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Brand Security

"New Trends in Security Packaging"

Brand Security ProtectionPackagers cannot be too careful these days. In times of bioterrorism, tampering, counterfeiting and shoplifting, no area is immune from these brand-damaging, sales-sapping activities.

Fortunately, there are steps they can take to protect their products from harm and keep brand equity intact. Several innovative advancements designed to counter threats to brands and consumers are available in the market.

Brand Security Seals
Sealed packaging provides protection against a myriad of hazards, including tampering, counterfeiting or pilfering, and many counter more than one problem at the same time. One of the most familiar sealing methods is shrink film applied as a wrap, band or full-body sleeve, which generally consists of unprinted or printed polyvinyl chloride, oriented polystyrene or polyethylene terephthalate glycol film.

Sleeves run from the base of containers to the top of closures and typically are vividly printed in eight or more colors to perform double duty as product labels. This design enhances shelf appeal by providing a 360 drgree surface for graphics. Shrink bands, which generally cover closures, are often custom-colored or printed with logos or other messages to make duplication more difficult.

There are two schools of thought as to whether bands should be difficult or easy to remove. Some companies feel a band that is difficult to remove provides a greater level of confidence that the product has not been touched. However, if a packager wants an easy-opening option, bands can be perforated or tabbed. It should be noted the perforated design can enhance tamper evidence by increasing the band's fragility to the point that it disintegrates upon removal so it is impossible to reposition it around the cap.

Induction sealing
Induction sealing uses an electromagnetic field to adhere a membrane to container openings at speeds of up to 800 per minute. The resulting hermetic seal not only provides tamper evidence, but also prevents leaks, protects product freshness and deters pilferage.

Sealing is accomplished by passing capped containers under an electromagnetic sealing head which generates heat to release the membrane seal from the closure liner and adhere it to the lip (land area) of the bottle.

Clamshell packaging
Sealed clamshells combine tamper evidence with pilfer resistance. Designed as a less expensive alternative to radio frequency (RF)-sealed clamshells, the paperboard/film structure deters pilferage and they also reinforce die-cut holes so heavier items can be merchandised on hanging displays. For added security, you can add an electronic article surveillance (EAS) tag inside the clamshell.

RF-sealed clamshells and their attractive, indestructible seals have proven very attractive to retailers, resulting in interest by consumer products companies.
Security Seals

Holographic distinction
Holographic materials are ideal for security packaging. Not only do holograms offer a distinctive appearance with shifting colors and patterns, but the production process presents a barrier to counterfeiters because it requires specialized equipment and is relatively expensive.

Future security
Technology continues to evolve to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters. One promising possibility under development is microstructure mapping. This involves identifying the physical structure on an atomic level of any specific object - packaging or product - and a database of information about the item. The result is a new tool to counter diversion since diverters typically strip off all identifying information.

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