This article presents the results of a systematic review of the literature pertaining to the use of blockchain technology in the engineering and manufacturing activities. The uses of blockchain have been growing quickly in the literature, and this fast pace can make it difficult for researchers to keep abreast of the state of the art. Using a systematic approach to search the primary electronic indices, the compiled list of papers is then analyzed and a number of themes are identified. The results of this article suggest that the literature surrounding blockchain and the engineering/manufacturing industry can be categorized into three primary groups: blockchain to protect data validity, blockchain to enhance inter and intraorganizational communications, and blockchain to increase the efficiency of the manufacturing process. Within each top-level theme, there exist some subthemes that provide a more finely defined categorization of the papers contained in that theme. These subthemes include specific areas of blockchain application such as additive manufacturing, cloud manufacturing, and building information models (BIMs). For each group of papers identified, each study is discussed briefly. This article concludes with a set of conclusions about the current state of the literature and suggestions for further research directions. The primary contribution of this article is to provide a foundation upon which additional research can be accomplished as well as to provide a resource for practitioners to help them understand the current state of the industry and help them determine how blockchain might be beneficial to their organization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering