Protecting products from piracy

Researchers at Warwick University have devised a high tech way to add anti-counterfeiting to plastic products as they are created in the moulding process. The process could cost less than one per cent of the total cost of manufacturing the product.

‘There is an enormous amount of interest in anti-counterfeiting technology for plastic products. We at Warwick University of  are working on several processes to prevent plastic components being copied and this ‘in mould’ process is the first of them to be developed for use,’ said lead researcher Prof Gordon Smith.

‘For commercial reasons we cannot detail collaborators but we are now exploring its use with one company that is plagued by the failure of a counterfeit plastic based safety critical product which is made to look exactly like their safety critical product and therefore damages their reputation as well as losing them sales.’

The watermark is created as an intrinsic part of the plastic product as it is being moulded. According to the researchers, it would require very detailed technical knowledge and equipment to even attempt to replicate the watermark process.

Prof Smith expects that the new technology will be of significant interest to a range of manufacturer’s products such as DVD s and other discs in the entertainment and computing markets to plastic containers used by a range of consumer industries.