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Startup Says It Has Cost-Effective Means to RFID-Enable Packaging
Hide-Pack's system embeds an RFID inlay into the joint of a box during manufacturing, protecting the tag and eliminating the need for an externally applied RFID label.
Oct 13, 2007—For years, box manufacturers have been searching for a means of cost-effectively embedding RFID tags into packaging. Doing so could provide a significant competitive advantage in that industry by providing a streamlined means for consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers to meet the RFID-tagging requirements issued by their customers—namely, retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target.
Hide-Pack, a packaging solutions startup based in Montreal, claims it has discovered a method of integrating RFID inlays into boxes that doesn't slow box production and can reduce the costs for CPG manufacturers to RFID-enable the cases of goods they sell. Furthermore, the company says its process operates in a manner that was previously thought to be a bad idea: by placing the inlay inside a box joint.
To bring this patent-pending approach to market, Hide-Pack has partnered with Domino Integrated Solutions Group (Domino IGS), a provider of auto-ID technologies and data-integration services for the packaging industry. Domino says it will provide the Hide-Pack solution—which includes the company's inlay-insertion technology, an RFID inlay reader and applicator, on-site education, feasibility studies, and pilot and project design, as well as full integration and implementation services—to box manufacturers, for approximately $150,000 per packaging line.
Paul de Blois, Hide-Pack's VP and general manager, says CPG manufacturers under tagging requirements stand to realize significant cost savings by purchasing RFID-enabled packaging from box makers rather than adding RFID-enabled labels themselves prior to shipping goods to retailers. The bare RFID inlay that the Hide-Pack system would embed into a box is 35 percent cheaper, de Blois explains, than an RFID label a CPG manufacturer might currently place on the outside of a box.
In addition, de Blois adds, CPG companies could lower their infrastructure costs by using Hide-Pack cases since they would not need to purchase RFID printer-encoders and label applicators. Other benefits companies could realize by using RFID-enabled boxes, de Blois says, include the ability to begin tracking and tracing products earlier in the supply chain, and integrating RFID data into a company's transportation and warehouse management systems.
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