Materialise NV, Leuven, Belgium, has acquired the software company Identify3D, headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA, which develops software to encrypt, distribute and trace the flow of digital parts across complex supply chains. This acquisition is said to make Materialise’s CO-AM platform the most secure platform for distributed manufacturing.
Data security and integrity have become top of mind for companies that want to retain control over their design and production data, as they transition from a centralised production model to multiple digital production sites, closer to their customers. The Identify3D product suite encrypts, distributes and traces the flow of digital parts, preventing counterfeits and aiming to ensure that maliciously or inadvertently modified, substandard or uncertified parts cannot enter the physical supply chain.
Additionally, it allows designers and manufacturing engineers to couple designs with specific production criteria, such as a designated user, a type of machine or material to control the production process and to meet the original manufacturing specifications.
The Materialise CO-AM software platform gives manufacturers cloud-based access to a full range of software tools that allow them to plan, manage and optimise every step of the Additive Manufacturing process. The acquisition of Identify3D allows Materialise to add an additional security layer to CO-AM, reportedly making it the most robust and secure software platform for manufacturers that are looking to scale up their AM operations as part of a digital and distributed production environment.
“We believe that the factory of the future will not be a single, central location,” stated Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise. “Instead, future manufacturing, enabled by smart technologies like 3D printing, will take place at multiple digital production sites, distributed around the world, closer to customers. But this will only be possible when companies are sure that their design and production data remains secure. This acquisition allows manufacturers to secure the flow of digital parts and maintain a competitive advantage.”
The Materialise CO-AM software platform builds on more than three decades of AM experience and helps companies manage its Additive Manufacturing processes more efficiently. It offers cloud-based access to multiple hardware technologies and their preferred tools from Materialise and other software developers. At the centre of the CO-AM platform is a data lake that connects to all production tools and keeps track of what is happening on the production floor. Moving forward, CO-AM will offer the most robust and secure software platform to manufacturers that are concerned about protecting their design data, such as prototypes, and their unique production expertise.
Joe Inkenbrandt, co-founder and CEO of Identify3D, commented, “At the centre of a digital supply chain is the movement of valuable data from design through manufacturing. Our mission has always been to address the security and integrity of that data. Integrating our software in the Materialise CO-AM platform allows us to fully unlock its potential and give customers security and control of their data in a way never seen before in the industry.”