Internal engraving on glass can help protect from counterfeiting

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

A laser system that can engrave inside the glass wall of a fragrance bottle can help protect brands against counterfeiting, according to France-based company Trackinside.

The company presented the technology, which can be used to both etch a brand’s logo as well as a unique product code, at last week’s Luxe Pack show held in Monaco.

As the marking is inside the product wall, it is impossible to remove, Xavier Costet from the glass decorating company Costet (one of TrackInside’s founding companies) explained.

Discrete but visible

Glass marked with Trackinside's Filiglass

The idea was to make the mark as discrete as possible while remaining visible to the human eye, he told

Remaining visible is important as it allows consumers, as well as importers, retailers and border control officials to be reassured of the provenance of the product without using special equipment. However, the mark is only fully visible in certain lighting conditions and has been designed not to spoil the visible image of the product.

If a company chooses to use the system to etch a unique product code (DataMatrix) then a camera linked to a computer running a decoding programme can be used, Costet said.

Although in this case, specialised equipment is needed, Costet pointed out that Trackinside’s technology is compatible with a number of decoding programmes and customers will not be obliged to work with any particular company.

Non aggressive laser

The company claims, one of the advantages of Trackinside’s technology is a laser system that does not weaken the material.

“Until now other techniques provoked small cracks in the product, which could lead to the rupture of the product. The Naginels system (Non Aggressive Internal Engraving Laser System) does not lead to this micro fissures,” ​Costet said.

“The speed of the laser (10 -5 seconds) does not cause the glass to warm up like other techniques. And, it is the heating that causes the cracks,”​ he added.

Trackinside is made up of 6 founding companies and was created to commercialise the technology.

Although luxury cosmetics and fragrances brands concerned about counterfeiting are an important target for the company, Trackinside is also targeting the pharmaceutical channel and has run a number of trials etching unique product codes onto glass vials. The technology could also be used to mark luxury watches or eyewear with a brand logo or product code.

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