Smart packaging to inform on the status of a product

2022年2月16日

Connected objects have revolutionized warehouse management and the logistics sector in general. Today, even packaging is getting a batch of technologies that are supposed to make it more "intelligent". Smart packaging gives traditional packaging a new dimension: information, security and control. 

What is smart packaging ?

 

Until now, traditional packaging protected products from the outside world, mainly through its material or shape, to protect from light, humidity and to facilitate handling. 

 

Intelligent packaging now makes it possible to monitor the condition of what it contains, both in the warehouse and during transport. This packaging is capable of analyzing the external environment and, knowing its effects on its contents to react, protect the product and inform the operator.  

 

There are two kinds of enhanced packaging.  

 

Intelligent packaging

 

Intelligent packaging tells the user about the state of the package during its transit. It often consists of a sensor added to the inside or outside of the package, which indicates the temperature, the position or stability of the package during transport, its expiration date, etc. 

 

Technologies that make packaging smart:

 

  • Sensors. They are fixed on the packaging and monitor the outside temperature and humidity level. Indicators for cold or hot work continuously and change color when the product is exposed to an abnormal temperature for a long time. Some only indicate that there has been a change in temperature, others are able to show how long the product has been out of the correct temperature range. 
  • Shock or spill indicators. In the same way as for the temperature, they are colored to indicate to the operator that the product has been kept in a wrong position for too long. 

 

Active packaging 

 

The active packaging protects the product by activating when it is exposed to risks of degradation.The desiccant bag found in shoeboxes is an example of active packaging, as it activates when the shoe is subjected to moisture. This is active packaging as an addition to the original packaging. 

 

Packaging itself can be an active element. This is the case with ESD packaging, which is ideal for packaging electronic products and protects against electrostatic discharges. 

 

In the food industry 

 

Packaging has become necessary to better control what can expire and to take care of fragile foodstuffs that should not be subjected to frequent shocks or temperature changes

 

The simple addition of a sensor on the packaging allows whole pallets of products not to be wasted because of bad handling during transport, of which nobody was aware because the packaging did not give any information. 

 

  • In 2020, 21% of food waste was during processing in factories and 14% during distribution in stores. 

 

Because today's consumers want to know what they have in their hands, they want to know how their product was raised, produced and processed. They want to know where their food comes from and they also pay attention to the type of packaging they have in their hands. Intelligent packaging allows for better traceability to reassure the consumer, avoid food poisoning and identify the cause of problems when they occur.   

 

In addition to facilitating the exchange of information between the product and the person handling it or wishing to consume it, innovative packaging is a real marketing asset since it facilitates and accelerates the purchasing process. 

 

In the pharmaceutical sector 

 

Intelligent packaging reinforces the correct transport and storage of medicine. It is a product that must respect certain temperatures and remain in a compliant environment. 

 

In addition to temperature indicators, other technologies allow for better control of the product during transport and handling. Some packaging makes life easier for the consumer even after delivery, by providing information about their medication or reminding them daily to take it. 

Smart packaging to inform on the status of a product

Monstock is the inventory (WMS) and flow (TMS) solution that helps you optimize your supply chain operations to, for example, guarantee the cold chain of your products. The packaging of your products is a key point of your strategy, but you have to know how to use and manage them in order to benefit from them. 

The use of Monstock warehouse management software will help you to control your packaging, transfers between sites and deliveries in the best conditions.  

 

For more information : contact Monstock Team

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