Leibinger Offers Protection Against Fake 'Christmas' Presents and Beyond

New security ink makes it more difficult for product pirates to do business.

To protect distributors and consumers from nasty surprises, Germany’s industrial printer manufacturer Paul Leibinger GmbH & Co. KG (U.S. office in East Troy, Wisc.) has developed a new security ink. The company gives this ‘nasty surprise’ as an example: On Christmas day, a bottle of perfume waits under the Christmas tree. But unfortunately, its scent is somewhat off and it causes a skin burn. The product is a fake.

According to Leibinger, product piracy is on the rise within the European Union and beyond. The company cited a recent report from the Manufacturers European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which indicates losses of 60 billion euros have occurred within the EU from product pirating. Moreover, the copied products endanger the health of consumers. Cosmetics are a prime example, whereby criminals often mix heavy-metal compounds such as cadmium, nickel, arsenic and lead in the products.

“We want to protect manufacturers and consumers from these serious damages. That's why we developed a new security ink that can be quickly and cost-effectively integrated into packaging lines as a tool for more security against product piracy,” explains Christina Leibinger, managing owner of Leibinger.

The new security ink is suitable for use in the JET3up PI—an inkjet printer that codes product packaging made of plastic, cardboard and even glass or tins with information such as best-before dates and batch numbers. At first glance, the ink looks like a classic black ink. But appearance is deceiving. Under a special UV-light, tiny fluorescent pigments begin to glow greenish. If the distributor shines a specific UV-flashlight onto the product packaging, he can immediately identify whether the product is an original. If the font remains black, he can immediately remove the pirated product from circulation.

“Security ink is designed to identify product pirates and help hold them accountable, while giving manufacturers a tool to defend themselves against false damage claims and increasing consumer protection. The ink itself is very difficult to copy, since we use security pigments that are not available at every turn,” explains Christina Leibinger.

The security ink is said to be especially economical compared to other counterfeit security measures. All manufacturers need is their inkjet printer, with other equipment required. Alternatives such as holograms are much more complex by comparison, according to Leibinger.

Yet another advantage is increased reliability. “The more equipment is involved in the packaging process, the greater the risk of costly production downtime. Our two-in-one solution—coding and authentication—increases production reliability and reduces maintenance and investment costs. The somewhat higher costs of the security ink compared to standard black ink are quickly amortized.”

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