Laser-Pointer und Analysegerät
Laser pointer and measuring device for checking our tamper proof sealants

Anti-counterfeiting tamper proof sealants

In the fight against product counterfeiting and tampering, individual marking systems are playing an increasingly important role. Whether in the automotive industry, electronics, mechanical engineering or precision mechanics - product piracy and warranty fraud have become a serious economic problem across all markets

Since torque seals are used as tamper indicators in many cases, the demand for tamper proof sealants has increased steadily in recent years. This can be explained by the fact that it is easy for a warranty fraudster to purchase torque seal independently on the Internet and then use it to re-secure screw connections that he/she has illegally opened. In retrospect, it is then almost impossible for the company concerned to determine whether a particular screw connection was opened or not.

In order to prevent this, to avoid economic damage and to regain security, i.e. to know whether a screw connection has been opened illegally or not, various approaches (differing in security) have been developed over the last few years:

Hidden security feature (non-customized)

Here, a hidden security feature is added to the torque seal used, which can only be made visible by targeted measurement (e.g. by an infrared laser pointer). Since the hidden security feature does not change the paint properties, it is difficult for a warranty fraudster without prior knowledge to become aware of it. If the fraudster tries to cover up the unlawful opening of a screw connection, the probability is high that a conventional torque seal (i.e. without a hidden security feature) will be used for subsequent securing. This can then be easily detected by the company concerned and the attempted warranty fraud can thus be prevented.

Torque sealant measurement on a battery - Secure
Torque sealant measurement on a battery - Secure

Unique product identification (customer-specific)

To achieve unique product identification, specific marker particles are added to the torque seal used. The marker particles contain an individually readable code, allowing the torque seal to be directly assigned to a user (customer-specific assignment). These tamper proof sealants enable users of torque seals to verify whether or not the secured/sealed screw connection or the secured/sealed fastener was actually secured/sealed by themselves. This in turn makes it virtually impossible for warranty fraudsters to open a threaded fastener, secured with such a torque seal, undetected.

Torque sealant measurement on a black box - Topsecure (BäderIdent®
Torque sealant measurement on a black box - Topsecure (BäderIdent®

Which of the two approaches companies choose is strongly related to the potential damage caused by warranty fraud.

Regardless of the approach chosen, the test method and measurement speed should also be considered. When it comes to the test method, the first question is whether it can be carried out on a mobile basis or whether the measurement must be performed in the laboratory. Mobile performance is clearly preferable here, as this allows product inspection to take place at any point in the supply chain and avoids unnecessarily long waiting times and costs. Furthermore, the test method must take into account whether it can be carried out non-destructively or whether the torque seal must be removed from the screw connection for the measurement. In this case, a non-destructive measurement method is clearly advantageous because, on the one hand, it can be repeated as often as required and, on the other hand, the respective screw connection does not have to be re-secured after the measurement. As can be seen, the test method has a considerable influence on the measuring speed, which can have a non-negligible effect on the efficiency of the work process, especially when measuring a large number of parts.

Product inspection can be carried out at any point in the supply chain

If you have any further questions on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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