The past twelve months have seen the very public arrival of two game-changing technologies: artificial intelligence (AI) and additive manufacturing (AM). Their commercial viability will depend on the right means to build a business and protect the underlying IP with tools like Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter technology. At Frankfurt’s Formnext 2023 exhibition, visitors can witness the business empowering potential of their licensing and protection solutions in hall 12, booth B01D.
The long-awaited and much-debated revolution is already here: Two new technologies, AI and AM, have propelled the industrial world into the future. While society at large is catching its breath and ethical debates are still ongoing, companies like Wibu-Systems, the IT security, protection, and licensing specialists from Karlsruhe, are already working to innovate and secure the technical underpinnings of this new reality. At Formnext 2023, the premier meetup of the additive manufacturing community, Wibu-Systems will join the VDMA association’s joint exhibit to talk about the advantages of its CodeMeter protection and licensing solution.
As is true of artificial intelligence, where several cases of outside tampering have shown the possibly disastrous consequences of a data-driven technology not being properly protected, a successful additive manufacturing business needs to secure its systems on several fronts to become and stay successful. With the ever-present risk of piracy and IP theft, both the software that runs the 3D printers and all the other devices and machines in a modern, smart factory and the digital assets that they process, such as product designs, print orders, or billing systems, need to be secured against would-be attackers. The threats and attack vectors are remarkably varied and range from simple theft to less ethical manufacturers producing surplus products for the grey market to the extreme case of competitors or other malevolent actors deliberately tampering with the systems to affect product quality and safety or hold entire companies to ransom.
Adding the necessary layers of security can seem a costly and unrewarding business. But the CodeMeter technology by Wibu-Systems shows how this neither needs to ramp up the complexity of the business nor hold back its commercial potential. Instead, the IP protection and licensing system, a long-standing favorite in the software world, can simplify and streamline the manufacturing flow and enable entirely new license-driven business models. Built around unbeaten encryption technology and versatile license management, CodeMeter can create virtual marketplaces and make its licenses the currency of trust for truly flexible, but reliable distributed manufacturing — the original promise of industrial additive manufacturing.
What this means in practice can be experienced at the Wibu-Systems’ exhibit as part of the VDMA booth at Formnext 2023. In its cooperation with Farsoon Technologies and Daimler Buses, Wibu-Systems integrated its CodeMeter solution in a novel online store service for parts and components for Daimler and Setra brand buses — the OMNIplus service. Operators of these buses can buy 3D printable parts on the secure digital marketplace and either manufacture them themselves or have a local Manufacturing-as-a-Service provider make the parts for them. All they need is a certified Farsoon 3D printer and the purchased digital product. No more arranging appointments at certified Daimler service stations or waiting for urgently needed parts to arrive: If the part is available in the growing catalogue of 3D printable genuine Daimler and Setra parts, a few clicks is all it takes for a part to be produced and fitted and a bus to return to service.
CodeMeter enables this novel business model on two fronts: With two licenses used to secure both the preprint process and to authorize, trace, and invoice the actual purchased number of parts, there is essentially no loophole left for anyone trying to tamper with or exploit the system. CodeMeter’s smart license management capabilities and easy integration with back office systems make the entire process smooth and reliable for all parties involved.