Laser coding, the solution to tackling counterfeiting By Chris Clarke, Linx Laser Sales Manager A laser mark can be used as an important security feature to avoid the counterfeiting of your products. Counterfeiting can be defined as illegally making something that imitates an authentic product. This could include consumer products such as handbags, watches and fashion clothing. It can also be consumables such as alcoholic spirits, cigarettes and pharmaceutical products. Each year, thousands of counterfeit goods are seized. However, with the necessary tools becoming more accessible, the quality of counterfeit products have risen to a point where they are much harder to detect than ever before. Counterfeiting and its impact Counterfeiting is a global issue which continues to increase year over year. Some estimates state the international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods could reach close to $1 trillion by the end of the decade. The impact of counterfeiting can affect the profitability of the legitimate company and its reputation. Fewer goods sold results in revenue declines. And the potential lower quality of the counterfeited goods can also negatively affect a company’s reputation. Refilling genuine packaging with counterfeit product also has a large impact. While this has typically been seen in the beverage industry, more recent examples include the practice of refilling CBD oil bottles and tinctures. So how do we tackle it? Anti-counterfeiting measures provide a method which can reduce or eliminate the ability of a counterfeiter to copy a product. Measures include: Providing overt marking which is difficult to reproduce Adding discreet marking for traceability to determine if a product is real or fake Providing permanent marks such as best before dates on packaging to deter refilling by other companies Coding and marking can be the surest way to protect against counterfeiting today. The best coding and marking solutions provide excellent protection against counterfeiters and the robust, permanent and complex codes they produce are increasingly the best defense. Laser marking: A security feature What are the benefits of using laser coding to avoid counterfeiting? Of all the different coding technologies, laser coding is often most attractive to companies concerned about counterfeiting because a laser coder can print permanent, high-quality codes at all line speeds onto a wide range of substrates including glass, coated metal, labels and plastic. Laser codes can’t be rubbed off, making them the ideal solution for traceability and anti-counterfeiting. Laser marking creates a permanent, indelible mark. Distinct codes create added complexity to deter counterfeiters. Laser marks can be discreet or easily visible. Numerous materials can be laser marked (e.g. paper, glass, plastics). Laser marking is a fast process which can keep pace with all production line speeds. Codes can show traceability of the product and help determine if the product is fake or genuine. Whether you are a small operation or a large-scale manufacturer, consider a laser-based marking solution to protect your business. It will provide you with high-quality codes, save you money in the long term and increase your protection against the counterfeiters who seek to profit from your brand. Read our case study to find out how the Linx CSL30 laser provided product marking and brand protection for a CBD manufacturer. Contact us today to request a sample that shows how our Linx laser coders can produce crisp, permanent text or graphics on many different packaging materials including coated paper and card, plastic, glass, rubber, coated metal and anodized aluminum.