Aerobridge Server: Building a modern supply chain for drone manufacturers and assemblers
Aerobridge is a advanced management server that help drone assemblers and manufacturers with tracking and documenting parts / component assemblies as they move in and out of custody.
Now-a-days, building a basic drone is not that difficult or complicated. In many cases, the components are readily available to manufacturers and operators and sites like YouTube are full of videos of how to assemble drones using basic components. While this is great and desirable, this ease of assembly brings about a new set of challenges around managing assembly and parts that can be easily substituted and manufactured. In this article we document how you can leverage modern technology to build a transparent supply chain and make management of drone parts easier.
Aerobridge is a state-of-the art drone operations Management Server that provides a number of features to help with managing drone hardware and assembly in addition to operations. Therefore it is ideally suited for companies operating / manufacturing or assembly of drones. What makes Aerobridge interesting as a management server is that it can be flexibly configured depending on the entity using it: as a manufacturer, an operator of drones. The management server helps the entity to maintain a list of equipment, people and companies operating the drones and connect to a broader network of . A more detailed introduction to these concepts please see Building a Drone + Aircraft Registry article. The management server utilizes customized versions of this registry to organize the operations around equipment, people and companies.
Supply Chain Transparency
For a small company, running a world class assembly / production is hard. In the drone context, it is even harder because the components are small and relatively cheaper to procure or build. In most cases, if a part is broken or needs to be replaced the manufacturer or the operator just buys a new one and attaches it to the drone. This makes tracking of parts in the company difficult especially in day-to-day operations.
Consumers and regulators want to know more about the products and the sourcing of the products that they are using. This is a very difficult challenge to address and delivery a solution. In recent years, a lot of work has been done in the agriculture sector around introduction of modern technologies for storing parts and ensuring external parties can authenticate ownership and traceability. Ensuring traceability bring numerous benefits to the manufacturer / assembler of the drone:
- It builds trust in the brand
- It provides a way to build operational performance
- It provides a way to have external parties including customers to be part of the process of manufacturing
Traceability vs Transparency: A common distinction that needs to be made between transparency and tracking of parts. Tracking / traceability is a much more difficult problem to solve given the complications of tracking parts and spares as they move through the custody chain. Transparency is simpler to achieve in a modern software context therefore we begin with Transparency first while we tackle the harder issue of traceability later.
|Figure 1: Aircraft Component History in Aerobridge|
Authentic components network
By utilizing a public ledger technology, we hope to build a network of components that can be verified publicly via modern tracking technologies.
|Figure 2: Where was the component procured from?|
By enabling a datastructures for verified components and a system of verification of the origin, we are budiling a network of verified suppliers and components with radical transparency utilizing modern technologies.
|Figure 3: Verify Component for authenticity|
We are buliding a modern supply chain for drone manufacturers and assemblers where trust is baked in to the network utilizing modern de-centralized technologies. When you decide to use Aerobridge, you will automatically join the network and get access to the community.
You can join the community by filling out the form on www.aerobridge.io