Première: Invisible marking of silicone components combats counterfeiting
In a unique project involving cooperation with partner companies, Starlim Spritzguss GmbH from Marchtrenk in Austria has for the first time succeeded in applying an invisible digital watermark to a silicone component. This means that the consortium can at long last offer customers in the medical, healthcare, baby care and mobility sectors the option to mark silicone components with dimensions of 2 x 2 cm and greater, thus combating forgeries and enhancing traceability. Product Manager Dominik Kreuzmayr welcomes the interest generated by this development. “Anybody wishing to find out more about the digital watermark and, indeed, many other options for marking silicone components will have an opportunity at this year’s tech.day on 23 June through a sample plate we created for this purpose”.
Coloured white, the sample plate is 120 x 160 mm, 2.7 mm thick and, in addition to the digital watermark, has numerous other interesting markings. This was made possible through intensive cooperation between starlim, with responsibility for manufacture of the mold and sample plates, Reichle Technologiezentrum GmbH, a firm specialising in mold surface laser texturing, the digital printing specialist Silcos GmbH and, naturally enough, Digimarc GmbH, the inventor of digital watermarks. Digital watermarks have already proved their value on numerous thermoplastic components. They are indiscernible to the naked eye and, consequently, the perfect medium for storing important information in a component, rendering it clearly identifiable and protecting against counterfeiting. The watermarks can be read quite easily through an app on a commercially available mobile phone or tablet. Anybody interested can also investigate the effectiveness of this option at the tech.day event.
In addition to the watermark, the sample plate also contains a variety of structures including digital prints of logos belonging to the companies involved and a functional surface that does not attract dust. Also visible is a vanilla blossom in different variants, including a digital printing relief, a hologram and with a shimmering iridescent surface. A further highlight of the sample plate is the fact that contact with moisture generates a vanilla fragrance. In addition to a variety of colours, the innovation that endows liquid silicone components with different scents was introduced recently to the market by starlim, demonstrating once again its broad silicone component expertise in an impressive manner. The digital watermark sees this specialist company taking yet another step forward and unveiling cutting-edge technology that opens up new and interesting horizons for many silicone component manufacturers.