Smart packaging

08-09-2023 | Posted by Principia

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It is expected that the smart packaging business will grow by more than 13% in 2023 and exceed 8.6 billion dollars. It is a growing trend, increasingly common among brands that want to offer their consumers more complete shopping experiences with information about the products they are buying.

Smart packaging uses technology to improve its functionality and features, which can include temperature, humidity, and other factors that can affect the quality and freshness of the product, as well as QR codes or other technologies to provide nutritional information, supply details, and other relevant data about the product.

Smart packaging can be passive or active. The former uses information technologies to track the status of products but does not actively interact with the environment; that is, it only verifies, tracks, monitors, and provides information. The latter is capable of influencing the product or its environment, controlling, for example, humidity, oxygen, or temperature levels or eliminating bacteria to prolong shelf life.

Some types of smart packaging include:

  • Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)
  • Controlled atmosphere packaging (CAP)
  • Active film packaging
  • Intelligent skin packaging
  • Time and temperature indicator labels (TTI)
  • Reversible indicator labels (RIL).

Benefits for the entire supply chain

Many sectors benefit from this technology, but if there is one that stands out, it is the food industry. For the agri-food industry, packaging is almost as important as its content because it helps maintain storage conditions and prevents contamination by degradation or transfer of materials that may affect appearance, taste, or quality.

As already mentioned, smart packaging can perform functions ranging from tracking a product to indicating its environment’s pH or temperature. Communication along the supply chain will optimise relevant processes. The supplier can modify its production, handling, or packaging processes to extend the product’s shelf life and improve information at the point of sale. As for the end consumer, the possible usefulness of smart packaging goes far beyond traceability; the connection of packaging with IoT (Internet of Things) can offer much more sustainable and useful shopping experiences.
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Chemical sensors, pressure or temperature sensors are some of the resources being introduced into packaging to optimise product packaging and transportation to the point of sale. The benefits are countless: waste reduction, traceability, quality maintenance, informed decisions, and improved customer experiences. That is, information and analysis of dozens of parameters, end to end, for each participant in the supply chain.

To identify the possibilities offered by new technologies in packaging design, simulation tools are an indispensable ally for the designer. The SIMULIA software allows virtually checking the behaviour of any packaging through simulations that analyse behaviour, resistance, and other parameters in various situations to understand how they affect the entire supply chain.

At Principia, we are experts in simulation software and can help you innovate in your processes and product design, optimising your supply chain and adding value to your customers’ shopping experience. Contact us, and we will advise you without obligation.

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