With the industry placing a premium on speed, quality and efficiency for label printers, we must also remember that there are increasing opportunities for brands and consumers to change their experience with labels and packaging. Smart labeling can change the packaging landscape in a number of ways, from combating counterfeit goods to revolutionizing the retail experience.
Yes, a label must look good on the shelf, but it can also be functional.
Avery Dennison, a materials supplier based in Mentor, OH, USA, has spent more than a decade developing smart technologies. "As the world's largest RAIN UHF RFID partner, Avery Dennison is constantly keeping a pulse on the industry and innovating in the space to meet the needs of emerging segments," explains Jay Wittmann, product manager, Intelligent Labels, Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials. "These platforms enable businesses to access valuable data through digital identification to improve efficiencies, increase sales and continue to delight consumers."
Avery Dennison has seen increased adoption in a wide variety of markets. Retail apparel continues to be the largest adopter of the technology, but cosmetics, aviation, food and pharma continue to gain share. Recent inlay advances have helped accommodate the size and shape of many difficult cosmetics products like lipsticks and eyeliners. For airlines, a recent IATA report cited plans between airports and airlines to bring RFID to 80% of air travel baggage within the next three years.
In food and pharma, packaging plays a critical role in the consumer's health. According to Wittmann, RFID can reduce food waste by up to 20% by accurately aligning inventory with variable demand, improving processes, optimizing production, increasing visibility of expiry dates and facilitating food donations.
He adds, "Healthcare is one of the fastest growing markets. We are expecting a 17% CAGR through 2024 in this space, as more hospitals use RFID to track consumables, such as bandages, gauze, surgical sponges, intravenous fluids and even patients and other personnel. We are also beginning to see end users looking into intelligent labels for consumer engagement."
Avery Dennison has taken a number of strides to enhance its position in this market, including working with industry-leading partners, such as NXP and Impinj, to deliver versatile and high-performance RFID products. These partnerships have helped address applications that have traditionally been...