BeaconSeal - Cargo Security Seal

Votes: 14
Views: 6691

Most currently available security seal technologies have been in use for decades. Frighteningly, the majority of the tamper seals on the market currently are easily defeated or counterfeited.

BeaconSeal's engineers in conjunction with tamper seal industry consultants developed a set of design goals necessary to address the shortcomings in existing tamper seal technology.         1. Simple to install, use and observe. 2. Tamper status is visually obvious from distance. 3. RFID technology to allow remote reading of the seal status in real time. 4. Disposable and capable of only one use. 5. Vibration, shock, and weather resistant. 6. Laser engraved serial numbers on all components. 7. Compact, lightweight, and Inexpensive. 8. Six month battery life in typical use. 9. Multiple electronic and mechanical security features to prevent counterfeiting and undetected tampering. 10. Durable construction conforms to ISO 17712 specifications required by U.S. Customs.

Rather than a purely mechanical device like most currently used tamper seals, BeaconSeal uses a micro-controller, electronic circuitry, fiber optics, RFID technology and custom embedded firmware, to add additional levels of security and cargo tracking information.

The BeaconSeal high security tamper seal design uses an armored optical fiber cable to create a security loop. The device includes a flashing green LED to indicate when the tag is properly sealed. If a break in the security loop is detected the unit will go into a permanent and irrevocable alarm condition flashing a red LED pattern continuously. Once activated, the LEDs will flash for approximately the six-month life of the batteries embedded in the unit. The device is designed for one time use and must be removed by the use of cable or bolt cutters.
A unique electronic serial number programmed into the seal’s electronics module can be read by security personnel to compare the electronic serial number with the factory assigned serial number engraved on the seal’s casing, cable, and lens to verify that the unit has not been replaced with a counterfeit. Additional customer specific information can also be stored electronically in the seal.

The aluminum housing and injection molded parts were designed and modeled using an in- house CAD/CAM system. Prototype housings were produced on our in-house CNC milling machine, CAD files for the plastic parts were sent to a rapid prototype house to produce a limited number of parts to verify the design.

The armored fiber optic cable proved to be a challenge as it required several design iterations to produce a manufacturable design that met BeaconSeal's strict requirements for strength and performance. BeaconSeal's engineers worked closely with a global network of suppliers and manufacturers to identify the armored optical cables manufacturability issues and contract a control cable manufacturer to source the custom armored fiber optic cable fabrication services.

The finished prototypes were submitted to a certified testing lab to meet compliance with ISO 17712 requirements.

Using BeaconSeals to secure shipments provides economic protection to the intellectual property of manufacturer's products in the global marketplace and insures customers get the products they believe they are buying.


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  • Name:
    Bill Forshey
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Bill Forshey
    David Denison
    Evan Harter
    Charlie Harter
    Peter Agnew
  • Software used for this entry:
    CadKey, Bobcad, Circuitmaker 2000
  • Patent status: