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Smart Packaging Industry Estimated to Reach $6 Billion By 2023

At a recent AIPIA event, Smithers Pira addressed how inventory control, validity, authenticity, security and the consumer experience will all be impacted by technologies such as RFID; other companies presented their latest innovations.
By Edson Perin
Jun 24, 2019

The time has come when the technology in packaging is in the materials in which a product is packaged. Due to the excessive waste generated on the planet, this aspect of the evolution of boxes, bottles, trays and sachets continues to rise, with surveys being conducted at agencies such as Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), which is looking for biodegradable materials to pack without creating pollution. Identifying products, counting stock, controlling validity and authenticity, providing security against theft and ensuring a pleasurable consumer experience are among the most current goals.

The smart packaging sector is estimated to reach $6 billion by 2023, according to Smithers Pira's "The Future of Active and Intelligent Packaging to 2023" consultancy report. The data was presented to the public at the Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) event, held in New Jersey on June 3-4, 2019, which brought together solution providers and buyers, including representatives from paper companies. Most of the solutions incorporated radio frequency identification (RFID), primarily Near Field Communication (NFC) and passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags. Also shown were systems based on image reading, as well as hybrid solutions utilizing RFID.

HP Brazil, for example, was an exhibitor as a smart packaging user. The firm showcased its innovative case study that won an RFID Journal Award at the RFID Journal LIVE! 2019 conference and exhibition (held in Phoenix, Ariz., on Apr. 2-4). HP employs a hybrid UHF RFID system, which has been in use for more than 15 years, in conjunction with digitally printed packaging with watermarks invisible to human eyes.

Reinaldo Villar, HP's business strategy manager, presented his company's case study at the AIPIA conference. HP's innovation made it possible to eliminate a large amount of instruction manuals, CDs and other paperwork that used to be included inside the boxes of one of its printer models, greatly reducing the number of items that would otherwise end up going to waste in a consumer's home. As a result, HP stopped using 78 tons of carbon per year.

HP's Reinaldo Villar presents the hybrid solution used by his company with RFID and smart packaging.

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