Fresh Ink

Sun Chemical Forms Security Business Unit


Sun Chemical 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, which will offer security solutions using covert, overt and forensic applications.
“Counterfeiting, theft and diversions have an enormous impact on the economy,” said Mr. 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.”
Sun Chemical is building its strategy on an array of recent technological developments that can stymie counterfeiters.
Mr. 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.

•Forensic. 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
Mr. Luppino said 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.
In October, Sun Chemical acquired the brand protection assets of Veritec Group, Inc. Veritec, also known as Verification Technologies, Inc., provides technology and services to protect product integrity and brand security.
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 Steve Postle, Sun Chemical’s director of technology.
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. 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.
Sun Chemical also acquired Swale, a well-known manufacturer of security inks and specialist coatings in the U.K. 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 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, such as labels, smart cards, antenna and 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.
“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,” Mr. Luppino said.