Fingerprinting products


Cambridge Consultants develops brand protection and authentication device

Product development firm Cambridge Consultants has worked with Ingenia Technology to develop a high-speed laser scanner for use in brand protection, product authentication and ‘track and trace’ applications.

The scanner is typically fitted above a production line and records a unique fingerprint based on the particular surface micro-structure of each item it sees. The scanner can operate on very fast production lines, which move at up to 10 metres per second and carry up to 50 items per second.

Brand protection company Ingenia Technology established the laser-based technology – called Laser Surface Authentication (LSA™) – and recognised that, for continued business expansion, a high-speed and sensitive scanner was needed. Cambridge Consultants worked with Ingenia in a 12-month project to develop the next generation of the innovative technology.

“Ingenia now has the tool to take its anti-counterfeiting technology into the most demanding situations,” said Martin Cooper, project manager at Cambridge Consultants. “We see this breakthrough in high-performance authentication technology as being highly significant for brand owners and packaging companies in their supply chains, as well as government departments and agents who are on the front line of tackling counterfeit products.”

The project brought together technical experts in the fields of precision optics, ultra-low-noise electronic design and thermal management – as well as Cambridge Consultants’ experience of developing reliable sensing and instrumentation techniques for difficult industrial environments. The data captured and processed every second by the highly sensitive laser scanner is equivalent to playing about 140 CDs simultaneously.

The ability to verify the authenticity of a product – whether electronic components used in medical devices, mechanical sub-assemblies in aircraft, secure documents or medicines – is essential in industries where traceability, safety and reliability are paramount.

“In the fight against counterfeiting, using innovative technology to keep one step ahead is essential,” said Freddie Jones, managing director of Ingenia Technology. “The scanner developed by Cambridge Consultants will be the catalyst for a new generation of LSA technology and allows us to bring LSA to many new markets and applications.”

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