Historically counterfeiting has been seen as an issue for luxury consumer goods manufacturers. However, counterfeiting affects many more technology-based products ranging from components through high value pharmaceuticals onwards to accessories and enhancements to military systems such as optical sights, personal protection weapons and beyond.
Counterfeiting has become such a problem that at least one US accessory supplier has had their distribution network compromised twice in the last five years.
Consequently, within the supply networks of many products, feature goods of inferior quality that cause increased risk to performance, health and profitability
The purpose of this brief post is to introduce Verimaster® a superbly effective yet simple solution to the critical need to protect your supply chain from corruption through counterfeiting.
The Verimaster® Product
Characteristics. The product, developed by an Anglo-American alliance, is based on a blend of high strength ceramic seeded with inorganic oxides. The combination is chemically inert, immune to ageing or leaching and long-lived.
Very importantly, unlike some basic tagging systems it neither impairs performance of the doped product nor can it be counterfeited without criminals incurring significant costs. Verimaster® is also far less complex and much more easily utilised than the advanced DNA tag typing which has recently been used in very high value products.
The product works by incorporating the additive into the manufacturing process at a doping level suitable for the chosen application. When stimulated by a non-visible laser or an audio detector the additive produces either a visual signal or an audible warning to indicate that the product being tested is genuine. Each sensor is supplied as a portable, battery-operated unit. Alternatively the audio sensor can be incorporated into a larger portal for warehouse applications.
The Verimaster® security additive can be incorporated into a wide-range of substrates including textiles, plastic feedstock, inks, laminates, coatings, adhesives, varnishes and paints. Consequently it can be added uniquely to particular components, colours or coatings; a choice that’s made by the customer and changed on an as required basis. It also means that the doping could be in the packaging of a component, system or accessory rather than in the physical product.
The product is already being used in the following security applications:
- Human protection systems
- Financial services and systems
- High quality branded consumer products
- High value leisure services
In all examples the additive has had no affect on the doped product nor has detection performance deteriorated with operation, storage or environmental exposure. The use of Verimaster® to protect products in these applications has led to major cost savings, brand protection and the detection of criminal activity.
Concept of Operations
Example supply chain application of the Verimaster® system include:
- A sub-system printed circuit board (PCB)
- An pharmaceutical
- Emergency Service personnel uniform
PCB. The wide range of substrates that can be doped mean a genuine PCB can be identified by: the board itself, a protective coating, or a printed logo on the board. Equally individual components can be “marked” as genuine
A Pharmaceutical. Depending on the type of drug and level of supply chain control exercised by the manufacturer. The doping material could be used in the box, blister or the drug caplet itself.
Emergency Services. One of Verimaster®’s principal applications is in clothing. The additive has no effect on the structure, colour or wear of the doped textile and can be incorporated emergency services uniform manufacture with confidence. Example applications include: Identity markings, identity cards, insignia, nametags, webbing, and caps/helmets.
Flexible application means genuine uniforms and so genuine people are quickly and simply identified.
Verimaster® therefore presents a major opportunity to protect genuine products without any impairment of performance.
The primary benefit of utilising security doping is in the protection of genuine products, systems and accessories throughout your supply chain.
Secondary benefits include:
- Confidence in product replacement
- Improvements in ARM performance
- Identification of reliable and untrustworthy suppliers
- Date/batch marking or system specific identification marking
- Personnel protection through security marking of individual uniforms, accessories and equipment
- Criminal investigation and prosecution
Counterfeit goods are a significant threat to safety, security, and product performance. It can lead to the impairment of delivered capability/serviceability with your customers. The Verimaster® additive is a viable, readily used technology to combat these threats. It is inert, long-lived, has no impact on performance and is simple to use. Existing utilisation in a number of complex, high-value or secure services demonstrates transferability to many commercial domains and so presents an excellent opportunity to secure the your supply chain from the impact of counterfeit goods