How product packaging can be made impeccable in context of security

Product packaging is an important step in ensuring maximum safety of products from tampering, theft and other forms of counterfeit. A coordinated and secure packaging framework coupled with a reliable track-and-trace system is key in supply chain security.

In a world of digitalized logistics and e-commerce, the physical security of products is no longer a supplementary layer of protection but a necessity.

Counterfeiters today operate on a larger scale than ever before, with entire factories featuring advanced technology focused on creating perfect copies of products provided by well-known brands or manufacturers. Trusting the entire supply chain security to a supposedly strong legal framework and the precaution of consumers is simply not a good strategy.

A sound supply chain security strategy would involve a proactive approach in implementing technology that allows manufacturers to track their products throughout their distribution chains and a packaging system that makes it impossible for counterfeiters to tamper with the products or replace them with cheap knockoffs within the legitimate supply chain.

Authentication solutions

Authentication in packaging is usually achieved with sealing and holograms. Depending on the level of security required, sealing and holograms could have advanced security features such as pressure-sensitivity, customized tamper-evident fracture patterns, a blacklight verification system, and machine-readable entrenched code.

These are sometimes heat-sealable and may be applied directly to product containers using induction seal technology, making it tamper-proof. Multiple films may be applied to form a single holographic seal that provides a high level of defense to containers or bottles.

Nano-optical technology

The use of nanotechnology in product packaging highly elevates the unlikelihood of counterfeit interference and solves the many limitations associated with synthetic packaging techniques.

Managed microstructures and nanostructures on technologies such as holograms offer features such as water resistance, heat stability and tamper-indicative change of color that cannot be reversed.

Tamper-evident packaging systems

Tamper-evident packaging systems may include solutions like wide-web films, holographic shrink sleeves, and security pouches. The tamper evidence feature maintains product integrity by preventing repacking or reselling of the items.

Figure: Example of a shrink sleeve

Shrink sleeves are a leading packaging application in industries such as food and beverages, cosmetics and detergents. These are heat-sealable and conform to the shape of containers making it harder to tamper with. Tamper-evident shrink sleeves come with microstructure holographic authentication for advanced security.

Figure: Example of a wide web film

A wide web film is a holographic film with a characteristic design covered securely around a product or product container. To open the container and remove the product, the film must be cut or torn.

These holographic laminated films offer a completely non-invasive solution to prevent any sort of tampering and are used extensively for flexible packaging. These films vary in thickness and may come in PET (12 microns) or BOPP (20 microns).

Security pouches provide external tamper evidence and can be combined with the internal seals for double security. These usually involve rotogravure printing technology and the highest level of optical security features.

Tamper-evident packaging systems take the high-security value of nano-optical and holographic authentication solutions and combine it with high-quality printing and materials for a secure and appealing protection solution that increases product security and enhances the brand value.

For more on shrink sleeves, security pouches and wide web films, click here. To find the ideal product packaging solution for your business, click here.

The Role of Anti-counterfeiting Technologies in Securing Supply Chains

From knock-off fashion accessories to fake mobile phones, automotive parts and pharmaceuticals, counterfeiters manufacture and sell inferior goods using another company’s trademark, brand name, logo or appearance. Benefiting from rapid developments in technology, these organizations use sophisticated means to duplicate items, making it quite difficult for customers to identify the true source of the products they purchase.

Counterfeiting is a serious crime punishable globally by fines that may run into millions of dollars and imprisonment of up to 20 years. Despite this, the counterfeit industry continues to cost the world economy hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organization for world trade, estimates that trafficking in counterfeit products accounted for USD 250 billion in 2007⁠⁠ — approximately 1.95% of international trade. According to the International Chamber of Commerce, counterfeiting was a USD 600 billion business in 2011, amounting to 5% – 7% of global trade.

In a March 2019 report, OECD stated that trade in counterfeit and pirated goods has risen steadily in the last few years, even as overall trade volumes stagnated. According to the estimates, counterfeit trade currently stands at 3.3% of global trade.

Counterfeiting organizations are often linked to other organized crimes such as drug cartels, money laundering and exploitation of child labor. Even as law enforcement agencies increase efforts to shut down the illicit business, statistics point toward continued exponential growth in the sale and manufacture of counterfeit goods worldwide.

The need for effective risk management in the supply chain

  • China is estimated to account for 78.5% of the total counterfeit market, and along with Hong Kong, continues to be among the biggest origin countries for pirated goods.
  • Footwear, clothing, leather goods and electrical equipment are the top product categories targeted by counterfeit organizations.
  • Counterfeit and pirated products continue to follow complex trading routes, targeting certain intermediary transit points in supply chains, especially in countries where ports are not secured.
  • In 2016, up to 6.8% of EU imports comprised of counterfeit and pirated products. This amounts to as much as €121 billion.

Although it affects every product category, counterfeiting is more accentuated for businesses with a globalized supply chain. Supply chain management at large corporations can involve hundreds of links with each of those susceptible to intrusion by counterfeit organizations.

Counterfeit items can enter legitimate supply distribution chains at a number of points — the various component manufacturers, suppliers of raw materials, offshore assembly units, transportation, and even the retailers.

If not checked for quality, sources, proper delivery and authenticity throughout the supply chain, high-quality products may get replaced by cheap knock-offs at any point most convenient to counterfeiters.

As laws differ in countries, a manufacturer could potentially leave their product open to counterfeiting at any point in the supply chain when they target a market in a developing country. The market is characterized by businesses working with governments to reduce counterfeit trade. Preventive measures such as penalization, customs laws, and civil remedies work to some extent but fail to significantly reduce the problem. Often, in developing countries, regulatory authorities are ill-equipped to correctly identify original products from fakes.

There is an undeniable need to develop a far-reaching strategic approach to counter such criminal efforts with a multidisciplinary response and the active participation of a wide range of actors, each with their own expertise and specific areas of work.

The role of technology may offer significant contributions to step up deterrence and curb counterfeiting. The two most common technological solutions that companies employ are product authentication and track-and-trace systems.

Product authentication

Authentication methods allow customers to identify whether the products they’ve purchased are genuine or counterfeit. This usually involves assigning security holograms, QR codes and unique numbers or patterns to each product after the final quality check at the manufacturing unit. Scanning the unique code on their smartphone allows the customer to verify the genuineness of the product while informing the manufacturer about its successful sale. Security holograms for authentication can be found on nearly all credit and debit cards.

Track-and-trace systems

Track-and-trace systems are designed to help manufacturers identify faults in their supply chain. As the name suggests, these systems allow manufacturers to track product journey along the entire supply distribution chain from the production unit to end-customer, and customers to trace the products back to their original source.

Smart QR codes (in the form of labels or holograms) are assigned to each product. These are then scanned at every link in the supply chain using either specialized devices or smartphones. Failure to scan the right code on the right product reflects immediately in the supply chain database and allows the manufacturer to identify the point of failure and take appropriate action. This dramatically reduces the chances of intrusion by counterfeit organizations into the legitimate supply chain.

Added benefits

Anti-counterfeiting solutions such as track-and-trace systems allow manufacturers to not only keep track of their inventory at all stages of distribution but also make it easier to manage rewards and build customer loyalty. For more information on this, click here.

Conclusion

Counterfeiting is an exceedingly complex phenomenon. Legal deterrence like fines and imprisonment work to reduce the spread of fraud but do not eliminate it entirely.

With the global counterfeit industry on the rise, companies must take advantage of technological solutions to fight counterfeit. Some of the most effective methods include product authentication methods and track-and-trace systems.

While immensely effective in nearly eliminating the intrusion of counterfeit goods into legitimate supply chains, these solutions also offer added benefits such as comprehensive supply chain management, reward management, and loyalty-building.

For more on supply chain security, click here. To find an ideal track-and-trace solution for your business, click here.

Pashmina products to get BIS certification against counterfeiting

In a recent development in Leh, Ladakh the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has released a domestic standard for identification, marking and labeling of Pashmina products – to certify their purity.

“The move will help to prevent the counterfeiting of Pashmina products and will protect the interests of artisans and nomads who are responsible for the production of raw materials and textiles”, said Smriti Irani, Minister of Textiles.

The step will help in determining better prices for the goat-herding community in Ladakh and handloom artisans producing authentic Pashmina items which are at a disadvantage due to lot of poor marketing practices, as per an official release.

Currently, around 2,400 families are rearing 2.5 lakh Pashmina goats which are domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh. Around 50 metric tonnes of finest grade Pashmina (12-15 microns) is produced in Ladakh.

The Ministry of Textiles is developing a proposal for funding ₹20 crore for a dehairing plant in Leh that will lead to the progress of the Pashmina sector in the region of Ladakh.

Source: fibre2fashion

Why counterfeiting diminishes the chances of foreign direct investment?

The world is a global village as there is a high interdependence of countries on each other in different fields. From world-wide-web to culture, technological innovation to trade, military alliances to transport there are many scenarios in which the world seems to function as a unified whole.

Among the above-mentioned aspects, trade and investment play an important role in the economic development of countries. Of late, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has become quite important for third world countries when it comes to their economic development. FDI impacts the economic growth of the host country (a country in which investment is done) through the transfer of new technologies, organization of human resources, increase in employment, linking of global markets, the rise of infrastructure and much more.

However, the rise of counterfeiting can damage the FDI prospects of a country and its potential to create valuable innovation centres. FDI is important for both advanced and emerging economies to increase their productivity and output. Lack of intellectual property rights and anti-counterfeiting measures diminish the chances of FDI. In India, the industries most impacted by lack of FDI due to counterfeiting include equipment manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

The total reduction in FDI due to counterfeiting and piracy is quite harmful to aspects like employment, infrastructure and socio-economic development. Countries are sceptical of investing in prospecting countries with weak IP laws as it may lead to counterfeiting of their products, theft of their technologies, reduction in their profits and damage to the brand image.

With the implementation of stringent regulatory measures and anti-counterfeiting technologies, duplication can be prevented to a large extent which will further brighten the chances of foreign direct investment. For ensuring impeccable security against counterfeiting it is must that supply chains must also be secured. A comprehensive outlook towards anti-counterfeiting guarantees the economic development of a country.

If you require customized anti-duplication solutions for securing your products and supply chains, then call us on +91–785-785-7000 or mail us at connect@holostik.com

APIs of drugs may soon get track and trace for authentication

According to recent news reports, the Health Ministry may soon introduce codes to track and trace key ingredients that are used to make medicines in India. The move will be the first step by the government to determine the origin and movement of drugs manufactured here and ensure their authenticity.

A senior official from the Health Ministry said, “A draft amendment mandating quick response (QR) codes at each level of the packaging of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used to give medicines their therapeutic effect is ready and will be notified soon.”

“For a medicine to be effective, the API has to be effective. As a first step, every API manufactured or imported in India will bear a QR code on its label at each level of packaging.” the official said.

India currently imports APIs of the value of Rs 12,255 crore from China to make essential medicines, as per government data. Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) India’s main drug advisory body during a meeting this year discussed necessary provisions for India’s drugs and cosmetics rules mandating QR coding on API labels.

Earlier this year, issues with qualities of APIs were raised during a Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) meeting when Punjab sought provisions to make API manufacturers accountable and responsible for the quality of products.

“APIs by various vendors have been found without specifications with respect to their quality and in certain cases, desired effects are not obtained,” revealed the DCC minutes of the meeting. A track and trace system for pharma products has been under discussion for several years but implementation has bee stalled after the intervention by sections of the industry in the past.

How shrink sleeves can leverage the product value and security?

With the growth of flexible packaging industry there has been an increase in demand for different kinds of shrink sleeves. A shrink sleeve is a 360-degree packaging tube that shrinks around the containers after the application of heat or steam. Shrink sleeves can be designed to cover the entire product or cover just a portion of it depending on the requirement.

Different industries are using shrink sleeves which include food and beverages, health and beauty, nutraceutical& pharmaceutical and many others. The beverage industry in particular has been using shrink sleeves due to their waterproof property and durability.

Shrink sleeves are also capable of catching consumer attention due to their 360-degree visibility. Shrink sleeves can also encompass a wide variety of designs and security features which are quite important aspects of robust packaging.  Shrink sleeves work as an efficient product label for the company highlighting all the necessary details and branding.

Shrink sleeves can help to catch attention of the consumer on the shelf. Many companies also provide non-conventional ways to use shrink sleeves such as wrapping two products together for convenience and durability.

Brand gurus prefer to use shrink sleeves as they are a one-stop-shop for packaging. Since shrink sleeves are single sleeve, they are preferred over other forms of packaging products which might involve two or more components such as an outer carton. A single packaging product also reduces the packaging costs for the companies.

Holostik is a leading player in providing tailor-made holographic shrink sleeve. The shrink sleeves are made with optimum quality raw materials and help in leveraging product value and security.

If you want the best & customised shrink sleeves for your products, then call us on +91–785-785-7000 or mail us at connect@holostik.com.

Honda two wheelers conducts raids to deal with fake auto spare parts

Recently, Honda two-wheelers conducted enforcement raids against manufacturers and traders who were dealing in its counterfeit products. In order to guarantee safety, the two-wheeler manufacturer created an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) team in 2017. The team has until now implemented countless measures against traders, manufacturers and suppliers who deal in duplicate Honda spare parts.

In June 2019, the company with the help of local Police executed four raids in the cities of Delhi and Cuttack. The raids were conducted on traders, manufacturers, suppliers and unauthorized service centres. After the raids around 10,462 fake items including fake parts, accessories, dies, scooter guard kits, fake packaging machines and label printing machines were confiscated. The company said that the overall value of fake products and parts is valued at around Rs 49 lakh.

The police conducted two raids in Delhi on the basis of a complaint made by a manufacturer against fake parts and accessories being sold in Karol Bagh market and Bawana Industrial Area. In the city of Cuttack, the police raided premises of two service centres running under fake Honda brand name at Sector 9 and Chandi road.

Honda’s two-wheelers IPR enforcement team has collaborated with the local police as well as the investigation agencies and has jointly conducted raids in the cities like Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Gandhinagar, Cuttack, Gadhi Hasaru (Gurgaon) and Ahmedabad. As a result of the raids 94,000 fake spare parts, accessories and other items worth Rs 2 crore have been seized.

Honda two-wheelers also pointed out that all genuine Honda parts feature tamper-proof high-security MRP label which can be used to differentiate between its genuine and fake auto spare parts. It also added that the company’s original spare parts are available at authorized outlets, service centres and distributors across India.

Source: Timesnownews.com

Authorities arrest scammers making fake milk out of shampoo and detergent

Authorities in Madhya Pradesh recently raided three factories where fake milk was being manufactured. The spurious milk was being supplied to different branded outlets in six states including Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Police found out that the factories were producing highly toxic milk made out of paint and chemicals.

As reported by media sources, in every one litre of milk 30 % was composed of refined oil, detergent, shampoo, white paint and glucose powder.

Rajesh Bhadoria, STF, Superintendent of Police said that the police teams seized around 10,000 litres of fake milk, around 500 Kg of mawa and 200 Kg of synthetic paneer in Morena and Bhind districts of Madhya Pradesh. Large quantities of detergent, refined oil and glucose powder were also confiscated.

Until now, around 57 people have been arrested in the scam. Sources reveal that the milk was produced at a cost of Rs 5 per litre and was sold at Rs 40-50 per litre while paneer was being sold at a high of Rs 100-150 per Kg. In 2018, an official of the Animal Welfare Board had noted that 68 percent of the milk and milk products sold in India are below the standards recommended by FSSAI and WHO.

The fake milk was made from chemicals which have serious repercussions on health ranging from kidney & liver failure, stomach diseases, and even cancer. The spurious milk also had maltodextrin which leads to a spike in the blood sugar levels- quite harmful for diabetics. The detergent in the milk not just damages the stomach lining but also causes severe food poisoning.

It has been found that the food inspectors in the area are part of the scam and investigating officials will take appropriate action against all those involved in the heinous crime.

Source: Vice.com

The growth of counterfeiting in the liquor industry

The entire nation was jolted by the ill-fated deaths of people due to counterfeit alcohol in the first half of this year. Not just precious lives were lost but families were left devastated in the states of UP, Uttarakhand, and Assam. The onus of the tragedy fell upon the respective State Governments and a debate ushered in the by lanes of media and forums on the present regulatory and anti-counterfeiting measures against fake and illicit alcohol in the country.

According to a study published in the journal Lancet, India’s alcohol consumption has increased by 38% in the last seven years-that’s 4.3 to 5.9 litres per adult per year. Another study states that India is the biggest consumer of whisky in the world. However, the rising demand for alcohol has led to the growth of spurious alcohol industry.

There have been frequent reports of seizures of counterfeit and bootleg alcohol from different states of India. According to a report by FICCI, “The grey market loss to the alcoholic beverage industry stood at INR 14,140 crore in 2014 which had increased from INR 5,626 crore in 2012 observing an increase of over 150 per cent.”

There are various reasons for the growth of counterfeiting in the alcohol industry. Lack of awareness regarding the effects of counterfeit alcohol is one big reason. The poor consumer is lured by the cheap prices of counterfeit alcohol and thus ends up buying counterfeit alcohol which may contain toxic adulterants. These adulterants lead to serious repercussions like kidney failure, liver failure, blindness, and even death.

The government must address the problem of counterfeit alcohol seriously as it hampers the growth of manufacturers, leads to a loss of Government exchequer and jeopardizes the health of the consumers. The combination of digital and holographic solutions can prevent the growth of counterfeit alcohol to a large extent. The U.P state government is currently using bar codes which have not been completely successful in clamping down on counterfeits, therefore, authentication solution providers association (ASPA) has suggested governments to incorporate holographic products along with bar codes/QR codes on liquor bottles to battle the menace of duplication in the liquor industry.

Do let us know if your brand or product is facing duplication. We offer tailormade anti-counterfeiting products and solutions. Call us on +91–785-785-7000 or mail us at connect@holostik.com

What are the multiple benefits of tax stamps?

Are you aware of the dangers of fake cigarettes and illicit alcohol? Well, you may be lured by their cheap prices, but they may lead to numerous medical complications and even death. Moreover, they also hamper government revenue and tarnish the image of the manufacturers.

Governments across the world use tax stamps as a physical indicator to determine if the tax has been paid on the product or not? A bottle of alcohol or a cigarette pack usually has tax stamps affixed to them. In addition, tax stamps also serve the purpose of authentication and determine if a product is genuine or fake. Tax stamps also leverage the aesthetic appeal of the product and make it highly saleable.

Market research suggests that tax stamps currently share a significant proportion in the security print market. Billions of tax stamps are printed annually for cigarettes and alcohol alone which makes them number one in terms of volume. In India, tax stamps are generally used in the tobacco and liquor industries where they are affixed on cigarette packs, cartons, and liquor bottles.

Tax stamps have been put to multiple uses – although unintentionally. Besides, being attached to the product for taxation, tax stamps are an evident proof that a product is authentic. It also serves the purpose of an anti-tampering seal, as it is placed over the opening of tobacco products or alcohol bottles. Moreover, tax stamps are printed with serialized code which is used for supply chain track and trace and production monitoring.

Since liquor and tobacco products are highly susceptible to counterfeiting, therefore, it is essential that tax stamps with high-security features should be used to avoid the sale of fake products and restrict any further losses.

Holostik offers tax stamps that incorporate different types of anti-counterfeiting technologies that encompass digital product authentication (QR codes & barcodes), holographic and non-holographic features. The company offers customized tax stamps as per the need of the consumer which helps in increasing tax revenues, curbing duplication, reducing the sale of hooch and deaths due to it and easy identification of genuine products. Some of the high-security features which Holostik offers in its tax stamps are as follows: human-readable variable data, machine-readable encrypted code, microprint, copy void feature, thermochromic inks, colour changing image, UV (ultra-violet) feature, user-defined screen, UV papers, security cuts, raster image, etc.

Used prominently on substrates like cardboard, paper, PVC, glass, plastic, and metal Holostik offers multiple variants of the tax stamps- as per client’s requirement. It includes holographic tax stamps, holographic tax stamps with taggant/talking pen, paper tax stamps and paper tax stamps with a holographic transfer.

To get the best and customised anti-duplication products and solutions call us on +91–785-785-7000 or mail us at connect@holostik.com.