The counterfeiting of products and tampering within supply chains has become a massive problem at the global scale. The overall cost of counterfeiting and diversion is projected to reach $2.8 trillion by 2022. The problem of duplication has infiltrated industries like health, beauty, pharmaceutical, liquor industry and many others.
Consumers and companies are facing the onslaught of counterfeiting and adulteration. Products from food to medicines are being forged by counterfeiters around the world. Counterfeiters also try to sell stolen, adulterated and expired items as originals. Forgers try their level best to visually and functionally mimic the product and original packaging. There have been reports of duplicate products and its effects from across the world which creates a sense of anxiety among consumers and plummets our trust in reliable and major brands. Counterfeiting can be countered effectively on different levels. Government and regulations play an important role in battling duplication but one of the most decisive roles is that of technology. Technology not just helps in determining the genuineness of the product but also helps in securing supply chains against duplication and tampering.
Anti-counterfeiting technology can be divided into four groups namely overt, covert, forensic and digital. All those authentication technologies which can be seen with naked eyes are called as overt technologies whereas those technologies which cannot be seen with naked eye and requires special devices like UV pen and taggant pen are called as covert technologies. Forensic technology requires special labs for performing authentication and digital technology encompasses the use of QR codes and other IT enabled technologies.
Holographic technology which falls under overt and covert technology is one of the most widely used and affordable in nature. A good example is the use of security holograms and holographic wide web films in different industries for product authentication purposes. The holographic technology can encompass a wide variety of security features which are difficult to replicate thus making it impossible for counterfeiters to copy them.
However, with advances in digital authentication technology, it has become possible to secure entire supply chains. The use of QR codes and barcodes for authentication is a good example. Amidst the growth of different authentication technologies, all of them are complementing each other and not competing. For example, Holostik which is a pioneer in providing anti-counterfeiting solutions offers security instruments which include security holograms and QR codes. While holograms offer holographic authentication, QR codes helps to digitally secure the product throughout the supply chain.