Uflex assumes yet bigger role in anti-counterfeiting

With the dark underbelly of the fake and the spurious products pegged globally at over USD 461 billion (as estimated by the OECD), India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and solution company Uflex has now assumed a larger responsibility of enhancing the brand security of its clients by ensuring that the secondary packaging that houses the primary packs is as much insulated from the menace of counterfeiting.

17 Jul 2017 | By Rahul Kumar

Jeevaraj Pillai, joint president, packaging and new product development, Uflex, said, “If you look at the FMCG value chain, the distributors or the wholesalers procure goods in secondary packaging. Seldom do they open these secondary packs and establish the veracity and authenticity of the singletons packed inside. This is where the counterfeiters surreptitiously seep in. They conveniently body double the secondary pack and fill it with fake products. Unaware of this modus-operandi, the wholesaler procures goods and sells them to the retailers down the line. Thus, the counterfeited products come into circulation in the market and the end-users even upon paying the full retail price get a spurious product in return. This can have a spiralling and devastating effect on the hard earned equity of a brand.”

Taking cognisance of this, Uflex decided to extend the dimension of its fight against counterfeiting and adopt a 360 degrees approach.

Besides incorporating top of the line anti-counterfeiting features onto flexible packaging, Uflex now also possess the capabilities of plugging the same anti-counterfeiting features on unprinted paperboard (condiment for secondary packaging) and thereafter supplying it to the associated convertors.

Much like primary flexible packaging, the secondary packaging also has a well-defined supply chain. Pillai, however, clarified that Uflex is in the business of flexible packaging and are not treading into the territory of board converting. “All that we are doing is to compliment both the elements — primary and secondary packaging — in the best interest of our clients, offering a wholesome protection against counterfeiting. Primary packaging cannot be protected by keeping the secondary packaging alienated.”

Thus, what Uflex does is to pre-apply the anti-counterfeiting feature onto the unprinted board/ raw material of the secondary packaging which in turn is processed by the board convertors. The anti-counterfeiting features on the board are exactly identical in size, shape and character as those on the primary packaging to complete the brand protection loop, making it absolutely impregnable.

Pillai explained, “We procure the board stock and put it onto our sophisticated digital imaging system which creates 3D surface enhancement on the board through hot foil stamping process on a reel-to-reel format. The digital imager does this with perfect registration w.r.t, the artwork, thus enabling flexibility of placement of the anti-counterfeiting feature anywhere on the board as per the design mandated by the brand.”

The anti-counterfeiting feature applied on the board is sheeted on a technologically superior sheeting machine to provide high level of registration accuracy to the board convertor in order to register with print.

The image enhancement technology on the board ensures that the anti-counterfeiting feature perfectly matches with that on the primary flexible packaging. Thus, both secondary and primary packaging, come under the protection of identical brand protection solution.

“The reel-to-sheet conversion technology that we deploy maintains perfect synchronisation of the anti-counterfeiting feature with the artwork. We are getting very good response for this 360 degrees approach to combat counterfeiting,” concluded Pillai.

According to Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director, Uflex, a 360 degrees approach to cover both primary and secondary packaging under the brand protection net is a concrete step towards assisting the company’s clients to unleash their brand potential to the fullest, thereby adding value to their business. “Being a brand custodian myself, I can truly understand the toil and sweat that goes into building a brand. I am happy that my team has assumed a yet bigger role in the global fight against counterfeiting,” he added.

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