There will be significant developments in 2013 as producers get to grips with ISO 12931, the first international standard to provide guidance on protecting products from counterfeits, predicts the trade body representing the global hologram industry.
India and China key territories
Ian Lancaster, the general secretary of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association, said that brand owners will be looking closely at the new standard, which ISO published in June last year, as they develop strategies to take advantage of it.
ISO 12931 covers ‘Performance criteria for authentication solutions used to combat counterfeiting of material goods’ and provides guidance on protecting products from counterfeiters using security devices like holograms.
Ian Lancaster said: “ISO 12931 is a massive step forward, bringing welcome benefits to the hologram industry in the coming years.
“It promotes the use of authentication solutions, particularly encouraging the use of overt and covert solutions – functional categories which can be combined in one hologram.
“I foresee brand owners moving ahead in the coming months, using the guide as a road-map to growth and encouraging more and more brand owners to take counterfeiting seriously and implement effective strategies to protect against it.
“We will see more adopting holograms to protect brands and market share against the continuing threat of global counterfeiting and I expect to see many in 2013 building ISO 12931 compliance into their product development programmes and market protection strategies.”
The IHMA also predicts some sales growth in the mature European and North America hologram industries as end-users return to the market with cautious optimism amid several acquisitions and take-overs within the sector.
However, it’s in the burgeoning economic powerhouses of India and China, where counterfeiting is a widespread problem, that the land of opportunity lies for holography, according to Ian Lancaster.
"China and India, where there’s already strong demand and growth is abundant, offer huge scope for the holography industry in 2013 and beyond," he said.
"Anti-counterfeiting enforcement is either lax or non-existent in many parts, which has led to a lot of counterfeit items on the market.
“This makes the security features holography offers extremely important for all product segments as companies, government authorities and anti-counterfeiting agencies look to clamp down.
"Although holograms are used in almost all sectors, the biggest client for this industry is still governments, which use holograms on banknotes, passports, ID cards, tax stamps and other documents. In the private sector, we expect to see continuing growth from pharmaceutical, auto components, cosmetic, tobacco, consumer electronics, luxury goods and FMCG companies.”
In addition, the design benefits of holographic materials are seeing more and more Chinese and Indian companies switching to holographic packaging, stimulating design and production innovations which are seeing massive increases in the production of holographic materials. This interest is also evident in the West as more consumer brands adopt holographics in their packaging.
On the innovation front, the IHMA expects to see significant developments this year, notably in the area of track and trace holograms using 2D barcode features. This type of technology will be a welcome boost for hard-pressed revenue agencies as they attempt to collect excise duty on alcohol and clamp down on the distribution of illicit liquor in the on-going battle against the counterfeiters.
The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) - www.ihma.org - is made up of 95 of the world's leading hologram companies. IHMA members are the leading producers and converters of holograms for banknote security, anti-counterfeiting, brand protection, packaging, graphics and other commercial applications around the world. IHMA member companies actively cooperate to maintain the highest professional, security and quality standards.