Categories: Automation

PvO – Belgium – Manufacturing process optimization

A 20-year collaboration renewed in the era of tablets: Even the intellectual property of software running on Windows 8.1 tablets can now be protected with a CmDongle in the form factor of a microSD card for license mobility made easy.

Wibu-Systems provides a unique software copy protection solution for PvO’s tablet applications

The challenge

PvO manages a portfolio of tools for process optimization. In today’s modern world, offering applications for mobile usage on a tablet is no longer an option, but rather a necessity for all major software developers. However, before releasing new tools for tablets running Windows 8.1, PvO wanted to identify a solution that would protect their intellectual property, often  intangible but always critical, against counterfeiting.

The solution

In partnership with Wibu-Systems for twenty years, PvO relies on Wibu-Systems’ software protection and license management technology to secure their array of personal computer applications. Having Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter® now also available in the form factor of a microSD card has allowed PvO to extend the use of the same system they were familiar with to Windows 8.1 tablets as well.

The Success

The broad hardware lineup of CodeMeter enables customers to enjoy the same security platform with numerous different interfaces for their dongles, all preserving the encryption keys of the software, and in this case preventing the illegal use of PvO’s applications. Any tablet equipped with a slot for SD or microSD cards, and running Windows 8.1 (just like HP Elite 900 and Toshiba Encore WT8-A-102 8”) can benefit from CodeMeter’s anti-piracy capabilities. Wibu-Systems assures the protection of PvO’s software assets, while offering ease of use to PvO’s end users. 

The Customer

PvO (Partners voor Ondernemers) started in 1976, under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce in Kortrijk, Belgium. Initially, it was a training platform for labor process analysis. Today, PvO is an independent company that is part of Voka West-Vlaanderen (Flanders’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry). PvO develops high-quality software applications for process optimization and specializes in solutions for enhancing manufacturing, logistics, and administrative practices. Additionally, PvO’s consulting service portfolio includes labor process analysis, industrial engineering, lean management (lean manufacturing), business process management, quick response manufacturing, and innovative labor organization. PvO equips over 100 clients, mainly Belgian manufacturing and logistics companies, with its powerful tools on mobile devices.

Marc Werbrouck,
Business Consultant at PvO

“We have been collaborating closely with Wibu-Systems since the early 1990s. CodeMeter is critical to our business, as it protects our intellectual property and safeguards our software from illegal copying. Tablets are everywhere these days, offering a huge opportunity for our business. Wibu-Systems is the only partner that is capable of offering a copy protection solution for tablet computers using a microSD card. Using CodeMeter with our Windows tablet applications, we are sure that the investments we put in the development of these solutions are safe and sound.”

Wibu-Systems and PvO

PvO (Partners voor Ondernemers) has developed a portfolio of tools for process optimization, which includes a number of key solutions. “We focus on enhancing our customers’ complete process structures, teams, and organizations,” Marc Werbrouck, Business Consultant at PvO, declares. “Our aim is to help customers achieve smarter processes and more efficient teamwork.”

The PvO’s tool suite is comprised of IWOS (Integral Workplace Optimization System), which combines chronometry, loss of time, and standard time measurement; PROCAT (Process Analysis Tool) that allows the visualization, quantification, and optimization of processes; and WOCAM (Warehouse Optimization Capacity Model), which supports optimization through dynamic standard times. 

“Chronometry is always the starting point for all our tools, as well as our consultancy services,” Marc Werbrouck explains. “We break down the analysis of a process into a series of questions: what is going on and how is it executed?” In order to analyze a process, PvO measures the duration for all the activities a process consists of for at least an eight-hour period. With this data, PvO can quantify all process steps and eventually offer information about waiting times, loss of time, and more. The final report includes a model of dynamic standard times for all activities - and the parameters associated with them.

For twenty years, PvO has relied on Wibu-Systems to safeguard its intellectual property and ensure copyright protection for its products. “Going back to when we first introduced our tools onto PDAs in the 1980s, offering our solutions on both mobile devices, and desktop PCs has always been one of our major challenges,” Marc Werbrouck states. Through the years, PvO’s software has run on devices from different suppliers, including Psion, Teklogix, and HP. 

The recent boom in the use of tablet computers has given PvO a new business opportunity, as well as new technical hurdles to overcome. “We already had experience with Windows CE. The choice to continue the development within the Windows family, and embrace their release 8.1 was a logical one.” As PvO made the move to the new generation of HP tablets running Windows 8.1, once more PvO enlisted Wibu-Systems for the safeguarding of its solutions.

The new protection solution is a prime example of the close collaboration between PvO and Wibu-Systems. “We proposed the idea of embedding the actual protection key on a microSD card,” Marc Werbrouck clarifies. Wibu-Systems responded by promptly developing a new form factor for its CodeMeter solution, specifically aimed at tablet users. 

The new CmDongle bolsters a rich hardware product lineup, where USB dongles, PC cards, SD cards, CFast cards, PCBs, and ASICs coexist and can be integrated within the same CodeMeter framework. In practice, PvO did not need to develop anything new; they simply assigned licenses to a different container. Their clients receive a single standardized system based on a microSD card, and a software-based license activation.

CodeMeter is an all-in-one solution for software protection, licensing, and security, with multiple awards from industry experts for its lean and flexible interface, its unparalleled anti-hacking technology, and its skillful monetization approach. “CodeMeter combines strong protection functionality with ease of use,” Marc Werbrouck concludes. “Without the smart card based microSD card – where the encrypted key holding the unique protection code of our software license is safely stored - our software simply can’t be used. We consider CodeMeter the ultimate insurance policy against the illegal and fraudulent use of our applications. It is really an easy way to control the software licenses we sell, and protect our intellectual property against counterfeiting.”

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