With the recent introduction of its trademarked Mi Batch line of particle taggants, US manufacturer of colorants, additives, masterbatch and custom polymer technologies Plastics Color Corporation (PCC) brings over 40 years of polymer expertise to the fight against counterfeit materials and products. The reportedly unique taggants in Mi Batch are compatible with a wide variety of resins to impart an extremely high level of security and verification to virtually any consumer product as well as items used in high-risk markets such as electronics, medical products, aviation and automotive.
“Counterfeiting is a multi-billion dollar threat to consumers and businesses worldwide … it compromises brand value and can pose serious safety risks,” explain PCC’s Tim Workman, Vice President of Business Development. “Mi Batch was developed as an extremely cost-effective anti-counterfeit measure enabling manufacturers and retailers to protect brand identity and ensure supply chain integrity. Mi Batch taggants offer the best of all worlds—they’re easy to authenticate but very difficult for criminals to detect and replicate; they function consistently under wide ranging environmental conditions without affecting product performance, and each customer’s unique taggant “signature” can be consistently produced at any volume.”
PCC’s taggants are produced via a proprietary technology that allows for a more cost-effective product. The taggant particles are developed with a unique chemical/spectral signature that becomes part of the plastic material or item—it can’t be removed. Cost-effective detection equipment (handheld or inline) is employed to “read” the embedded taggant signature and verify authenticity of the polymer, product or component.
While plastic taggants are commonly associated with brand name protection of high-end retail products, they can play a critical safety role in functional items such as medical devices, computer parts and electric circuit breakers. At the manufacturing level, taggants can be added to plastic masterbatches to ensure supply chain integrity. Workman says the decision to employ a taggant should be based on a number of factors including:
· The value of the item, material or brand to the manufacturer or seller;
· Risks/safety concerns associated with counterfeiting of a material or item; and
· Profit potential—the value of an item or material relative to its production cost.
“Many product manufacturers think if an item is inexpensive to produce it doesn’t warrant security measures,” says Workman. “What they don’t realise is that counterfeiters look at profit potential—something that is cheap to produce but has high resale value offers great profit potential. For a very small unit cost these items can be protected using PCC’s patented Mi Batch technology.”