The Xerox Research Centre of Canada has developed advanced materials to meet manufacturers' security challenges.
Manufacturers that find themselves battling counterfeit products and intellectual property pirates have an ally.
The Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) is developing security innovations at its state-of-the-art lab in Mississauga, Ont. that will help companies tackle a global problem with an annual price tag of $1.7 trillion (according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
For more than 40 years, XRCC has developed new materials such as inks, toners and photoreceptors for Xerox’s own purposes, says Paul Smith, vice-president and centre manager of the XRCC. “As the primary materials research and development centre for Xerox’s operations around the globe, virtually every Xerox product in market today has been influenced in some way by the research team in Mississauga.”
As of five years ago, the centre has been applying its expertise and the efforts of more than 60 chemical engineers, physicists and scientists to the security challenges other companies are experiencing.
“Our researchers have also demonstrated particular expertise for developing materials that enable security features, including fluorescence, colour shifts, metallic finishes and electronic properties,” Smith says. “These materials can be incorporated directly or indirectly into life-critical products like medicines, food, toys, cosmetics, fertilizers, aircraft and car parts.”
A company that delivers fuel worldwide approached the Xerox research centre to develop and test a series of chemical markers that would guarantee its product hadn’t been diluted or tampered with. Added to the fuel, the tested marker had to show a specific response when exposed to a stimulus.
One of the many challenges that came up during the R&D and testing phase was developing an additive that could survive the complex chemical environment of liquid fuel for its lifetime.
“Once our team formulated a marker that met all of the client’s goals, we were able to begin manufacturing large batches of the additive in our Scale-Up Engineering Pilot Plant, which is outfitted with chemical reactors capable of producing anywhere from two to 2,000 litres of material at a time,” Smith says.
XRCC’s work (see xrcc.external.xerox.com) involves electronic materials, sustainable materials, chemical processes, coatings, security and authentication, and technologies for printing, electronics and manufacturing.