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Wibu-Systems is an innovative security technology leader in the global software licensing market. Founded in 1989, the company is focused upon a singular mission: to deliver the highest level of protection, licensing, and security for digital assets and intellectual property.

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Six Emerging Trends in the Automation Field

POSTED 04/17/2024

The team at Automate.org recently posted the top 5 emerging industrial automation trends in 2024 and invited automation enthusiasts to see these innovations at the upcoming Automate Show in Chicago, May 6-9. Let’s take a brief look at these technologies and add one additional trend that I think deserves much attention: Digital Twins, 3D Printing, Generative AI, Machine Vision, and Humanoid robots.

No doubt, the future of automation is promising and expectations are high as innovative solutions continue to emerge and become increasingly affordable. As Wibu-Systems becomes more involved in the automation field, we are finding that the common component enabling all these innovations is software. And this is where we see an additional emerging trend:

Software protection and licensing

With the extensive digital transformations occurring in the manufacturing sector, the cyberthreat attack surface has expanded exponentially making cybersecurity awareness critical. Today’s automation systems are programmed to collect and share data, make decisions that trigger actions, and independently control processes. Moreover, the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in machine vision, robotics, and predictive maintenance makes an ever-increasing amount of critical data vulnerable and puts industrial processes at further risk. For example, additive manufacturing processes are beginning to integrate various AI and machine learning-based algorithms to exploit the full potential of the 3D technology. The trained printing model that grows from the machine learning process becomes the intellectual property of the manufacturer and must be protected from inadvertent modifications or even intentional attacks. There could be counterfeiters trying to build similar systems by abusing the property of the original maker or there might even be outright saboteurs who want to manipulate what the system can produce in practice. In addition to data and system security, companies are finding creative software licensing strategies that enable them to grow revenues through software monetization.

Let’s look at a few examples where Wibu-Systems’ customers use our CodeMeter licensing and protection technology to safeguard and monetize their software-driven automation solutions.

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Daimler Buses, a pioneer in the automative industry for industrial 3D printing, has integrated CodeMeter protection and licensing into its OMNIplus 3D-printed spare parts business, providing the essential technological basis for both encrypting the critical data and for creating and delivering the necessary licenses securely.

Artiminds Robotics, a specialist in the development of software to standardize the workflow for automation with robots, utilizes the comprehensive CodeMeter security platform to protect their IP and license enforcement capabilities while empowering their customers to secure their production know-how against threats of all kinds.

B&R Industrial Automation, a global engineering company providing complete solutions for machine and factory automation, integrates CodeMeter with their Technology Guarding system to protect their IP and enable scalable business models, where users do not have to pay for machine functions they do not need. At the same time, B&R customer engineers can generate post-market sales by providing additional features that are enabled when a specific license is detected.

MVTec, a leading manufacturer of standard software for machine vision, uses the flexible CodeMeter licensing and protection platform to support a comprehensive range of architectures, operating systems, and industrial environments. For MVTec, this means a licensing system that fits perfectly with the many possible applications and use cases of its machine vision software, and the ease of having all its licensing and monetization operations in one central, cloud-facilitated, and effectively and easily managed place.

Stop by Booth 2185 at the Automate Show and see our advanced CodeMeter software licensing and protection solutions for robotics, machine vision and imaging, motors and motion controllers, AI and machine learning, and other software-driven intelligent machine applications.