The automotive parts market is a particular target for counterfeiting. One in six products sold online is identified as a counterfeit and there are countless cheap imitations undercutting the original parts market. These ‘knock-offs’ not only damage the reputation of the brand but can ultimately put customers’ lives at risk.
Counterfeiters are also becoming increasingly confident – it’s not just design that is being copied or imitated, but also original equipment (OE) numbers, brand logos and original parts packaging.
Furthermore, brands which are well known and have established products in their portfolio are more likely to be counterfeited.
Smart label solution
KURZ’s solution to this growing problem is TRUSTCONCEPT®, a modular solution for comprehensive product and brand protection, combining optical security features based on TRUSTSEAL® technology with flexible TRUSTCODE® software solutions that enable product parts to be authenticated in real-time.
The result provides protection for products combined with the added value of sales information – all in one smartphone scan.
Each module is highlighted below:
This is an essential solution for product protection and involves the use of self-adhesive anti-tamper labels incorporating diffractive overt, covert and forensic security components that are produced using KURZ’s proprietary origination technology.
The overt features are easily identified by the human eye, as is the unique 16-digit serialisation code with a 3-digit diffractive black check sum digit for every label.
Nanotext can also be embedded in the design, which can be viewed with a microscope, and a hidden effect feature – Dyna Key Effect – can also be incorporated. This anti-copy effect appears to the naked eye as a patterned, matte area. When a special viewing device is superposed, rows of repetitive text displaying the word ‘OK’ become visible.
TRUSTCODE software is web-based 24/7 secure software that includes two digital service modules: TRUSTCODE® Base and TRUSTCODE® App.
The TRUSTCODE Base module utilises a database management system that logs, analyses and evaluates code queries and informs brand owners/producers about the movements of products along the supply chain. It also enables rapid identification of products and grey market detection activities, provides an immediate status report when the item is checked against the TRUSTCODE database and includes the additional benefits of data evaluation, track and trace customised reports, analytics and alerts.
The brand owner/producer also has access to the web-based interface to analyse all code queries, making it easier to learn more about where products have been scanned or pinpoint multiple scans of a product which might be suspicious.
The solution can also be embedded in existing production processes or supply chains to track each product from its origin through to resellers. According to KURZ, it’s easy to incorporate into existing ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems too.
Using an optional individualised smartphone app (available for both Android and iOS) and encrypted 2D barcodes incorporated with the smart label, identification is quick and easy with a smartphone scan. In addition, to product identification, the app also provides further opportunities to expand brand protection and brand image.
Scanning the encrypted barcode with a smartphone app, the user is able to immediately view that the code in the URL (unique resource locator) and the laser engraved red serialisation code match.
The app also provides information on how to authenticate the embedded security features in the diffractive label as well as enabling additional information to be included such as operating instructions and further cross-selling opportunities.
Single TRUSTCODE modules are also available depending on the requirement. Fully-fledged security labels can be supplied quickly as can blank labels.
Security features, which include special substrates, adhesives, UV fluorescent colours and security printing, can also be incorporated and customised within the self-adhesive labels.
Other sectors where TRUSTCONCEPT can be applied includes the following:
Tax stamps – KURZ has launched TRUSTCONCEPT® Tax Stamps to offer modular solutions that maximise tax revenue, protect against counterfeit products and provide track and trace with full visibility and control for the tax authorities at all times.
Cannabis – utilising TRUSTCONCEPT, the authenticity of the product can be verified by customers, distributors, and dispensaries in real time – using an app with the database. As a result, purchases become transparent and black market activities more visible.
RFID labels – combined with TRUSTSEAL Protect, the security value of the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) label increases as a result of the additional simple visual authentication of the diffractive feature.
NFC labels – in a similar vein, TRUSTSEAL Protect adds a security OVD to NFC (Near Field Communication) labels. A special decorative layer ensures that the readability of the chip is not impaired whilst maintaining an attractive appearance.
The NFC chip can be accessed in the usual way without having to install an additional smartphone app. In addition, KURZ is able to insert a digital tamper-detection seal into NFC labels that detects whether the label has been tampered with.