Sun Chemical Names Executive To Lead Business Unit Focused On Security Solutions
Press release from the issuing company
FORT LEE, NJ - (December 1, 2004) - Sun Chemical, the world’s foremost manufacturer of printing inks and organic pigments, has formed Sun Chemical Security, a new global business unit that will provide a wide range of products used to print packages, documents and currency that incorporate security measures. The unit also will market forensic security systems to ensure authenticity of the products themselves. John Luppino, General Manager, will lead Sun Chemical Security.
As commerce transcends national borders and electronic boundaries, Luppino said, businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about the security of their products and brands, while also protecting their credit customers. Governments, too, are anxious about lost taxes and tariffs due to smuggling and counterfeit products, as well as more sophisticated counterfeiting of currencies, passports, bonds and other financial instruments.
For nearly a decade, Sun Chemical, the world’s foremost manufacturer of printing inks and a leader in the manufacture of pigments, has been helping businesses and governments develop printed security solutions. Now, Sun Chemical has established a separate business unit that combines all its global resources to offer security solutions using covert, overt and forensic applications.
“Counterfeiting, theft and diversions have an enormous impact on the economy,” said Luppino. “What the public sees is only the tip of the iceberg. Officials at the first Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting held in Brussels this year put annual worldwide losses at more than $500 billion. Some companies may not even realize that stagnant growth or dips in sales could be due largely to counterfeiting and piracy. Counterfeiting also presents a significant safety issue, especially for items like pharmaceuticals and beverages that may come from unknown international sources.”
He explained that security printing by its very nature is secretive. Most ink products developed for this market segment are highly customized and known only to a brand owner or the government. Security printing covers such applications as banknotes and currency, passports, driving licenses, credit cards and packaging for products with high brand recognition or high value.
Unlike some companies that have recently entered the security market offering limited potential solutions, Sun Chemical is building its strategy on an array of recent technological developments that can stymie counterfeiters.
Luppino said that Sun Chemical divides the security market into three distinct segments:
- “On Product” Brand Protection. Highlighting Sun Chemical’s offerings is a set of inks which can be used to print unique invisible codes for Track and Trace. Other technologies include customized taggants for machine-readable verification. Sun Chemical also offers an array of overt printable solutions. This range of technologies can be used in concert to provide a layered approach to product protection.
- Forensic. Exciting new technology that can provide rapid authentication of the actual product without the use of taggants or markers. This technology “fingerprints” raw materials, and can also be used to ensure quality and manufacturing source without adulterating the product.
- Currency. Primarily intaglio inks, as well as varnish and overt features designed to prevent counterfeiting
He explained that Sun Chemical has acquired several companies with promising technologies or has forged alliances with others to position itself as the leading provider of reliable secure solutions. "These technologies further our goal of providing brand owners a differentiated basket of solutions," said Steve Postle, Sun Chemical's Director of Technology.
In October, Sun Chemical acquired the brand protection assets of Veritec Group, Inc., including the Veritec trade names. Veritec (also known as Verification Technologies, Inc.) provides technology and services to protect product integrity and brand security, including covert on-package verification systems, portable field units for forensic "on-site" authenticity testing, high speed robot authenticity testing for screening thousands of samples, process patent compliance testing, and authenticity technology development. Veritec's technology is relevant to major consumer goods companies, and offers "track and trace" capabilities throughout the supply chain.
According to Postle, Veritec offers two commercial technologies: Verigard 1000, an authenticity verification system that uses forensic technology, and Verigard 300, an invisible inkjettable taggant system. These technologies may be used to supplement RFID, he said.
Veritec will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Centerbrook, CT, which will also serve as Sun Chemical Security's global technology center, according to Postle.
Sun Chemical also has a strategic marketing alliance with InkSure Technologies. The two companies offer machine-readable, ink-based brand and document authentication solutions under the SunSure brand name. Tailored to the exact needs of each client, SunSure solutions harness the quality of Sun Chemical’s industry-leading inks and coatings and the flexibility of InkSure’s proprietary authentication technologies to slash counterfeit and diversion losses. SunSure’s underlying concept is the use of “encoded ink” (ink embedded with unique signature codes) in the printing, and the ability to sense the ink using optical readers that utilize the SunSure proprietary reader technology.
Sun Chemical also acquired Swale, a well-known manufacturer of security inks and specialist coatings in the United Kingdom in 1999 and completed the purchase of AIC, a security ink and pigment maker based in Nantes, France in 2003.
In related security applications, Sun Chemical also develops conductive inks that are used in EAS tags and more sophisticated RFID systems. Among its strategic alliances, Sun Chemical is working with QinetiQ, a leading European technology company, to bring QinetiQ's environmentally friendly, patented metal printing process to commercial realization, producing low-cost, high volume RFID security / tracking tags, along with a host of other applications where a fine metal pattern is needed (labels, smart cards, antenna, frequency selective surfaces).
Coates Screen, another Sun Chemical division that is a world leader in the specialty inks used to produce credit cards and security documents, will manufacture base inks based on QinetiQ's technology.
“There is a confusing variety of security options offered in the market, and it’s difficult to determine just what technology will best suit a customer’s needs,” Luppino said. “Rather than offering one-size-fits-all, Sun Chemical can help brand owners clarify their needs and identify what available options might work best for them. The impact of the security problem has grown to the point where businesses are seeking solutions to proactively protect their products and their brands.
“Sun Chemical’s technology offering provides a layered approach to security that can be used with the product itself, the primary packaging and the secondary packaging,” Luppino added.
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