Fighting counterfeit labels

Counterfeit products are becoming an increasing problem for manufacturers who make high-end or specialised equipment and can cost companies millions of dollars in lost revenue. Exporters along the logistics chain also suffer as they have to check the goods for quality assurance.

Ensuring products that are exported overseas maintain their integrity by making it harder for them to be counterfeited is becoming a focus for many manufacturers.

Codan, an Adelaide-based electronics company that develops, manufactures and markets Minelab handheld metal detectors with sales in over 60 countries worldwide, recently discovered that counterfeit Minelab GPX Series gold detectors, originating from China, had made their way into the African market.

Realising the huge impact the fake products could have on their business, Codan turned to Fujifilm’s unique ForgeGuard anti-counterfeiting labels so that throughout the supply chain, originals could be distinguished from the counterfeits, and logistics companies can ensure the integrity of their supply chain.

Codan’s Peter Charlesworth explained that a solution was required which would enable customers to realise they were dealing with a lesser product.

“Many of the Chinese counterfeit products look cosmetically identical to genuine Minelab products, to the extent that dealers and customer cannot visually tell the difference,” he said.

“However, these copies do not perform anywhere near as well as genuine Minelab metal detectors.”

“While Codan has registered trademarks in place for Minelab and GPX, this alone does not stop counterfeit products entering the market.

Therefore other practical solutions were also required to reassure dealers and customers that they were buying genuine Minelab products, with high performance and the ongoing service and warranty back up that Minelab provides. That’s where Fujifilm and ForgeGuard came in.”

ForgeGuard true colour hidden image labels provided a solution for Codan which could be applied quickly and effectively to their products.

The labels work by making it harder for a counterfeiter who is trying to copy and export the true colour hidden image, which identify the products as genuine Minelab.

Charlesworth said that the technology enabled the company to customise the final labels so that we could add our own unique identifiers,” giving Codan an added protective advantage for exporting.

“We also found that applying a ForgeGuard label on the outside of some packaging gave us additional reassurance that genuine products were being moved through our distribution channels without time consuming and disruptive opening of boxes and manual inspection,” he explained.

“We restricted the distribution of ForgeGuard viewers to only our authorised Minelab dealers and added an additional level of verification by cross matching the hidden image against the product’s serial number. This verification process operates through a password protected webpage that only authorised Minelab dealers can access.”

Minelab metal detectors are used outdoors in harsh environments and Charlesworth states that even when subjected to dirt, dust and water, the ForgeGuard labels are strong enough to reach the final point of sale anywhere in the world.

“We are impressed with the stability of the hidden image all through our supply channels, even to some very remote regions and it would appear that the labels far exceed our needs,” he said.

Charlesworth said the technology gives his company greater protection against counterfeiters, and ensures the quality of Codan products are no longer being compromised.

“We’ve worked really hard to achieve our technical superiority and the ForgeGuard labels give our customers the reassurance that they’ve bought a genuine Minelab product.“

“This gives us a significant competitive advantage against the counterfeiters.”

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