Smart Packaging Authenticates ProductTue Nov 20, 2018
Smart Packaging Authenticates Product
The Future of Smart Packaging to 2021, a report from Smithers Pira, estimates the global market for smart packaging will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8% to reach a projected value of $7.8 billion by 2021.
The market is divided into two segments, active packaging and intelligent packaging. Active packaging is more established and includes technology such as shelf-life-extending desiccants and scavengers, self-venting packaging and susceptors. Intelligent packaging provides ways to interact with a product to deliver information, receive and store data and confirm authenticity or product condition. Intelligent packaging technologies include QR codes, near-field communication (NFC) and radio frequency identification (RFID) and often depend on printed electronics, Smartphones, Smartphone apps, the Cloud and the Internet.
With counterfeiting of drug products and other high-value items showing no signs of slowing down, product authentication and counterfeit prevention continue to rank as top-of-mind for brand owners.
Fortunately, intelligent packaging components equipped with interactive technologies can add levels of protection beyond the passive anticounterfeiting technologies used previously.
NFC and RFID are used in both labels and packaging components. The NFCap from Kisico with integrated NFC tag works with a Smartphone app to provide covert product protection. In addition to authenticating the product, the tag can record when and where the bottle was opened, present dosage instructions and product information, deliver reminders to take a dose or provide an alert about an approaching expiration date. Some NFC-equipped labels are designed to serve as data loggers that monitor temperatures experienced by the product.
Another authentication option for products in bottles, the eSeal from eAgile, integrates a uniquely encoded RFID inlay between the closure and the induction seal. It can serve as a drop-in replacement for conventional caps and seals and is compatible with most plastic and treated glass containers.
An NFC-equipped label from Schreiner Medipharm and corresponding Smartphone app digitally authenticate autoinjectors so users can verify if the device has been opened. The NFC chip also can help deliver product information, demo videos or special apps to support patients during self-administration. Integrated geo-tracking makes it possible to detect gray market activities. The Autoinjector-Label technology can be adapted to existing label designs and does not affect device operation.
It’s also possible for an existing barcode to serve as an authentication tool and allow partners and patients to exchange product information in real time via technology developed by Systech. Microscopic variations in print and substrate mean that each barcode actually represents a unique ink pattern, or e-Fingerprint®. This image is stored in the Cloud and can be used for authentication at any point in the supply chain using Systech’s UniSecure® mobile device app.
Of course, serialized codes and two-dimensional barcodes such as QR codes also can serve as authentication tools while meeting traceability requirements.
For labels or flexible packaging, the SecuriLam™ intelligent laminate from TruTag Technologies embeds microscopic encoded silica particles, or TruTags®, into standard adhesive laminate ﬁlm. These programmable TruTags are not visible to the naked eye and do not aﬀect the ﬁnish of the laminate. The nano-porous microtags are made of high-purity silicon dioxide, a food-grade material, which is Generally Recognized as Safe by FDA. TruTags enable field verification of information such as manufacturing location, product type and authorized distribution area. The SecuriLam laminate can be authenticated instantly at any point in the supply chain using TruTag’s proprietary authentication devices. The laminate recently was recognized as the 2018 New Product of the Year in the Loss Prevention category by Security Today magazine.
The NFC-tag-equipped Autoinjector-Label wraps around the unit including the cap and digitally authenticates the product.