In September, Plastics Color Corporation was invited to the Global Secure Summit in Amsterdam, where the topic of discussion was the problem with counterfeiting and how OEMs and brand owners can be more proactive in preventing counterfeiting.
Typically companies have been “reactive” to counterfeiting. Many fake products and products with off-spec raw materials in them such as in the case of many plastic products, are often not identified until they’ve reached U.S. customs inspectors or worse yet, until a consumer has had a major problem with the product. Such consumer problems result in costly recalls – not only costly in terms of replacing the product with an authentic one, but also costly in terms of the brand owner’s reputation in the marketplace.
Being proactive means first identifying gaps in your supply chain. For the plastics industry, this is critical. Plastic raw materials might come from the resin producer or compounder as spec’d, but problems can develop at the processor level. There have been cases of resin “salting” in which a cheaper resin or regrind may have been added to the original virgin material in order to help the processor add to its bottom line.
When plastic parts or products fail in the field at the consumer level, it is up to the OEM or the brand owner to find out why. That often requires an audit of the entire supply chain. Some companies have an entire team of people devoted to security and anti-counterfeiting. Companies are always looking for ways to thwart counterfeiters before the damage is done. However, this must be a multi-layered approach. There’s no ‘silver bullet’ that will solve all the ways and means of counterfeiting products. For plastic products, Plastics Color Corporation can provide you with a way to help thwart counterfeiters with its authentication additive MiBatch. Using MiBatch material taggants in the base resin can help you identify where in the supply chain the product went bad; specifically is it a raw material problem? Was the resin used different than the resin that was spec’d? Why is this product now defective? It also helps you find a solution as well. If a warranty issue is involved, MiBatch can help you know whether the parts already on the market are actually that of the brand owner because the taggants in the material will identify it and know whether or not the product is yours. Being proactive in keeping your supply chain secure is critical to the success and profitability of your company. Plastics Color Corporation can help you with this.