A new generation of infra red (IR) security inks has been developed by Sun Chemical to help brand owners fight the ongoing battle against counterfeiters. SunGuard Apollo is an entry level technology that uses market-leading pigments from a secure supply chain and is claimed to offer a ‘highly intelligent, unique combination’ of security features to deliver an effective brand protection solution.
It is widely recognized that standard invisible UV fluorescent inks made from UV fluorescing pigments no longer offer real protection against counterfeiting as the pigments can be purchased easily online with a credit card. In addition the presence of these fluorescent inks is easy to detect. The necessary UV lamps are widely available and low priced, so counterfeiters can find these inks and reproduce them easily. These issues have been addressed at various prominent international security printing conferences including the prestigious Intergraf Security Printing Conference ’07 held in Nice. Sun Chemical also recognized the problem and in response has developed SunGuard Apollo inks for commercial and packaging printers that want to offer real security to their customers.
The SunGuard Apollo portfolio uses infra red responsive pigments which can be used either within an ink or as a clear varnish, including over varnishing holograms without losing brightness. IR security inks are far less common than UV fluorescing inks and they are never used for novelty applications. The detection equipment is not available widely and as a brand protection solution, IR security inks represent a real covert security option for protecting packaging, labels and documents from counterfeit attack. Another key benefit of using IR security is that nothing has to change when an application is already using UV fluorescing ink. The UV fluorescent element can be retained to fool potential counterfeiters into thinking they have found the security feature, however the IR is in the same ink, so no plates or artwork needs to be changed. This will enable printers to offer their customers an enhanced security product without compromising on current style, design or color.
Distribution of the detection device that works in conjunction with SunGuard Apollo is controlled by Sun Chemical and is only available after clarification of use. This ensures that the device is not widespread and prevents misuse.
Emma Isichei, Sun Chemical’s marketing director for UK & Ireland, said: ‘We are extremely proud to have launched this cutting-edge technology, which in the long run, will have significant benefits for brand owners, printers and converters. SunGuard Apollo inks have a unique combination of security features and form part of a total solution, all from just one supplier.’