The Benefits of Connected Packaging

This post is a summary of a whitepaper about the benefits of using new technology to create “connected” packaging on the Packaging Strategies website. It is written by Dr Avi Chaudhuri, Chief Scientist at Systech. Systech provides digital product authentication and traceability solutions to combat counterfeiting, prevent diversion and meet regulatory compliance. Systech has experience in pharmaceutical serialization, their brand protection software products deliver real-time insight, actionable product data, digital connectivity and consumer engagements functionality needed to fight supply chain threats.

Three Challenges Faced by Brands

There are three challenges currently facing brands – fraud prevention  – protecting against counterfeiting, keeping up with the trend of getting customer engagement via mobile and traceability of their products in a global economy.

Software to Help Deal with the Fraud and Engagement Challenges

The white paper explains how new brand protection software is able to provide brands with a new, more reliable way to deal with these three challenges. While the paper is clearly written to promote the Systech brand protection software, the 10-page paper is well-written and has excellent graphics explaining how the software works and the benefits – anti-fraud, customer engagement and marketing opportunities and business intelligence. An example of one graphic is shown below.

Connected digital packaging

Old Fraud Prevention Technology No Longer Works

The paper explains how old fraud prevention technologies which involved analog offerings such as a visual feature such as a hologram, watermark, colour-shifting ink etc no longer work as fraudsters have become more sophisticated.

New Requirements for Brand Protection

The paper sums up the new requirements for brand owners as follows:

They require technology that
• “gives them the means to engage with their customers to provide information or reward
• ensures it is executed through a packaging technology that cannot be cloned or reverse-engineered by counterfeiters
• use the reward-information gateway to create a surrogate means for brand protection
• does all this (if possible) without changing or adding anything to the package.

The latter is a highly-coveted requirement not only to contain cost but due to
the very fact that brand owners are averse to placing an extra barcode or any
additional feature onto the artwork of their perfectly designed package.”

How the Fraud Prevention Software Works with Packaging

Systech Software works as follows:

fraud software on packaging

“The linear barcode that is present on all consumer packages provides the locus for the “covert noise”  (the technology). This is the exact solution that has been developed by Systech, providing the only offering where a common feature of the package artwork is used in the “fingerprinting” process.” (“Fingerprinting” means the process of each barcode receiving the unique data for that one individual product)

“As shown in the figure above, Systech places a camera and associated devices needed to image the barcode either on the packaging line or at the package supplier location. Once the barcodes are fingerprinted through Systech’s platform for a given program they are stored in a secure cloud. The products can then be released into the marketplace where both authentication and engagement activities can unfold via a smartphone app.”

You can read the original white paper here.