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Crossing the next industrial frontier: Wibu-Systems at Formnext

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Wibu-Systems showcases its protection solutions for additive manufacturing

At Formnext 2021, Wibu-Systems presents effective ways to protect the IP and monetize the digital assets involved in the additive manufacturing supply chain

Wibu-Systems is bringing its world-leading IP protection and licensing solutions to Formnext, the trade show dedicated to the innovative field of additive manufacturing (AM) that is returning to an in-person format in Frankfurt, Germany, 16 to 19 November, and will host many pioneering actors in the field, including a special expo area for the German mechanical engineering association VDMA, where Wibu-Systems is exhibiting – hall 120, booth A01G.

Additive manufacturing represents the next frontier in the long history of industrial evolution and has the potential to be a gamechanger for many businesses and for the fabric of the world’s industry itself. As 3D printing has grown from a niche pursuit of specialized engineers and private enthusiasts into a viable option for large-scale manufacturing, the ability to create essential products and components on site, without dependence on complex, slow, and – as 2021 has shown – potentially fragile supply chains, would free up industrial enterprises to test innovative business models. With almost any geometry becoming possible, completely novel products can be produced with shapes and features never seen before. A new level of customization is possible as makers are not forced to churn out massive production runs of blandly identical products. And Manufacturing-as-a-Service is a genuine option for agile producers everywhere, as additive manufacturing removes the need to maintain their own factories or long-standing contracts with manufacturers operating monolithic and not easily retooled machines. The focus shifts from machine hardware to production data: Designs, operating systems, and production information are the new assets in a dynamic marketplace for manufacturing services.

Wibu-Systems has recognized the momentous nature of this shift and has decided to bring its popular and tried-and-tested IP protection and licensing technology to the additive manufacturing community. At Formnext, the security specialists of the company are showcasing the power of the CodeMeter family in the VDMA zone. The ability to securely encrypt intangible, but invaluable assets like product designs and monetize them in the manufacturing marketplace of the future gives all actors the essential confidence of knowing that their IP is safe.

CodeMeter has long been a fixture in the industrial world, with special industry-grade models of Wibu-Systems’ CmDongle hardware or with versions of the CodeMeter software for the embedded systems that make up much of today’s industrial IT infrastructure. Visitors at Formnext can expect to discover more about CodeMeter’s new cloud abilities, its license containers in the cloud, the capabilities of CodeMeter License Central as Wibu-Systems’ flagship for license management and its integration with SAP’s Entitlement Management System.

One particular highlight at the show is a look at Wibu-Systems’ contribution to the ProCloud3D project, a combined Sino-German venture in which high-profile enterprises and research institutions are working together on a model platform for additive Manufacturing-as-a-Service. Highly automated, user-friendly and, above all, secure thanks to Wibu-Systems’ technology, the ProCloud3D platform will offer a taste of what the future holds for a more nimble, responsive, and responsible manufacturing industry in the years to come.

Stefan Bamberg, Senior Key Account and Partner Manager at Wibu-Systems and a regular contributor to the AM efforts of the company, believes that the project is emblematic for the seismic shift in the industrial world: “Old assumptions will soon be a thing of the past: It is no longer a question of China being the world’s factory or Germany the country of engineers and developers. With additive manufacturing, designers and producers can be anywhere and cooperate with each other, no matter where they are. What they need is reassurance that their work is safe – and that is what we are here for.”