Tool to curb Counterfeiters: Holograms
The Stamps Of Trust……
Holograms? Aren’t they something that are put on products to show that they are genuine? Answers Atul, a student at the Indian Institute of Packaging. “Well I have seen them but I am not too aware about them” says another student. Although Holograms are being increasingly used in various forms, the general awareness about their advantages in India is quite low. The reasons for usage of Holographic products are:
Holograms are eye catching and are viewed significantly longer than other graphic mediums. If a logo or slogan is on the Hologram, the message is enforced.
Holograms are virtually impossible to duplicate and to produce by average criminals and therefore, they are increasingly used by Governments and Companies to protect their products/ documents against counterfeiting. They are being applied on Currency, Credit cards, Visas, all types of FMCGs, auto parts, stationery, clothing and may other products/ documents. Varied degrees of security can be added to Holograms by having additional features, such as overt or/and covert kinetics, Random gallouche patterns, Nano text, laser readable codes, sequential numbering etc. Obviously the more such features added the higher the costs. It may be remembered that unlike any types of labels that could be printed by any of the thousands of printer in any district, particularly with the use of scanners and computers, Holograms can not even be properly scanned. As such the total numbers of hologram manufacturers in the country, rather in the whole world could be counted on fingers and it is relatively very easy to detect if some rogue Hologram manufacturer makes some similar Hologram for a duplicator.
Direct identification by the end buyer/ user of products or documents
Holograms are used in various ways, eg as pressure sensitive or hot stamp labels, as strips on pouches with Hot or cold wheel as stamped or laminated hologram strips, on Holo shrink sleeves/ labels, as holographic induction wads, as complete Holographic pouches/ packing, as a scratchable strip on scratch cards, as transparent holograms on DDs, Checques or documents, or as combi paper / hologram labels etc. Vested interests try to spread a lot of mis–information about the efficiency of holograms as an anti – counterfeit device. “Exact duplicates of holograms can not be made.” informs Wing Commander AK Gupta, Managing Director, Hi Glo Holo Images, Patiala. He adds “at times look alike labels could be possible, however, the ‘look alikes’ can be quite easily found out by the marketing staff/ distributers/ retailers etc. of the user clients. Even if a rogue hologram manufacturer makes some similar holograms for a duplicator, it is relatively very easy to catch them.
Besides, there are brand protection organizations, both at the national as well as the international level, which can assist the Hologram users in catching such counterfeiters. “ Such bodies carry out the investigations even up to the stage of collecting fool proof evidence for launching of suitable raids and legal cases against the duplicators, depending upon the client’s instructions. Holograms Manufacturers association of India (HoMAI) at the national level and The IHMA (International Hologram Manufacturers association, are organizations that can be approached by the Hologram users in such cases for help in interacting with suitable Brand protection/ anti – counterfeit detection/ investigation agencies. Finally, as Er. Sandeep Gupta, Director, Hi – Glo Holo Images Patiala, rightly points out “It needs to be remembered that Holograms are not just labels but are Security Labels. The users must not check only the technical/ production capability of the Holograms manufacturers but also their security capability/ credibility.