June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.211.1 - 22.211.11
Anti-Counterfeiting Technology in Product Design and Manufacturing: An Opportunity for Engineering Technology ProgramsCounterfeit products have drawn considerable attention in recent years as a consumer problemand crime of growing concern. When considering the issue of counterfeit items, one might thinkonly about pirated music CD’s and ‘fake’ Rolex watches. However, a significant part of thecounterfeit industry is producing items that consumers may find indistinguishable from ‘the realthing’. A serious concern is items in the industrial supply chain that are not what they arepromised to be. A common example being counterfeit cell phone batteries that may pose aperformance and safety concern. Fraud in the area of counterfeit goods ranges from simplemislabeling of product, to companies completely dedicated to producing exact copies of namebrand consumer products. Items counterfeited range from sneakers with an illegal designer logo,to counterfeit prescription medications and medical devices.Counterfeiting has been estimated to be a $500B market, and one of the fastest growingindustries in the world.  Ongoing globalization of manufacturing, distribution and markets islikely to expand the reach of the problem and add significantly to the challenge companies willface protecting their product and supply chain integrity. Traditional enforcement is focused ondetecting items in the marketplace or as they travel through international customs procedures inthe supply chain. Prevention strategies in product design, manufacturing and packaging is aninteresting emerging cross disciplinary research area. The very applied form of engineersemerging from engineering technology programs have an opportunity to become uniquelyqualified to assist with this challenge. Common manufacturing process techniques, process andsupply chain engineering, and inspection/detection strategies may prove beneficial to companiesas they address this area of the enterprise. Merging these common techniques with new andemerging technologies in anti-counterfeiting will be an important and increasing challenge forcompanies in all parts of the supply chain, and may present a significant applied researchopportunity for engineering technology programs.This paper presents an overview of the challenge currently presented by counterfeit goods andcommon and emerging anti-counterfeiting techniques. Product design, supply chain andmanufacturing process issues related to anti-counterfeiting efforts are discussed; along with topicareas engineering technology programs may be able to develop in order to address this growingindustry challenge.
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