Scientific Game

Sealing the Deal

If you’ve never heard of Mega Fortris, that’s because this leading maker of secure containers and locks for transporting playing cards and other casino assets is so good at what they do

Thursday, 10 July 2014 16:12
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When it comes to protecting valuable goods in transit, Malaysia-based Mega Fortris is acknowledged as a world leader, a reputation the company has honed over nearly two decades designing and manufacturing effective and affordable seals, locks, cases and pouches for industries ranging from transportation, logistics and banking to chemicals and pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, food and beverage and IT. 

In the casinos of Macau, Singapore and the Philippines, Mega Fortris’ transparent polycarbonate boxes—“vaults,” as they’re called—are as ubiquitous as the playing cards and chips they are purpose-built to guard from tampering and theft.

In fact, gaming has grown into such an important segment of Mega Fortris’ business—good these days for 10% or more of the company’s annual turnover of RM100 million-plus (US$31 million)—the company is expanding into systems and came to G2E Asia 2014 with a new software package in tow that provides real-time tracking and auditing of table operations and business processes bolstered by a kit of sophisticated security, surveillance and inventory-control tools. It’s called Mega Casino Management System and it’s already running in the Philippines’ newest showplace, Solaire Resort & Casino. The fully integrated support it provides for nearly all input devices and existing third-party legacy systems makes it a good fit for existing properties as well as those under development, says Marketing Director Olivia Lee, who describes it as a “more practical, easier, more user-friendly” alternative and one “high in security”.

Security is Mega Fortris’ stock in trade. Its Mega Casino Box, the “vault” that is perhaps the best-known of its gaming products, is a trusted application in financial services, banking, retail and law enforcement as well.

It’s designed to ensure its contents are both safe and visible at a glance, so it’s extremely durable, which also makes it extremely cost-effective, capable of delivering years of use in the most demanding environments. The lid is made for efficient stacking, which saves space and time in transit, and features a back-stop mechanism to prevent it from slipping off.

The company is similarly known and trusted for the metal, plastic and nylon seals that secure the Mega Casino Box and containers and bags of all kinds and uses. Though they appear to be simple products, they’re critically important. Mega Fortris built its reputation on them. It’s a business Managing Director Adrian Ng, who co-founded the company in 1996 with his brother and Executive Chairman Nick Ng, learned in Europe working for another sealmaker.

“We dared to be different and introduced a revolutionary security seal that was totally different from the conventional ones,” as Adrian recalled for the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM). “Our security seal shows the locking mechanism whereas all the conventional ones hide [theirs]. We had to educate, teach, convince and convert users to see it from our point of view. We were of the opinion that users during that time lacked knowledge about the full purpose and benefits of security seals, and we were prepared to share our knowledge with them.”

Seals generally are made to be used only once, and Mega Fortris has developed them to the point where they now encompass about 80 types and styles. The company manufactures something like 30 million seal pieces a month. The latest, the Triple Lock Casino Seal, was shown at G2E Asia. It comes etched with high-security laser-marking so that identifying information such as names, logos, sequential numbers and barcodes cannot be removed or replaced. The white marking flap is permanently affixed to the seal body via an ultrasonic welding process for extra protection.

Success has enabled Mega Fortris’ service capabilities to grow alongside its knowledge and experience. The FMM’s 2012 “Manufacturer of the Year” in the largecompany category, its global reach now extends from a corporate headquarters and factory in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur to 12 offices in 10 countries and to authorized distributors in six more.

“We are always there for them [our customers],” as Ms Lee puts it. 

Servicing and upgrading the core product lines remain Job No. 1, but the company is not neglecting expansion into what it terms “digital security”. It’s a wide-open field, as Mega Fortris sees it. It takes in improvements to the Mega Casino Management System and also finds the company exploring breakthroughs in areas such as RFID, a technology it has been working on for some time with its ISIS system, an integrated end-to-end monitoring solution for seals, padlocks and pallets. Discussions are under way in markets across the region about deploying it for the tracking of playing cards, which would dovetail nicely with Mega.

“We are already enabled for it. We can implement it tomorrow,” Ms Lee says. “We are looking forward, if we can, to installing it in Solaire and subsequently anywhere. It’s just a matter of whether a casino decides to move into that area.”

 

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