Next-Gen Solutions Bilfinger Digital Next Adds Blockchain-based Solution for Increasing Plant Data Security, Credibility
Bilfinger Digital Next makes use of Ubirch’s blockchain-based solution in its data-driven optimization models for increasing the credibility and reliability of exchanged data which enables to increase plant efficiency.
Heidelberg/Germany – Bilfinger Digital Next now offers an additional service for data-driven optimization models that increases the credibility of data. Using cryptography and blockchain technology from Ubirch, plant data is secured where it originates and protected throughout the entire chain of the transaction. For this purpose, the Cologne-based technology company for cyber security solutions Ubirch and Bilfinger Digital Next have established a partnership to jointly develop solutions specifically for the process industry. This technology provides a scalable solution that ensures the authenticity and integrity of information at the highest level and meets the requirements of IoT solutions.
Blockchain technology for a secure data transfer to BCAP
For the data-based optimization of an industrial plant, a substantial amount of data is combined at various intervals and from various sources. For this purpose, Bilfinger has developed the cloud-based platform BCAP (Bilfinger Connected Asset Performance). Data from production, engineering and maintenance are integrated on this platform. Intelligent algorithms can then be employed to generate new insights for increasing OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency), product quality and reducing costs in the production process.
The transfer of data from the plants, using a cognitive sensor, for example, can now also be secured using the Ubirch add-on service. In this process, anonymized and compressed hashes of the data from the plant are anchored in a multilevel process in a blockchain. Thus, machine learning algorithms in BCAP ensure to be based on actual, complete, correct and unadulterated data by verifying the received data against this anchor in the blockchain.
“For software-as-a-service models such as BCAP, it is vital that the credibility of the data can be ensured. In first industries, this validation using blockchain technology is already in use and provides legal certainty in the event of a claim. We also see this added-value in the process industry,” says Marcus Heinzelmann, Head of Technologies and Platforms at Bilfinger Digital Next.
Cognitive sensor example: reliably transferring noise data from the plant and recognizing patterns
The cognitive sensor is one application in which the Ubirch technology can already be used. The cognitive sensor continuously records the noise of an equipment through attached microphones and evaluates this data using trained algorithms. The results are visualized in BCAP. The credibility of collected and processed data is essential for the noise-based analysis of plant health to reliably lower reactive maintenance efforts and reduce downtime.
The Ubirch nano client is integrated into the firmware of the sensors on site. Events are generated from each of the detected sounds from the system, which are anchored as anonymized and compressed hashes in a multilevel process in the blockchain. The events are transferred to BCAP and can be verified against the anchor on their integrity and authenticity in each case. The cognitive sensor thus enables a reliable noise-based classification of the equipment’s condition. This helps significantly to improve maintenance and production processes.
Operating principles of a blockchain
Data stored directly or indirectly in the blockchain is considered tamper-proof. This is achieved by the cryptographic interlacing of the so-called blocks – each new block has a hard cryptographic link to its predecessor. In addition, there is a global distribution of this public data structure.
Manipulation of the data is impossible. Ubirch uses these principles and applies them right from the data source, such as a sensor. At the same time, however, no sensitive production data reaches the productive blockchain due to the anonym anonymization and compression within the Ubirch TrustService.