Is it live or is it Memorex? So read the popular 1970s TV spot for audio recording tape. And ever since, bad guys have been trying to make better illegal copies of products in virtually every category. With the global marketplace in full swing and products coming from nearly every country, counterfeiting has become a huge problem. Everything is susceptible to counterfeiting from watches, electrical products and automotive after-market parts, to medical devices and even safety labels such as UL certifications.
More and more companies are taking innovative measures to ensure that their products are not the subject of “knock-off” counterfeiters. For companies that make plastics packaging for food and medical products, and many other plastic goods, there can be a variety of ways to thwart counterfeiters.
In-mold labeling (IML) is one anti-counterfeiting measure that companies can take. By creating a special label with a unique marking such as a holographic image that can only be read under a black light, or other type of IML that becomes an inherent part of the product, counterfeiters are prevented from creating fake product labels.
One of the latest techniques for plastic products is an additive that acts to “finger print” or encode the batch plastic used to manufacture the specific product. These additives or “molecular tracers” allow manufacturers to ensure that their products are genuine and unique to that particular product or brand. The "taggants" within the plastics are only readable with special devices tuned to molecular-level identifiers.
Thwarting global counterfeiters is a full-time job and may even require multiple methods of counterfeit prevention to ensure product protection. With everyone working together – resin producers, label makers, plastics processors and OEMs/Brand Owners – we can stop counterfeiting and make the world safer for consumers, and more profitable for legitimate businesses.