Plastics News K Show Daily - October 16, 2013 - (Page 14)
14 • PLASTICS NEWS, October 16, 2013
Firm sees secure future
in anti-counterfeiting work
PLASTICS NEWS STAFF
Counterfeiting in electronics is a
widespread, costly problem.
Products made with a resin
blend containing Polysecure’s
marker can be verified in the
field using a mobile sensor.
the resin, which then gets
shipped back to the customer, secured and shrink-wrapped.
“You blend it into a masterbatch. You extrude it into a masterbatch, repelletize it,” said executive Jochen Mösslein. “And
then the injection molder just
molds it from the new [material].
So basically the material marker
is just like a pigment, just a new
recipe component of the entire
compound. He injects this com-
credit 1970s American television
for its innovative idea.
Chemist Thomas Baque was at
home watching reruns of Quincy,
FREIBURG, GERMANY — In a world
a TV show about a coroner who
of copycats — in China yes, but
solves murders. Inspiration
even the guy down the street — a
struck when Quincy found a clue:
German company has developed
tiny particles of evidence in a
a way to mark products, using
tiny particles blended in a mas“I got the idea for our first, core
terbatch of plastics.
product,” Baque said, chuckling.
Polysecure GmbH’s nine emJust like a detective show, Polyployees occupy one floor of a
Secure has a back story: After collow-key technology incubator in
lege, Baque got a job
at Ferro Corp. in
Cleveland. Later, he
moved to Israeli nylon
producer Nilit Ltd.
“I developed plastics mostly for public
Baque said. They were
used for planes, trains
Efforts to copy
Nilit’s innovations upset the chemist, so
Baque — inspired by
Polysecure blends a unique marker, in powder form, into each customer’s resin. The Quincy — developed
marker can be identified later — in resin, or even once it is molded into a part — by sev- his concepts in the
eral methods, including optically using a laser pointer.
early 2000s. Back then,
it was not as easy to
Freiburg, a city in southern Ger- pound and it’s disseminated so analyze a product and make an
exact copy as it is today, he said.
many near the Swiss border. The easily through the products.”
The marker disperses widely
“It’s not only the Chinese. It’s
4-year-old company’s profile gets
higher with every news story through the molded part and does also European companies, beabout fake products and the theft not change its properties. The ra- cause we did a lot of developtio is less than that used for color ment for halogen-free nylons. And
of intellectual property.
Polysecure blends its marker in concentrates. The normal parti- we did the work and other companies copied it,” Baque said.
powder form — made of pure cle has a submicron thickness.
But Baque said his boss wasn’t
crystals or crystals wrapped in
interested. So he decided to start
ceramics — into the plastic resin
his own company.
sent to Freiburg by customers.
Inventors have all sorts of “euHe teamed up with Mösslein,
Polysecure technicians develop a
unique marker and blend it into reka” moments. Polysecure can who became managing director
By Bill Bregar
Polysecure GmbH photos
of what became Polysecure.
“I had the product but no money, and I was looking for guys
who [could] help me get the money to found the company. And
Jochen has a lot of experience in
that,” Baque said.
Mösslein, a German who calls
himself a “serial entrepreneur,”
has a background in physics and
finance and has studied at Stanford University in California.
The company debuted at the
last K show, in 2010. Polysecure
is back at this year’s K (Hall 8b/
Baque and Mösslein, who together with a silent investor own
Polysecure, discussed the future
of anti-counterfeiting during an
interview in Freiburg.
Mösslein said Polysecure has a
huge range of potential customers. In addition to plastics, it
works with metal, wood, industrial cleaners and other fluids.
Seeds. Pesticides. Food packaging. Original parts for machines
or cars. Musical instruments. In
April, Mösslein attended the
Baselworld trade show in Switzer-
land for makers of high-end
watches and jewelry.
“We were just there basically
as a visitor, but we have many appointments with watchmakers,”
As any traveler to China knows,
the knockoff Rolex watch is ubiquitous. “You can buy a ‘Rolex’
on the internet for 50 euros,”
For the watch sector, Polysecure has developed a method to
blend the marker into an adhesive, then inject it into a small
hole at the back of the watch. The
adhesive solidifies, containing
the marker powder. Retailers
could scan it at the store.
Fake products cause lost sales.
They also can foster product liability headaches.
One of Polysecure’s first customers was OBO Bettermann
GmbH & Co. KG, a German company that uses the markers for its
residential surge protectors. OBO
Betterman faced claims for damages from a fire it said was
caused by a forged, faulty surge
protector. Now the company injection molds Polysecure markers into its plastic parts.
“They are looking for a robust
market for their product, that
survives even a fire in your
house,” Mösslein said.
Moesslein said Polysecure
saves complete records of its customized markers. “We backtrack
it to our samples. Every batch.
We keep a background sample.
And we can correlate it, when we
find another sample in the field.”
Polysecure officials said the
marker cannot be copied. The
composition of any marker, when
it comes to particle size and
shape, is a random consequence
of parameters. Even Polysecure
could not reproduce one of its
The Polysecure marker system
can reproduce a vast range of numerical codes, from 14 million
numbers from the basic system
up to 280 trillion numbers. The
code exists at any spot of the
Polysecure provides both the
marker technology and the detection technology.
There are three main ways to
check a product containing a
● An optical system, which
uses a fluorescent light to “read”
the part. This can be done in-line,
See Secure, Page 15
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Plastics News K Show Daily - October 16, 2013