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Frequently asked questions

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Production & print

What printing processes have been tested/approved for the FiliGrade application?
Offset, dry-offset, flexo-print, rotogravure, silkscreen, inkjet and in mould labelling.


What types of substrates have been used for the FiliGrade application?
Paper, cardboard, plastic sheets and films, stretch/shrink films, textile, metal cans, and even in photographs printed with edible inks on a cake.


Do I need to change printing plates, cylinders or other materials in the printing process?
No, the same materials can be used, the only difference is in the artwork that is used to create the plates, cylinders or other materials. The printing is just business as usual on the usual printing paper and with the normal inks.


Have all suppliers the capabilities to apply digital watermark? What do they need? Capability?
Normally: yes. Printing will be as usual, only in special cases there might be changes but designers and PMA’s are mostly influenced.


Is there is any supplier expertise/knowhow required?
We will provide support to designers, lithographers and PMA’s with IFU’s, trainings and a helpdesk.


Can it be applied on rough surfaces, round surfaces, damaged surfaces, with lacquers?
If the surfaces technically can be printed the answer is in general: no problem. Damaged surfaces are not a problem as the watermark is redundant through the package. Although lacquers can influence the readability, just changing the position of the package during the scanning in relation to the available light is normally enough.


What is the limitation of using watermark on flexibles? 
We tested a lot on flexibles and the watermark is perfectly reading if the printing is done properly.



Can the watermark be integrated in every type of artwork?
The watermark cannot be integrated in white (not printed) area’s.

Why would I need a watermark?
A watermark makes every printed product unique, it is readable all over the package or product and it takes no space as it is normally invisible to the human eye. It cannot be removed by copying nor changed.

For what purposes can a watermark be used?
it is a trigger to product information, loyalty solutions, copy detection, mobile marketing and tracking/tracing.

Can the watermark be integrated in single colour Pantone artwork?
Yes, this is possible.

Can the watermark be integrated in a “gradient” screen?
Yes, this is possible. However visibility might be an issue, since the mark might be visible when very closely inspected. Can the watermark be integrated in photographs? Yes, photographic artwork is very well suited to include the watermarks.

Can I create a unique watermark for every individual pack?
Yes, provided a digital printing process is used. Is the watermark code integrated throughout the full artwork set? Yes, with the exception of text /character positions and unprinted areas.

How long will the watermark code last in the artwork? Is there a chance of fading/ discolouring?
The watermark itself will not disappear and we do not expect any fading issues when the watermarks are used for use in consumer product packaging applications. However, printed material can fade in the course of time which could have an effect on the readability.

FiliGrade will add the watermarking codes into the original artwork set from the clients. But can we add/ integrate the watermark coding ourselves as a service in order to save time?
Not yet. Momentarily FiliGrade integrates the watermarks into the artwork in order to maintain the required quality level as the process is very technical. In the future a tool will be developed by FiliGrade so clients can code themselves.

Can the watermark resist time, temperature, humidity, shocks, and scratches?
On all remarks: yes, as long as the package is not fully covered by opaque particles like mud, snow or ice. As the watermark is inserted in a redundant way, a lot of possible problems other methods have, do not occur.

This technology will not work on mono-tones/mono-colours, right?
Yes and no. We need a rasterized print, not fully opaque but we can create artwork with colours that are visually opaque but technically not. We did a test for a huge brand in beverages on this aspect and the screening was really invisible without a magnifier.



How does scanning work?
Point the smart phone approximately 5-10 cm from the pack, keep the phone steady in one position until the camera is focused, the watermark is read and you are linked to the next step.

How do I know, how and where to scan, since there is no visual coding on the packaging 
(like a QR code)?
The watermark is integrated on as much of the print surface as possible, enabling the scan to pick up the watermark all over the label. A logo will be visible to attend you on the watermark.

Does the consumer need to download an app, in order to successfully activate the watermark?

Can this branded or branched app automatically be downloaded when scanning a package?
Security in the download process (Only from trusted sites like the Apple’s AppStore and Google Store) prohibits the automatic download.

Do I need to be online to scan a FiliGrade pack?
No, there is no need to be online. Scanning will also work offline, provided you have downloaded the customer app. Detecting falsifications, however, does need to be online as the checking process is in the controlled secure environment of FiliGrade.

Can I scan the FiliGrade watermark with every smartphone available in the market?
No. The operating systems from Apple (iPhone 5 and more recent versions) are approved, and recent Android based systems (2014 and more recent versions). Other operating systems will be tested once there is a need from specific user groups.

Do in-store light strengths/conditions have an effect on the scanning process?
In general, the scanning process will work fine in a retail or home environment, although the scanning result could be affected by poor lighting conditions. When running our anti-counterfeiting solution, the user is asked to choose the current lighting condition.

Can I scan packaging that is sealed, or encapsulated with a transparent film?
Yes. The scanning process will work as long as the film is not a high gloss / high reflective film. Rotating the object and the smart phone to avoid reflections will help.

Is the technology globally available?
What challenges we can have if we want to implement this technology in for example China or Pakistan? Yes, the technology is worldwide available, we built our data-structure in a way that we can extend our controlled environment to other countries.