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InkSure Technologies Inc. (Fort Lauderdale, FL) has received the PISEC (Product and Image Security Foundation) 2006 award as the winner in the Development of Authenticity Products category. InkSure’s Triple Play employs a customized graphic that appears or disappears depending on the viewing angle, a color-changing feature, and covert machine-readable authentication technology. InkSure is also developing chipless RFID technology for affordable item-level secure logistics and track-and-trace applications.
Challenge Printing Co. provides precoded RFID tags, which can eliminate potential problems with programming speed and maintaining production rates. According to the company, the company is the first pharmaceutical printer in North America to encode blank RFID tags for customers. “One of the advantages is that this can eliminate much of the learning curve associated with adopting the technology,” says Margaret Polt, marketing manager for Challenge. “Having to program the tags during production would slow down the packaging line.”
Verify Brand Inc. (Minneapolis) and CCL Label Inc. (Hightstown, NJ) have partnered to provide a multilayered solution featuring serialization, verification, and track-and-trace capabilities. CCL incorporates bar codes and RFID tagging into the labels it prints, while Verify Brand provides software and infrastructure to generate random alphanumeric or numeric serial codes for those bar codes or RFID tags. CCL Label will use Verify Brand’s Secure Code Control in its production facilities to obtain, print, verify, and associate customer data with secure verification codes. CCL will also sell Verify Brand’s VeriSure! Internet-based verification and event management and VeriTrack! real-time verification activity logging, analysis, and reporting services.
ARmark Covert Markers from ARmark Authentication Technologies range in size from 40 to 180 microns and can be printed with text or logos. “Counterfeiters can’t stay ahead of your changes when you add a batch code or random alphanumeric code,” says Greg Andrews, market manager. “A three-letter code, for instance, could have one letter for the product’s production site, one for the distribution site, and one for the country of destination.” The markers can be added to adhesives, substrates, or printing varnishes.
Appleton (Appleton, WI) offers direct-thermal paper for labeling. According to the firm, direct-thermal labels require no printing ribbons, minimizing the electrostatic discharge (ESD) that can damage RFID chips. The firm also says that there is no ribbon scuffing or marking at the “chip bump.” The lack of a ribbon also ensures that there is no waste with patient-specific information requiring a controlled waste stream.
CSAT America LLC (Louisville, CO) has designed the DTS 1200 Blister Printing Unit for in-line or stand-alone printing of randomly generated unique numbers. Allowing users the ability to identify packaging time, date, and location, these codes can be used for color, bar code, graphic, and UV features. The unit can print in a 1200-dpi resolution at speeds from 0.5 to 20 m/min, in up to four simultaneous PMS colors. All fonts, graphics, drawings, data fields, text, and bar codes, including Data Matrix and Reduced Space Symbology, can be printed. Standard and UV toner can be used without any additional fusing procedures or hardening time.
Twenty-eight percent of the primary labels George Schmitt & Co. produces feature some sort of security markers or RFID inlay, reports Mary Ann Allen, director of business development. George Schmitt produces between 1.5 and 2 million RFID-enabled labels (across all industries) per week. “In late 2003, after building our own custom equipment and defining proprietary processes for integrating RFID tags, we guaranteed 100% readability for Purdue Pharma’s RFID project and assisted Purdue Pharma in meeting Wal-Mart’s initial deadline for tagging controlled-substance drugs in the first quarter of 2004. Gen2 is a definite improvement. Initial Class 0 tag failure could approach 30%. This has improved with Gen2.”
J.R. Cole Industries Inc. (Charlotte, NC) has added microprinting to its capabilities. “The microcode text could be used as a decorative border on a label or as some other design element, when in fact it would really be a security feature to prevent counterfeiting,” says Hollis Cobb, special projects manager. DNA inks and sequential numbering are also available on the firm’s folded leaflets and traditional and extended-text labels.
Hueck Foils (Wall, NJ) manufactures Protecco blister foils, which can be customized with holographic or guilloche patterns using company or product logos, raster functions, UV-light-fluorescing features, rainbow gratings, and microtype.
Schreiner MediPharm’s new e-temp-labels use RFID technology to measure and store temperature data. High-capacity, validated software compliant to 21 CFR Part 11 is available for interpreting measured data. Schreiner MediPharm, a division of Schreiner Group GmbH & Co. KG, recommends the e-temp system for monitoring products in the cold chain.
CGMP-compliant printer JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDSU; Milpitas, CA) offers SecureShift MetaSwitch and SecureShift Phantom technologies for use in prime labels and closure seals. SecureShift MetaSwitch uses 19-micron color-shifting microflakes suspended in ink combined with a matching nonshifting ink and applied to labeling substrates using flexography, gravure, and intaglio printing. (SecureShift Ink cannot be used with offset or digital printing.) These microflakes project dramatic color shifts from jade to violet, for example. SecureShift Phantom projects a dynamic shadowing effect within one color on the label, such as complementing a blue with a dark blue.
Andrew Rink, corporate marketing manager, sees growing demand for controlled-supply security inks that are difficult to duplicate yet can be easy to authenticate. “We are seeing a clear trend away from holograms in brand authentication,” he says. “You have to have a sophisticated hologram in order to be effective, but that gets expensive. And the proliferation of hologram manufacturers has made the technology easily available.”
“Eleven leading pharma companies are using SecureShift technology to protect more than 40 prescription drug brands,” says Rink. “The SecureShift Phantom labels were recently adopted by a major biotech company for its prime labels.”
Ekahau Inc. offers Wi-Fi-based real-time location systems (RTLS) software to track more than 10,000 objects. The EPE 4.0 includes a number of new features, such as greater accuracy in locating tracked items or people to within up to one to two meters. The software can complete 600 location transactions per second. Remote tag management allows users to monitor battery level, control LED and buzzers, and reconfigure and update firmware over the air. Ekahau has deployed its RTLS system worldwide in hospitals, manufacturing facilities, and other locations.
Ingenia Technology offers Laser Surface Authentication (LSA) for reading the unique “fingerprint” of each object it scans and storing the information in a database for comparisons to other objects. The company calls it a form of nanotechnology. Measurement accuracy is often greater than that of DNA, typically in excess of 10 to the power of 100, says the firm. Bayer Services Technology is using Ingenia’s LSA to build one of its new anticounterfeiting technologies, ProteXXion, which was showcased in October 2006 at the 23rd German Logistics Congress in Berlin.
ODIN Technologies (Dulles, VA) offers EasyTag and EasyReader software. EasyTag tag-testing software can be used for every UHF-frequency range worldwide. EasyReader software helps users develop end-to-end RFID networks. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) used EasyReader for 71 DoD facilities, a project billed as the largest RFID deployment. Phase I of the deployment (for the continental United States [CONUS]) was completed in 130 days at the end of September 2006, and Phase II (outside CONUS) is just beginning. The firm was just granted a broad patent relating to the use of its software and equipment to improve RFID performance accuracy and visibility.
Orbid Corp. has devised the Orbid 2DMI coding system, a web-like graphic that can encode serial numbers, production dates, or company identification numbers in unique, serialized fashion. It can be applied to almost any surface, including rough, curved, or flexible surfaces where other codes cannot always be used.
SecureRF (Westport, CT) incorporates active security on an RFID tag. “We’re not just storing secured information or signatures on a tag,” says Louis Parks, founder and CEO of SecureRF. “We are using the tag to actively authenticate the reader and uniquely encrypt the data in each communication session.”
The underlying cryptography is chalked up to the Algebraic Eraser (AE), which handles computations quickly on the tag itself. “Thousands of times more efficient than existing methods for an equivalent level of security, the AE makes it possible for the first time to put authentication and data-protection protocols directly on a passive RFID tag and provide high levels of communication security with readers,” reports the company. Mike McGregor, formerly a lead RFID chip designer at Alien Technology Corp., is leading the development of the new tag. The cryptographic algorithm was developed by the mathematicians/ cryptographers who founded SecureRF.
SICPA Securink Corp. (Springfield, VA) offers several means to authenticate products. SICPA OASIS (optically active secure ink system) uses liquid-crystal and light-polarization technologies to identify overt and semicovert graphics or messages printed in security ink; SICPASTAR (secure technology for authentication with reassurance) uses overt color-shifting inks; and SIPCAGUARD relies on machine-based authentication of covert messages.
Ampacet Corp. (Tarrytown, NY) adds AmpaTrace taggants to its masterbatches for use in blow and injection molding, blown or cast extrusion, and other processing methods. The company helps customers identify “a unique fingerprinting compound” and then adds it to a custom color or additive masterbatch for mixing into the processing polymer. Formed polymers can be later tested in a laboratory or at Ampacet for authentication.
NanoInk Inc. (Skokie, IL) has licensed a heating process for depositing ink in its NSCRIPTOR Dip Pen Nanolithography (DPN) system from Georgia Tech Research Corp. Combining both hardware and software, the NSCRIPTOR DPN system writes nanoscale patterns using molecular ink onto a sample substrate via a coated stylus tip. “The license will make Thermal DPN available worldwide in a highly regarded commercial platform, giving the country an immediate benefit from the Navy’s investment in our nanoscience research,” added Paul E. Sheehan and Lloyd J. Whitman, inventors of the thermal DPN technology at the Naval Research Laboratory. NanoInk Inc. also offers high-resolution nanoencryption technology.
Secure Packaging Systems Inc. (Cupertino, CA) offers the Multi-Level Security Protection (MLSP) system along with RFID tagging for drug vial caps. High-temperature intelligent polymers maintain shape and seal integrity through extreme temperatures. Multilatch closures instead of aluminum crimp caps provide a tight grip to resist tampering, and the Cap in Cap design requires users to twist off the outside RFID cap first, destroying the RFID antenna, before accessing vial contents. Encrypted digital holograms can be injection molded into the caps, and company and product logos or codes that will disappear upon thermal tampering can be elective-pressure-embossed into the cap. Temperature-indicating polymers and ink-jet–printable thermochromic inks that indicate tampering are also available.
To become truly secure, the drug supply chain needs standardized item-level tagging and tag data security infrastructure (TDSI), argues Texas Instruments. The manufacturer of RFID transponders puts forth its advice in the white paper, “RFID Tag Data Security Infrastructure: A Common Ground Approach for Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Safety.” It defines the necessary elements for deploying RFID at the item-level and stresses the importance of rules, specifications, and common protocols that enable item-level tags and readers to work within and across the industry’s information technology ecosystem. “The TDSI model is about delivering a secure RFID solution that raises confidence in the authenticity of prescriptions while protecting privacy,” said Joseph Pearson, business development manager, TI-RFid Systems, and author of the new white paper. “By augmenting network-based applications with the capability of anytime, anywhere authentication and product information, we’re bringing together all pharmaceutical supply chain stakeholders, while laying the groundwork for other high-value branded goods markets.”
3M has launched a new format of its Confirm Authentication technology. This new format offers multilayered overt and covert security features and allows other security and tracking features to be added to the same label. The technology features a customizable translucent gray image that appears to move in all directions when the viewing angle is changed. The overt images also disappear when rotated to a certain angle, and covert marks such as retroreflective and UV-light-visible images can be added.
RFID tag and inlay manufacturer UPM Raflatac (Tampere, Finland) is taking part in the largest retail RFID pilot project in China to date, called Advanced Logistics Asia. The company was selected by METRO Group to supply its Rafsec G2 ShortDipole RFID inlays for a pilot that will track products along a supply chain from a consolidation center in China to METRO operations in Germany. The inlays will be converted into four- by six-inch labels and will be tested at package level using different product categories. RFID Systems and Supplies Ltd., ADT Hong Kong, and Tyco Fire and Security will also participate.
New Jersey Packaging (Fairfield, NJ) is now producing preprinted and precut labels incorporating 100%-readable RFID. Part of the RxTrackNSecure line, they can be for item-level packages as well as cases and pallets.
Amco Plastic Materials (Farmingdale, NY) can add microscopic taggants to the resins and color concentrates it supplies from other manufacturers. The firm says that adding such markers requires no processing changes. The machine-identifiable taggants can withstand most processing temperatures and chemicals, adhesives, and exposure to most other elements. Particle patterns are possible.
“Mass serialization is fundamental to epedigrees,” says Elliott Grant of YottaMark (Redwood City, CA). “We increased a product ID’s inherent security by creating secure mass serialization.” The YottaMark Authentication Platform generates codes on packaging and printing lines that can be “authenticated algorithmically,” he says. “YottaMark security codes don’t need to be checked against a massive database of codes to determine authenticity.” Following ANSI and FIPS standards, the YottaMark solution allows drug makers to create “nonpredictable” mass serialized codes on-demand using in-house marking equipment. The number created by the algorithm is embedded in a person- or machine-readable printed code (such as a Data Matrix or QR Code). Codes can be authenticated with a regular mobile phone, using SMS, a Web browser, or a camera.