Xeikon has partnered with Kurz company, Scribos, a provider of anti-counterfeiting solutions, to collaborate on new technology that enables digital label printers to provide added value with interactive features for brand protection, track and trace, and consumer engagement.

Leveraging the capabilities of Xeikon’s Titon dry toner printing, Digital Metal embellishment from Kurz, and Scribos’ product security expertise, the single-pass label application offers a solution for safeguarding brand value, combatting counterfeiting and grey market trading, as well as increasing consumer loyalty, explained Xeikon.

‘The consequences of counterfeiting are enormous and wide reaching. Global companies lose billions of euros every year, consumers are at risk from faulty products, and the environment suffers, just to mention a few. These problems can be mitigated by adding unique metallic elements to the printed label,’ explained Jeroen Van Bauwel, Xeikon’s director of solution design.

Powered by Xeikon’s X-800 DFE (Digital Front End), the application, said the company, uses Scribos ValiGate technology and Scribos 360 Cloud Platform to offer high-level security and full visibility for brand owners via serialised, protected QR codes and metallic variable elements. Not only does each code have a unique ID, but they also contain a finely printed, sub-pattern acting as advanced copy protection, explained Xeikon.

‘The secondary level of copy protection embedded in these QR codes relies on very intricate details, which can only be achieved with toner digital printing,’ stated Dr Steffen Scheibenstock, head of digital business development at Scribos.

The coordination between the Xeikon press and Kurz metallisation module allows for the integration of Variable Digital Metal (VDM) to enhance authentication, said Xeikon. After verifying, it continued, the ValiGate copy protection with a smartphone, the landing page will show a distribution of symbols, resembling a slot machine game. By comparing these symbols on the product with those on the screen, consumers engage in a secure 2-factor authentication (2FA) process, said the company.

Mr Scheibenstock explained, ‘In this case, we printed a varied distribution of birds, each differing in position, shape, number and orientation. This method, embedded within the metallic print layer and unique to every label, offers robust protection against counterfeiting without requiring an app, ensuring security for all consumers.’

The QR codes, said Xeikon, are supported by the Scribos 360 authentication platform, which provides a wealth of data for statistics and analysis. Customers can also choose from a range of consumer engagement modules, such as cross-selling options, bonus programmes, games or competitions, all customised to match their own branding, it explained.    

Mr Van Bauwel continued, ‘This doubly encrypted technology also offers an ideal way for brand owners to boost consumer engagement securely, providing endless possibilities for interaction that can increase brand loyalty, as well as an extended track & trace capability to combat fraudulent movement of goods. And because this is a fully digital process, it can easily be used even for quite short runs, such as to protect limited editions or to help small start-up brands tell their customers more about their sustainability commitments.’

He concluded, ‘Our joint development with Kurz continues, bringing even more capabilities to label printers that enable them to offer multiple value-adding solutions and open new high-end segments. With copy-protected QR codes and high-quality metallic embellishments, Xeikon is exploring the full potential of digital, giving customers a new innovative way of differentiating themselves in the very competitive label market.’