Smart Technology in Pharma Packaging Inks

A recent PMMI Business Intelligence survey discussed the use of smart inks in packaging for brand protection and traceability.

Brand managers using covert or smart technology.
Brand managers using covert or smart technology.

Inks play a major role, with hidden ink crystals embedded in a varnish layer that can be detected with a smartphone. Intelligent inks provide real-time stocking data for interactive shelves. Allows remote price changes!

Data strings are an extra layer to authenticate brands such as hiding a unique serialized code that has to read with an optical decoder lens, smartphone app or scanner. These embedded strings of data can also hide inside a picture.

Holograms, 2D barcodes and hidden taggants can be added to inks, varnishes and other materials as well. All serve to add another layer of high-level security.

A packaging engineer for confections and snacks said, “We are considering color-changing inks to indicate temperature or date has exceeded requirements or date of products, but the technology isn’t there yet, and it’s too pricey.”

“Using holograms and color changing inks,” said one senior packaging design engineer for a craft brewery. “Always look at new technologies to engage the consumer.”

A senior principal packaging engineer for Rx drugs said, “Using proprietary, overt printing technologies for security.”

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence, Brand Protection and Product Traceability 2016.

Download the entire study here.

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