Japan-based engineering firm Teikoku Piston Ring has developed a hologram identification label that brings anti-counterfeiting packaging to new levels.
The label takes the world's first Lippman Hologram heat transfer foil - developed by Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) in July 2003 - and stripe-transfers it to the surface of an adhesive label.
Unlike the embossed holograms now widely used in anti-counterfeiting applications, and in which the image can be altered in only one direction, the Lippman Hologram features images which change according to alterations in the frame of reference in both a vertical and a horizontal manner, making it possible to record and replicate images with richer three-dimensional and depth perspective qualities.
It was originally thought difficult to create a heat transfer foil format of the Lippman Hologram as it is necessary to maintain the thickness of the photo-polymer layer, used to record the hologram images, between approximately 15 - 30 microns.
In addition, the Lippman Hologram also had poor heat-resistant and segmentation durability. However, this was overcome via collaboration with Nippon Paint in the development of a new photo-polymer material, leading to the achievement of the world's first heat transfer foil.
DNP claims that it is extremely difficult to counterfeit the Lippman Hologram, as specialised devices are needed to photograph or reproduce it, and shipment of the materials is closely monitored. The company also claims that it is impossible to manufacture anything that appears to resemble a Lippman Hologram using the materials and/or processes employed in embossed holograms.
As a result, the Teikoku Piston Ring product identification label is claimed to achieve anti-counterfeiting functions of the highest level. And as Secure Image Foil, as the new product is called, is merely applied to a part of the existing product identification label prepared for Teikoku Piston Ring, the company says that it is possible to use existing label-printers.
This means that it is possible to apply brand-protection functions with no alteration in plant and/or facilities and with no increased processing.
DNP says that it is aiming for sales of 2 billion yen (€14.9m) in the period to 2007.
Manufacturers have become increasingly exposed to counterfeiting. As a result, many businesses are spending significant percentages of their revenues to counter this threat - counterfeit goods not only directly impacts sales, but also leads to indirectly affects the brand image.