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Right: A report for the International Chamber of Commerce estimates the value of trade in fake goods could reach $991bn by 2022

package) with a visible identifier, either by printing or laser-marking, is one overt method. Alternatively, covert marking can be applied using embedded images or ink visible under UV light. Growing consumer awareness of quality and safety is one of the trends driving brands to anti- counterfeiting solutions, according to Goldstein. In addition, regulations in the US and Europe for protecting the supply chain of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, for example, are encouraging development of serialisation systems for “track and trace” and raising awareness of the need for authen- tication of products throughout the supply chain. Kafrit’s elemental marker or taggant technology can be compounded into a plastic before it is fabricated into a part or a package, and may even be mixed into products (such as cosmetics, foods, or pharmaceuticals) as a covert indicator that is detectable with a special device in the field or lab. The type of reading device is a key part of the system.

Advantages of taggants include that they are Below:

Automotive components are one of the markets targeted by counterfeiters, putting both reputations and lives at risk

used at low levels and typically require no change to the manufacturing process or product (unlike some other anticounterfeiting methods). This method is also more difficult to copy, with some technology providers claiming that replication is impossible. Kafrit introduced its Sub Elemental Marker technology platform, which works with a unique reading device, at the beginning of 2017. The elemental taggant is in a “sub-nano solution” that the company supplies in a masterbatch for adding to plastics or in other forms (for example, liquids, inks, coatings) for marking various products. The taggants can be coded to carry information such as product, manufacturer and distributor and can be used to provide multilayer protection. “We can, for example, mark both a cosmetic preform and the cream inside to avoid manipulations along supply

chain,” explains Goldstein. The detector, which is also manufactured by

Kafrit, is sensitive and specifically designed for its taggant. It is key to the security of the technology because it can’t be copied, unlike readers that are based on phone apps, says Goldstein. “The merits are clearly disruptive: thousands of codes, impos- sible to imitate, and a unique reader secure the highest level of security,” he says. Kafrit tailors each taggant specifically for a customer. When the customer uses the marker in a plastic part, that part must be sent back to Kafrit to calibrate the detector. Although the amount of the taggant used must be accurate, a dosing tolerance of up to 10% is acceptable, says Goldstein. Using in-house regrind is possible, but the taggant level should be adjusted to maintain the expected concentration in the final part. The reader can detect more than one taggant at a time, but it needs to be calibrated.

Combined solutions Several colour and additive masterbatch suppliers offer masterbatches enabling one or more of these solutions. PolyOne, for example, offers its Percept brand protection technologies, which can also be combined with colour and other performance additives in a single Smartbatch concentrate. PolyOne says a manufacturer of water storage,

purification, and treatment equipment is using such a Smartbatch additive system comprising an OnCap laser-marking additive (to make laser marks more visible and indelible), a Percept covert authentication method, the customer’s brand colour, and an additive for UV protection. Counter- feiters had been copying the manufacturer’s products, it explains, and customers were confus- ing the poor-quality copies with the genuine products, resulting in lawsuits for product failures. The covert mark reduced the costs associated with

48 COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2017



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