A Shifting View on Authentication Devices

Choices abound in authentication features, and packagers seem to be trying them all, according to label providers.

Return to Article: The Read on Packaging Security

“Everybody wants to know what is available and to be prepared. But different clients are taking vastly different approaches,” says Howard Auerbach, president, Plymouth Printing Co. (Cranford, NJ).

Some of Plymouth Printing’s customers are seeking to incorporate devices on all products. Others are focusing on high-value items or products most susceptible to counterfeiting. “Often companies are looking for more bang in one device,” rather than switching out a suite of features, Auerbach says.

Label suppliers say that pairing overt and covert features is often preferred.

“The purpose of overt technology is to discourage the counterfeiter. But since it is susceptible to counterfeiting, the strategy seems to be to include a covert element. We have been doing microscripting for 25 years. It is very attractive in that it is virtually a no-cost item,” he adds.

David Gray, vice president sales, and marketing, Tursso Companies, Inc. (St. Paul, MN) says that Tursso’s smaller and midlevel company customers don’t have issues with high-visibility drugs, but view security implementation as due diligence. Its Authentikey covert optical watermark product offers the advantage of ease of use and low cost. Up to 20 graphical marks can be embedded in an image.

Different acetate-film lens keys used to read the image can be deployed throughout the distribution chain, revealing different images at each touch point. “If the supply-chain partner puts the key over it and the correct image doesn’t show, you know something is wrong,” Gray says.

JDSU (San Jose, CA) has named Nosco Inc. (Gurnee, IL) as an authorized partner for deployment of its SecureShift shifting-ink technology. The SecureShift color-shifting pigments provide an overt feature solution that has been popular because of its simplicity. Tight control over the raw materials provides a high level of security, says Kregg Albrecht, director, Nosco Solutions Engineering, Nosco. “We produce it on our standard label and carton presses. The technology has a long history of use on world currency,” he adds.



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