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Sub-surface Fast internal Engraving and Reading system for Anticounterfeiting applications

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There's nothing like the real thing

New anticounterfeiting technology will ensure safe delivery of original beverages, cosmetics, medicines, electronics and much more.

Industrial Technologies

In times of economic difficulties, counterfeit products in many fields from food and medicine to perfume and electronics are seeping into the market. Advanced technological solutions are needed to identify counterfeit products and keep consumers informed. Counterfeiting is also a major global problem with important societal and economic consequences. It encourages organised crime, loss of jobs, evasion of tax revenues, and poses serious health and safety risks. An EU-funded project called 'Sub-surface fast internal engraving and reading system for anticounterfeiting applications' (SFERA) is taking up the challenge with marked success. SFERA has successfully developed a new laser-making system that addresses all issues related to the marking of containers. The system addresses product flow through production processes, effective traceability, and application of anti-counterfeit measures. It also involves marking containers without causing cracks or contamination and applying readable marks for proper and rapid redirection of containers in production. It can effectively identify products throughout the supply chain and authenticate products to reduce the risk of counterfeit products entering the market. The engraving system developed during the SFERA project has built on cutting-edge technology to provide marking speeds suitable for the pharmaceutical industry and applications requiring large-area processing. SFERA built on an earlier EU-funded project called 'Non aggressive internal engraving laser system' (Naginels). As a result, SFERA managed to develop a new high-average power ultrafast laser and a high-speed portable reading system. It also developed a high-speed beam delivery system and handling system, plus a specific process control and encryption model. These components have been integrated in an industrial workstation, compatible with the requirements of the pharmaceutical industry among others. Many European countries from Belgium, France, Italy and the UK, in conjunction with industrial experts, have contributed to the project. Another fringe benefit of packaging in cosmetics and any packaging that requires decor embellishment was the patented 'diffractive effect'. This combines anti-counterfeiting, traceability and a surprising rainbow pattern in the markings. The project also developed an option of marking readable codes in reflection, easing the integration of the process on production lines and expanding market opportunities. The SFERA technology is much better than existing anticounterfeiting techniques for packaging such as inkjet technology, RFID tags and classic laser techniques. It has been recognised as 'best practice for anti-counterfeiting issues' and holds outstanding promise for many industries. Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, perfumes, luxury goods, beverages, automotive parts and photovoltaic modules are a few sectors that are set to benefit tremendously.

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