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Providing Peace Of Mind

13th September 2021

Rotech explains how brands can be protected with security features enabled by thermal inkjet.

Article originally published in Print Solutions Magazine.

Applying security features to your product can bring many benefits. They can help aid traceability, deter counterfeiters, protect your brand and ultimately increase the trust and loyalty of your consumers.

These security features can come in many forms. Some of them are intrinsic, such as a paper watermark, but others are added to the surface, such as a hologram or a security mark of some description.

Here we will look at the types of security marks that can be added to a product or its packaging using thermal inkjet printers.

Technologies

Thermal inkjet technology (TIJ) allows for a high-resolution code or mark to be produced at high speed with every print differing from the last, either by using a simple counter or by reference to a database. Giving a document a unique, often sequential number, can definitely improve its security, but there are other options available to users of TIJ printers.

Two-dimensional (2D) barcoding is well established as a method to encrypt a large number of characters in a small area and the typical barcode size of 11 x 11mm using a 22x22 pixel matrix with a pixel (module) size of 0.5mm can handle well over 50 characters, depending on type (alpha or numerical). A database link allows for a unique barcode to be printed on every item and, the addition of this code forms the basis of coding within the Falsified Medicines Directive.

Use of very small, discreet fonts - possibly in a different colour ink can also help to disguise a security code and both are achievable with a thermal inkjet printer.

For instances where a mark which cannot be seen by the naked eye is required, an ultraviolet print offers an ideal solution. You simply swap the usual black (or colour) cartridge for a UV one and you’re able to print the same range of text, logos and even barcodes – all of which can be seen with good fluorescence when exposed to an UV light source.

Use of such technology, particularly when combined with standard batch/date coding provides companies with an enhanced level of security for their products and/or packaging – particularly useful for those that operate in industries were counterfeiting is a huge problem, such as cosmetics or pharmaceuticals.

Flexible, clean and maintenance-free

Rotech’s thermal inkjet technology (TIJ) allows customers to easily adapt the printing of codes and markings to suit changes to packaging materials, designs, sizes or shapes. Clean and maintenance free, thermal inkjet is an ideal replacement for thermal transfer (TTO) printers and continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers for many applications, offering flexible printing of variable information such as date codes, batch numbers and barcodes onto labels, films, cartons and sleeves.