A broad, introductory guide to security seals, tapes, labels and packaging.
The purpose of security seals is to deter, prevent and identify unauthorised access, theft or a security breach in a business’s supply chain. Through visual & physical verification, security seals will help to identify the point of liability in the event of loss, damage and theft.
High security Barrier seal
A bolt barrier seal or ‘bottle seal’ given it’s ‘bottle-like’ shape, consists of a 2 part, strengthened metal bolt shaft which fits into its corresponding locking body. This type of seal is commonly used to secure vehicle doors and container doors. This seal needs to be removed by cutting with a bolt cutter, grinder or oxyacetylene torch.
A better understanding of ISO PAS 177712 & C-TPAT
“C-TPAT” (Customs Trade Partnership against terrorism) concerns all incoming containers to the USA. ALL containers must be sealed with a security seal that is classified as a high security seal. In order for a seal to be classified as a high security seal, the product must be tested by an authorised, accredited laboratory. One of the best known ones is DAYTON BROWN in NY. The seal goes through rigorous testing, tensile strength, bending, to name but a few. Without this certificate, the seal is not of the spec to enter the US/ Mexico or Canada. Only ISO PAS 17712 HSS can be used to support the requirements of the C-TPAT programme. (C-TPAT is a anti-terrorist programme, not a standard as such, so no certificate is issued to state this).
Plastic indicative seals
These seals are typically either adjustable, pull through seals or fixed length seals. Depending on the plastic type and strength of the seal, these can commonly be broken by hand. The inherent weakness of a pull through seal (with notched or smooth strap), is that it can be sealed, and if not pulled through all the way, can be cut or broken in the loop, and re-sealed. The user has to ensure that the seals are correctly applied and inspected in detail before authorized removal is attempted. Plastic indicative seals are generally constructed from oil based plastics, PP (polypropylene) / PA (polyamide) which resist attempts at gluing. Many of ICS’ products contain an insert in the locking chamber, of a hardened plastic, thereby increasing tamper resistance. For increased security, a metal insert is available in the locking chamber of certain options. Plastic seals have diverse application: bags, containers, doors, gates, baggage, drums, diesel caps, cages, metering & gaming equipment, emergency equipment, valves etc
High security cable seals
The flexibility and strength of the cable makes this a popular product type. This type of seal cannot be removed by hand. The non pre-formed, high tensile aircraft cable cannot be cut by scissors and will require removal by a high quality side cutter. Once cut, the cable will fray and cannot be glued together again. These seals commonly have a high pull strength and would typically be used on applications of high risk like trucks, cages, containers, gates, drums, tankers and bags. Although a premium solution for many applications and therefore very popular, consider the practicality of tool removal in a given environment.
Metal indicative seals
Metal indicative seals are perceived to be stronger and more secure than plastic, simply because their material construction is stronger and they offer a higher resistance to breakage or removal. What must be taken into consideration is the ease of removal by authorised personnel. Metal may be stronger but removal is more difficult. The disadvantage of metal seals is that colour codification is not possible and this has many operational advantages. Metal seals are commonly used on trucks, containers, gates & doors and on cash in transit canisters.
Combination material seals
These are seals constructed of plastic and a wire component, typically a stainless steel wire tail. These seals are commonly manufactured from Polycarbonate for durability and longevity and are most prevalent in the utilities sector because seals are often exposed to harsh climatic conditions and are expected to be functional for long periods of time. Colour & temperature stability and high impact strength are properties of this type of seal. This makes them a worthy choice for internally located applications like slot machines, where the heat generation can be quite high
Things being moved, which are vulnerable to tampering or security breach, need to be securely packaged. Bagging of items remains an everyday and practical solution in either a high security reusable lockable bag, a high security single use bag or a disposable sealable bag.
High security, single use bags
Bags are practical and can accommodate a wide range of contents. Once correctly secured and opening or lifting of the strip is attempted, visual evidence (discolouration, distortion, display of a security message) will indicate a security breach. The bags are uniquely numbered for traceability. These bags can be supplied as clear or opaque (non-transparent) options and are successful in securing documents, examination papers, forensic evidence, cash, patient belongings, mobile electronic devices, gaming accessories, firearms, keys, access cards etc.
Disposable, sealable bags
An innovative, simple to use, numbered bag solution. The ideal answer for trade returns (FMCG, health & hygiene, consumer health, pharmaceuticals), goods transfer, sampling, secure goods storage, evidence retention and quality monitoring.
High security reusable bags
Versapak manufacturers high quality tamper evident pouches, bags and security seals. The tamper evident pouches, used by businesses to store and transport documents and sensitive items, are reusable over 2,000 times and come with a five year guarantee.
Multi-trip, re-usable, sealable tote bins are durable, moulded plastic boxes which come in various sizes. Their hinged lids are commonly supplied with holes to accommodate pull through seal or seals specifically designed for tote bins. With the lids folded back, the bins can nest for easier storage. It is important to consider the practicality of the supply chain, bearing in mind the re-usable nature of this product. If the tote cannot be returned to the point of despatch, it may be an expensive & non-viable solution. These bins are successfully used to move high value products like FMCG items, mobile electronic devices, cell phones, automotive parts, gaming accessories, examination papers, confidential documents and cash.
Security Labels & tape
Where applications cannot be satisfied with mechanical ‘tie-tag’ seals, self adhesive seals or security labels could be the answer.
Where applications cannot be satisfied with mechanical ‘tie-tag’ seals, self adhesive seals or security labels could be the answer. This range addresses needs requiring overt (unconcealed) or covert (hidden) solutions, non-residue leaving solutions and ones which leave stubborn remainders which could intensify the visual evidence of tampering. Popular uses include aircraft doors, product packaging, asset marking, warranty authentication, metal casings, plastic housings and cardboard boxes.
Asset management specific tags
ICS offer a range of asset tags to help manage assets in general operating environments and also in extreme manufacturing, mining and industrial environments. Barcoded for digitised management – these labels are highly customizable offering multi-colour logos, fonts, photos, graphics and barcode formats.
Box security is a contentious matter. It’s the easiest form of packaging goods for storage or transit but boxes can be easily be cut along the box joins, the contents pilfered or compromised (Part 108 compliance) and the box simply re-taped with generic tape or even branded tape. This presents a false sense of security. Authentic security tape shows vivid signs of lifting and tampering with irreversible features. This tape is available through an exclusive channel of supply which discourages retail distribution to protect the user against fraudulent use. The premium tape option is perforated in strips to optimise usage, is uniquely numbered for traceability, this number transfers to the substrate when lifted and it can contain a company’s logo in its hidden message. Most used for the securing of cardboard boxes, envelopes, wooden crates and pallets can achieve better security with security tape.
Re-usable security seals
Sealing technology certainly does benefit from the inclusion of electronic functionality. For customers who find the management of disposable seals too onerous, wasteful or risky, an electronic, re-usable sealing option may be a viable consideration.
Reusable truck seals
By virtue of their design, tautliners, curtain sided vehicles, soft sided vehicles are vulnerable to tampering. Multiple ratchet buckles call for a sealing method which is secure and practical. Taurus®, ICS’ patent protected, re-usable solution presents the answer to a common challenge in the logistics arena. Custom supplied to fit your truck or fleet configuration, this 8mm galvanized rope is passed through the holes in the buckles and secured at limited strategic points. It is small enough to pass through the holes with ease, but thick enough to prevent the release of the buckle. Simple innovation giving clever results. The original is always the first. Beware of cheap imitations that won’t work nor will last.
Security key rings
Key control is a common problem across industry spectrums. Secure key rings can help minimise these headaches. Designed to secure keys on a ring, which once closed, cannot be opened to remove keys for unauthorised cutting. The key rings are uniquely numbered for traceability. Key removal involves actual breaking or cutting of the device, which clearly indicates that key removal had been attempted. Two options exist: hand closure or tool closure. The option requiring a closing tool also requires two additional tools; for crimping and cutting. Secure, neat & controlled.