The tracers allow flexible and rigid plastic packaging to be evaluated at points in the supply chain to help resolve security, counterfeiting, liability and other issues, even at the retail store level.
Previously used primarily with pharmaceuticals, medical devices, currency, agricultural products and explosives, molecular tracers are now being used more frequently for a variety of consumer and industrial products to verify brand ownership, manufacturers’ lots and tamper evidence.
“Studies have shown that about seven percent of all products sold are counterfeit, resulting in revenue losses of $200 billion in the U.S. alone,” says Rich Novomesky, Ampacet Business Unit Manager. “The global market and the advances in printing and packaging technology mean that risks to a company’s brand abound.”
Ampacet works with manufacturers to tailor AmpaTrace molecular signatures to their packaging needs. The company also provides analytical services to positively identify the molecular tracer in a package at the store or plant level, if needed. Depending on the complexity of security required, AmpaTrace technologies provide low cost options to high security optimization.
AmpaTrace technology varies the type, proportion and concentration of special compounds in Ampacet masterbatches to create fingerprints that are readily measured by visual, audible or standard laboratory analytical tools. Depending on the type of security needed, AmpaTrace molecular tracers can include UV-activated, ferromagnetic, infrared, and other components. The technology can be applied to both rigid and flexible plastic packaging made by blow and injection molding, extrusion and other processing methods.
“Manufacturers can apply AmpaTrace identifiers alone or as part of a multi-level traceability system in conjunction with bar codes, digital tags, product taggants and other elements,” says Novomesky. “It can be used for many traceability and authentication purposes. In addition to detecting counterfeit products, in litigation, it can help identify the source of ingredients in a package. It also can aid quality by validating that a package contains the right Ampacet colorants or additives at the level specified.”