When you’re in the food or pharmaceutical industry, you need packaging that does more than sell your products. You also need printing and packaging solutions that protect your food or medication products, offer consumers relevant information, prevent counterfeiting, and act as a barrier against harmful conditions that could damage your products’ integrity.
But what if you had packaging that also alerted customers about whether your product was safe to use? For instance, what if your medication came with a sensor that told consumers exactly when the product expired, or what if your package insert was coded to assume that the correct dosage instructions were married to the right medication?
Intelligent printing and packaging incorporates the most important aspects of today’s printing and packaging marketing and then integrates marketing with advanced technology to make your product better than ever. Below, we discuss some of the ways you can utilize intelligent printing and packaging to successfully protect, track, and market your products.
What Is Intelligent Packaging and Printing?
Intelligent packaging, also known as active packaging and smart packing, means using retail containers to improve a product or a customer’s experience with the product. Most intelligent packaging affects industries where products are particularly fragile, perishable, or otherwise sensitive, especially the food and pharmaceutical industries.
For instance, if you ship medications across the country, intelligent packaging can let you and your consumers know if the product has been damaged or compromised in any way.Usage, dosage and instruction information via a folded insert can be coded to stay with a medication or product to reduce the opportunities for mispackaging, labeling or counterfeiting.
What Features Does Intelligent Packaging and Printing Offer?
Intelligent packaging uses a variety of methods to extend your products’ shelf life, enhance your customers’ safety, and detect your products’ freshness level. Common intelligent packaging and printing features include the following.
- Chemical Indicators
Advanced intelligent packaging often contains indicators that monitor the presence of specific chemicals in the product. For example, in the food industry, a chemical indicator may report the chemistry of the food contained in a package. These food industry packages let consumers know when their milk or meat products have expired.
These indicators provide much more reliable guidelines than expiration date estimates because they report the chemical changes found in spoiled food. Use of these indicators can save businesses money in inventory and reduce food waste overall.
- Identification and Tracking
Tracking tags and other security measures also fall under intelligent packaging. Common packaging security measures include:
- Article surveillance. You probably have cameras on your property, but did you know that you can surveil specific high-risk items? Electronic article surveillance devices adhere either to the product or the package to decrease the risk of theft.
- Counterfeit indicators. Many products, such as designer accessories, are subject to counterfeiting. One of the most effective ways to detect counterfeit articles is through security printing. This process produces specific labels that are difficult to duplicate or replace.
- Do we want to add the invisible ink printed codes matching insert to label to package?
- RFID tags. Radio-frequency identification chips provide you with tracking information for products of all shapes and sizes.
These identification, protection, and tracking methods don’t just work on cartons and boxes. You can find these elements of intelligent printing and packaging on printed materials like pharmaceutical inserts and miniature inserts. Flottman Company specializes in serialization matching with coded inserts and coded painted packaging. These codes and serialization methods can be as obvious or covert as desired including the use of invisible inks – visible only under UV on black light.
- Time and Temperature Indicators
Many products, especially foods and medications, have specific condition requirements. Intelligent packaging reduces the risk of mistakes that compromise your inventory.
For example, time and temperature indicators in the pharmaceutical industry report how long an item has been out of refrigeration, as well as its actual temperature. This data helps employees keep life-saving medication and other important items in good condition.
- Additional Information to Improve Customer Education
Much of the extensive customer information found on well-designed packaging falls under intelligent packaging. This printed information may include special disposal instructions, safety warnings, or dispensing guidelines.
How Can You Incorporate Intelligent Packaging and Printing?
Do you want to see how intelligent packaging and printing solutions can protect your products against counterfeiting. Talk to our experts about smart packaging for your unique business. We’ll help you use your packaging to optimize the way your customers interact with your company and to keep your products safe.
You’re always welcome to meet with the professionals specific to your pharmaceutical needs at Rxperts Group a Flottman Company in person to see our intelligent printing and packaging solutions.
From serialization, invisible ink and code marker solutions, we can connect your package insert directly to the label, the package and the product.