

[2] The references to "Three Mountains" and "Three Doors" in manufacturing are all quoted from Xinhuanet: "Xi Jinping: Speech at the Symposium of Private Enterprises"

[3] People's Daily reported: "People's Daily Commentary: Moving" Three Great Mountains "to achieve greater development of the private economy"

[4] China Economic Net reports: "How much do you know about the Industrial Internet"

[5] For more information about the new infrastructure, please refer to Peng Pai Net: "Do you know" new infrastructure "?"

[6] Pengpai reported: "Several possibilities of using" new infrastructure "+ blockchain to drive new development after the epidemic turns into heavy rain"

[7] Chen Chun, Gao Zhipeng, the views of three experts from the field, quoted from the article of China Industrial News Network forwarded by China Communications Standards Association: " Chen Chun: Blockchain can be deeply integrated with industrial Internet "

[8] Huang Zhongyi. The exploration and application of blockchain technology in the field of industrial Internet platform security [J]. Information Security and Technology, 2018, 9 (010): 22-25,33.

[9] The picture comes from the article on Huachen Zhitong's official website: " Blockchain Technology and Industrial Internet Platform Integration ". Huachen Zhitong is a service provider focusing on industrial Internet platforms.