New Framework for Complex Assembly Digitalization and Traceability Using Bill of Assembly and Smart Contracts

Yuval Cohen, Shai Rozenes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper proposes a framework to automate the generation of traceable and protected documentation of complex assembly processes. The final assembly in aviation, automotive, and appliances industries is a rigorous process that has limited capabilities of full traceability associated with: (1) the parts installed, (2) their fabrication processes, and (3) the assembly work. This is also the case for each of its sub-assemblies. The thousands of parts forming a hierarchy of sub-assemblies that are dynamically accumulated to compose the final assembly make full traceability a challenging feat that is almost unsurmountable. Such full traceability along the entire supply chain requires considerable cost and effort since it must be based on documentation of most assembled parts, assembly tasks, and inspection tasks that compose the full assembled product. In addition, security measures are needed to prevent hostile hacking and unauthorized approach to the assembly documentation throughout the entire supply chain. The related documentation and repeated verifications require considerable effort and have many chances for human errors. So, automating these processes has great value. This article expounds a framework that harnesses blockchain and smart-contract technology to offer automated traceable and protected documentation of the assembly process. For this purpose, we expand the concept of a Bill-Of-Assembly (BOA) to incorporate data from the bill of materials (BOM), the associated assembly activities, the associated activities’ specification parameters and materials, and the associated assembly resources (machines and/or operators). The paper defines the operation of the BOA with blockchain and smart-contract technology, for attaining full traceability, safety, and security, for the entire assembled product. Future research could extend the proposed approach to facilitate the usage of the BOA data structure in constructing a digital twin of the entire simulated system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1884
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • assembly 4.0
  • assembly line
  • assembly system
  • blockchain
  • digital twin
  • industry 4.0
  • smart assembly
  • smart contract
  • smart manufacturing


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