A counterfeit network analyzer based on RFID and EPC

S. K. Kwok, S. L. Ting, Albert H.C. Tsang, Chi Fai Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to focus on the design of a counterfeit network analyzer (CNA) for aggregating all the problematic product flows in order to discover any counterfeit distribution source, and to control the spread of counterfeit goods. The analyzer leverages radio frequencyidentification (RFID) information stored within the electronic product code(EPC) network.Design/methodology/approach - The system architecture of theproposed CNA is first discussed. A case study of the system application in a Hong Kong pharmaceutical manufacturing company then presents the adoptionprocess and the challenges encountered in such technologies. Findings - Compared with traditional approaches, the results show that the proposed RFID solution is reliable and is capable of discovering counterfeit distributions, as well as reducing the detection costs by means of higher product movement visibility within the supply chain. Practical implications - A prototype system has been constructed and trial implemented in a pharmaceutical manufacturing company. It proved to be of benefit to the manufacturer who is able to deter product counterfeiting effectively and visualize real-time supply chain data automatically. Originality/value - The proposed CNA is designed to overcome issues of information invisibility, which is considered a huge cost lost in the identification of counterfeit products, loss of sales and reputation associated with the counterfeiting, and ineffective product authentication in the manufacturing industry. This paper contributes to the RFID research in the counterfeiting area by studying the feasibility and practicality of shifting the focus of product identification from the traditional package redesign solutions to the visualization of the movement of the product (i.e. product supply chain) via the use of RFID and EPC. Furthermore, a pharmaceutical manufacturing site provided a case study for discussing the advantages, critical issues for implementation of the RFID system, and lessons learned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1037
Number of pages20
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • Codes
  • Counterfeiting
  • Inventory control
  • Production management
  • Radio frequencies
  • Tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Industrial relations
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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