TÃœV Rheinland Creates New North American Group to Protect Against Counterfeiting

TÃœV Rheinland has announced Robert (Bob) Driggers' appointment as Business Development Manager for the newly formed North American Brand Risk Group.

In his new role, Driggers will manage TÃœV Rheinland's proprietary Product Authentication and Control System (PACS) for North American customers.

TÃœV Rheinland's PACS is a patented control and authentication program that can track, trace and instantly authenticate a product no matter where it is throughout its distribution channel. This online mass-serialization platform is accessible via handheld scanners, desktop or laptop computers and many of today's smart phones. It may be used by the brand owners as well as original equipment, private labeling and contract manufacturers, logistic providers, customs officials, and even consumers to verify product authenticity.

“The size and scope of the worldwide counterfeit problem is so large that one has difficulty even guessing at how large it is,” said Driggers. “We know that US Customs made nearly 20,000 seizures of counterfeit products last year, worth an estimated $1.4 billion at legitimate MSRPs. What we don't know is the worth of the fake products that got through. Our new program is designed to give control of brand back to its rightful owner, its agents, government officials and ultimately, the consumer.”

TÃœV Rheinland's PACS revolves around 12-to-16-digit randomly generated alphanumeric codes that are integrated into existing labeling technology and production methods. Each marked product can be viewed in minute detail, including verification date, time, mode, location and other customer specified data, and the system allows for hierarchal coding, allowing products to be verified down to its production time, country of origin, transit information and others.

“While this system has been designed to battle counterfeiting, it also allows for direct communication between the manufacturer and the consumer, which can provide great benefits with regard to warranty claims or product recalls,” said Driggers.

While product counterfeiting can be a problem for a wide variety of product types, it can be a particular problem for pharmaceuticals, where counterfeit drugs can put people's lives in jeopardy. Other products that are frequently counterfeited include footwear and apparel, consumer electronics, computers and hardware, toys and video games, entertainment media, luxury items and others.

Prior to joining TÃœV Rheinland, Driggers served as CEO of Authenitrace LLC in Acworth, Georgia. Before that he was the CEO of Compton Tape and Label of Madison, North Carolina and as southwest sales manager for Acucote, Inc. in Graham, North Carolina, where he helped develop the company's anti-counterfeit/product authentication product lines. He began his career in 1981 with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Burlington, North Carolina. Driggers is a frequent lecturer on the subject of traceability. He earned his bachelors of science in International Business from High Point University in High Point, North Carolina.
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