Did the product arrive in optimal condition? How is it possible to confirm that the cold chain was not interrupted during transport? How is it possible to know where the product is at all times?
These are some of the questions that the packaging industry is currently answering. In the pharmaceutical sector as well as in the personal care and cosmetics sectors, smart packaging refers to integrated packaging systems with state-of-the-art features to simplify the way the product is used and facilitate the interaction the user has with it. Furthermore, ‘smart packs’ ensure the safety of the product they contain by preserving its physical and chemical integrity, its authenticity and its manufacturing characteristics until it is used.
Smart packaging uses design, connectivity and/or data-driven intelligence to offer added value to consumers.
By simply scanning the code on the packaging, a multitude of information can be accessed; in fact, smart packs are rigorously designed to benefit people and enrich their shopping experience through ease of use and information.
5 technologies on which smart packaging is based
It is essential to know the main technological advances that are enabling the packaging industry to make the leap:
- Smart’ inks: they contain thermochromic substances that react to changes in temperature, or photochromic substances that react to light exposure. These solutions, once integrated into the packaging, actively communicate important information, as they highlight the conditions to which the packaging has been exposed.
- Radio Frequency Identification labels (RFID): the advantage RFID label is that the reading systems do not require direct contact and can scan several labels at the same time. This translates into great time savings in logistics management and stock control.
- Near-field Communication (NFC) sensors: unlike RFID tags, this system is compatible with smartphones and forms the basis of contactless payment technology, so the end user is already familiar with how it works.
- Augmented reality: the combination of QR or NFC codes with smartphones makes the packaging offer extra functionality for the user. By doing so, companies can include extra information and obtain relevant data for loyalty and marketing programmes.
Digital Watermark: this is the inclusion of codes invisible to the naked eye on the packaging that can be identified using specific readers or smartphones. Beyond improving interaction with the packaging, this system protects brands and companies from counterfeiting and forgery.
Technology is one of the fundamental pillars on which the development of smart packaging is based, which is why at Maca we are always studying industry trends to design and develop solutions that meet our customers’ needs.
Do you need to realise a project in the pharmaceutical or personal care sector? Contact us!
We will find the best solutions to ‘dress’ your brand’s product in light and value.