This post is the second of our three-part series, "Why Integration Modernization is Essential for Digital Transformation." See our other posts: Part 1, "Understanding Digital Transformation," and Part 3, "Implementing Modern Integration."
In the first article of this series, Understanding Digital Transformation, we used the examples of Kodak and Xerox; two companies where digital technologies proved devastating. Both struggled to step away from their legacy business while at the same time trying to understand and apply the new technology. Most importantly, leadership struggled to think differently and apply the capabilities to new business models.
For other companies, Digital Transformation is viewed as an opportunity. Let's explore an example of a company embracing Digital Transformation as they try to become the disruptor in their industry.
For the last fifteen years, we have been the enterprise integration partner for Moog, another Western NY company. Moog is a leader in the design and manufacture of motion control systems for the aerospace industry and industrial equipment manufacturers around the world.
The Aircraft Group, for example, makes actuators and systems for primary flight and jet engine controls for the commercial and military markets. I often think of Moog as I look out over the wing of the aircraft I'm riding.
Since 2004, Moog has been investigating 3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM). The technology makes it possible for a laser and Titanium (or other metal) powder to “print” high quality, intricate, and very robust parts. AM creates parts that are impossible to make by machining and eliminates the need for inventory as these parts can be printed on demand. This sets the stage for real-time intelligent manufacturing known as Industry 4.0. AM is clearly a disruptive technology that cries out for a new business model.
Jim van Oss started as an engineer at Moog and eventually became CIO. Jim’s now responsible for Moog’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) strategy, design, architecture, and deployment. Two years ago, I had a conversation with him about the potential of AM and Blockchain technologies at Moog. When we talked, I was not yet aware of the point-of-use, time-of-need Veripart™ supply chain business model, evolving at Moog. The vision of ordering single or printed parts from a trust-based marketplace came about by trying to solve the following scenario.
AM RESHAPING LOGISTICS – A SCENARIO 
Blockchain helps solve some of the challenges that come with distributed 3D printing of parts, such as providing provenance of parts and recording state during steps in the lifecycle. Blockchain can also help ensure that files have not been intercepted and corrupted during transmission to the remote printer site.
A separate company, Veritx, was formed to extend the blockchain capability to other companies. Moog’s Veripart process was the first to one licensed by Veritx. In March of 2019, Moog, along with the US military, demonstrated the capabilities of VeriPart at each of five demonstration sites. They tested counterfeit mitigation, smart contract execution, part provenance to validate the process/build integrity and ledger auditability, followed by a build analysis against the design.
Next, we’ll look at how Modern Integration starts with a solid foundation in Part 3 of this series, "Implementing Modern Integration."
- Marine Corps Fabrication Lab at Twenty-Nine Palms, CA, AMRDEC at Corpus Christi, TX, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, CA, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport, WA, Tinker Air Force Base, OK
About the Author
Jim is Vice President of Integration based in the Rochester, NY Lightwell office. Jim was previously President of Leveraging Technology, acquired by Lightwell in September of 2019.
"I find it very rewarding to lead a team so capable of solving complex business and integration challenges and that consistently makes customers successful."