Xeikon develops new ‘smart label’ solution

03 March 2020

Developed with UPM Raflatac and Magic Add, this cloud-based application enables track-and-trace capability for labels.

Xeikon presented its latest advancements at Labelexpo Europe, and among them was a new "smart label" solution developed and created in partnership with UPM Raflatac and Magic Add. Demonstrations are being held at Xeikon and UPM Raflatac’s stands at the show.

The cloud-based application enables track-and-trace capability for labels. It is designed to help brand owners wanting to bring labels and packaging online, they are now better able to measure the success of their campaigns or to control the supply chain. This product is designed to achieve consumer trust and confidence in the brands, and bring added value to the end user.

Jeroen Van Bauwel, director of product management at Xeikon, explains, “More and more brands want to say ‘we are providing the authentic product.’ In creating this smart label solution for brand owners, we have worked with UPM Raflatac and Magic Add to put the ‘smart’ part into label design. Many industries are integrating technology into their product lines and producing ‘smart’ products to meet current trends. Xeikon continues to utilise the constant advancements in technology for the benefit of the label community. This smart label solution incorporates technology that extends the functionality of labels and packaging beyond traditional print methods. What’s exciting is the technology behind the action.”

Every package is made with an image, text, a number or a code, and it is ready to be scanned with standard applications. There are a number of options, such as QR codes, that give consumers the ability to track their product throughout its complete life cycle. End users can trace the place of origin of their product and every step from there through to the consumer. They can check storage conditions during transport and track the journey of the product from supplier to retailer. Knowing that their product is authentic gives the consumer confidence to trust the brand. 

Engaging with the consumer through smart labels offers creative possibilities. Information can include recipes, wine recommendations, details and advice on food calories, health and dietary information. Importantly for the pharmaceutical sector, an extra layer of information can be added to communicate on vital guidelines and safety warnings. In the food sector, brands can use the smart label to show the origin and composition of their product. This is a good example of one of the key benefits of Xeikon’s smart label solution. Because the smart label makes the product uniquely traceable, each end user can be sure that every single unit they buy has been tracked through its whole production cycle and meets legislation requirements for purity and health and safety compliance. 

Xeikon’s smart label solution works in a number of ways. The end user benefits from the engagement and the experience of access to added value information and advice, while the brand owner and the product supplier can gather data, which helps them research into consumer preferences and the most popular products. Converters can widen their application range and offer new functionality to their customers, and marketers can plan more meaningful and targeted campaigns.

Through Xeikon’s smart label solution, brand owners searching for new ways to maximise their brands can see who is buying their product and build a buyer’s profile that adds to the market intelligence, which helps them meet consumer demand. 

Xeikon has been demonstrating examples of its smart label solution at Labelexpo. Using three bags of coffee with three different label designs, the experiment has shown the brand owners which out of the three is the "best seller" in the market. The example reveals live data showing the tracing of the coffee to a specific farmer, and the tracking of the product through its journey to the store and to the end user. 

Van Bauwel concludes, “Every new development comes under our commitment to ‘Transform’ the world of labels. Xeikon has the experience, the expertise, the tools and the technology available to make smart label solutions a reality. We are recognised as a technology agnostic supplier and a trusted advisor to the label community. Every product we bring to market is designed and created for tomorrow’s challenges. Our mission is to provide added-value solutions and automate label production. We are excited about these new 'smart' developments and can see many opportunities for brand owners and converters to benefit. We are delighted to have presented our smart label solution at Labelexpo 2019 in its 40th Anniversary Year."