Tech Watch: The Sabreen Group’s SNOWLEOPARD® Security Solution

Edited by Erin La Row, Plastics Decorating

Counterfeiting is a serious crime affecting every economy across the globe. According to a 2020 report by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, counterfeiting is the largest criminal enterprise in the world, with total domestic and international sales of counterfeit and pirated goods between an estimated $1.7 trillion and $4.5 trillion a year.

As counterfeiters become more sophisticated, so, too, must the companies trying to protect the integrity of their brands. Increasing demand for counterfeit protection has created a rise in anti-counterfeiting packaging solutions.

The Sabreen Group’s SNOWLEOPARD anti-counterfeiting solution is a state-of-the-art covert optical security technology that indelibly inscribes submicron microstructures “image/logo/text codes” into polymers, thin-films, metals and glass products. Polymer materials can be transparent, translucent or opaque (any color).

Scott Sabreen, founder and president of The Sabreen Group, said SNOWLEOPARD is more secure than QR codes, holograms and inks, and it doesn’t require any tools, instruments, smartphone cameras or the internet. Authentication is as easy as a single breath of air temporarily revealing hidden images. The images then rapidly disappear as the moisture evaporates. A small, inexpensive steam humidifier also could easily be used.

“Security solutions, such as holograms and QR codes are highly susceptible to counterfeiting,” Sabreen said. SNOWLEOPARD is a simple way for consumers to guarantee they’re receiving a legitimate product.”

SNOWLEOPARD can be applied to many products in which tampering or counterfeiting is a concern, including polymer banknotes/currency, passports, government photo ID, ophthalmic lenses/frames, medical packaging, pharmaceuticals, glass and plastic products, computers/consumer electronics, watches/jewelry, automotive/aerospace/military technology and more.

Sabreen said anti-counterfeiting technologies can be divided into three levels: Level 1 (overt), Level 2 (covert) and Level 3 (forensic). SNOWLEOPARD is level 2 (covert). Covert technologies typically require specific equipment to be verified. Overt techniques, on the other hand, are clearly visible and do not require detection devices.

The Sabreen Group offers turnkey systems incorporating industrial strength construction, and electronics are manufactured in the US. Innovative desktop-size production systems can be conducted inline or offline and only require 120/240V electricity. High-speed linear transport web-file systems are customizable. The module design works with any production volume and nearly any size of part, including flat, cylindrical, thin-film rolls and temperature-sensitive devices.

SNOWLEOPARD has been deployed worldwide since 2005. Sabreen said SNOWLEOPARD is ideal technology for companies requiring low-cost, strong anticounterfeit protection, especially in developing countries in Asia and South America.