Medica Packaging, the healthcare packaging specialist company within Benson Group, one of the UK’s leading printed folding carton manufacturers, has detailed the latest updates to its Brand Protection Programme for printed packaging.
Commenting on the company’s anti-counterfeiting collection, Mark Bradley, Sales Director at Medica Packaging, said: “Brand protection, beginning with a combination of colour management and brand identity, must also incorporate sophisticated anti-counterfeiting measures as a critical component when purchasing. With a global black market in counterfeit goods estimated to be worth some $545 billion annually, there is a huge value in spending money on as many of these techniques as can be reasonably afforded to protect the consumer and the reputation of the brand.
“Widely known markets that are targeted include pharmaceuticals, tobacco, spirits, and high-value food products, but evidence shows personal care and healthcare are now also very much on the counterfeit radar, with virtually every country in the world being involved in one way or another. At Medica we work closely with our suppliers on the very latest anti-counterfeiting technologies, which are being extended and enhanced all of the time. Our knowledgeable team are committed to protecting our customers’ brands.”
One highly popular approach employed by Medica is the multi-layered method where a number of both covert and overt anti-counterfeit measures are used together for added security. For example, a holographic strip might be used alongside colour shifting inks, track-and-trace numbering, and micro-text. For counterfeiters to spot, understand and replicate all of these becomes an onerous and expensive task – hopefully sufficiently complex to make them avoid a particular product and move on to another, easier target. This wealth of devices can certainly help law enforcement agencies spot real from fake product.
The trade off for the brand owner is, of course, cost versus security. Medica tabulates a wide range of security solutions on a sliding scale of cost. It begins with highly cost-effective techniques such as printing with coin-reactive or UV fluorescent inks offering two-wavelength detection, up to the “top of the range” techniques such as unique tagging or hidden graphics that require special lenses to locate a specific element within the print.
“There are more than a dozen individual techniques that we regularly offer customers,” explains Mark Bradley. “A wide range of combinations of these can be employed on the packaging to create very sophisticated security. It all depends on the level of security that the brand owner requires and the project budget.”
Some techniques require additional print runs to add further ink layers, whilst others add an additional process into pack production, such as foiling, tamper evident labels, cold transfer films, or integrated security labels. Some techniques on offer are branded solutions requiring additional payments to access the license to use the technology. The Medica team can help to guide customers as to which technique is going to be most suited to a specific project.
Medica is able to offer the best in colour management, which in itself provides a base level of security and an important ingredient to the overall printed pack. Benson Group were the world’s first carton printing company to gain the ISO 12647-2 colour printing accreditation, and the business has worked for some five years with the colour specialists at Mellow Colour. Devices for measuring colour are used across Benson Group’s print departments, and high quality GMG proofing systems complete the picture of accurate colour delivery.
With a background in the pharmaceutical industry, Medica has a long history of understanding the benefits of the various forms and combinations of security involved in the market sector. Pressure sensitive tamper evident labels, holographic aluminium labels, HSF foils, and various integrated labels are sector standards. The critical ingredient in the pharmaceutical world, of course, is not endangering the health of consumers. Illegally manufactured and packaged drugs will have the potential to cause harm to the user and well as causing financial damage to the owner of the original formulation.
The team at Medica have developed a stunning five carton family of sample packaging products showcasing the brand protection techniques that can be provided. These striking cartons show a range of finishes from UV fluorescent and colour-shift inks through to IR invisible micro-text and holographic foiling. The innovative constructional designs also help to illustrate the highly skilled carton design service that Benson Group offer to customers. To find out more about these packs visit our team on stand A30 at Packaging Innovations at the NEC in February, or email Julie.Ward@BensonGroup.co.uk