Print in the Channel - issue #7


Read the label Secure label printing is becoming prevalent in a wide variety of industries as the need for security and the ability to track goods at every step of their journey intensifies, which means resellers have great opportunities to sell into different sectors.

Secure traceability of items from high- value electronic equipment to medicines is becoming increasingly important in the UK and around the world as manufacturers and those in the supply chain seek to confirm the authenticity of items and effectively track them through their journey from manufacturer to the customer. A key part of this is secure labelling, as Elaine Wilkinson, EMEA Supplies Product Management at Zebra Technologies, notes. “We typically see the biggest use of secure labels within the manufacturing and retail space, particularly with large brands or where those organisations are producing or selling high-value items. For example, products such as smart phones, electronic equipment and designer clothes,” she says. Another sector that is increasingly using secure labelling is the pharma and healthcare sectors for medicines, Elaine adds. “This aligns with the Falsified Medical Directive (FMD),” she notes. “FMD came into force in the EU in February 2019 and requires that a unique identifier and an anti-tampering device be adhered to the outer packaging of medicines.” Other significant vertical markets for Zebra include transportation and logistics, where its mobile computing, barcoding scanning, labelling and radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies are an enabler through

global supply chains. “We also see demand for lower cost security solutions in retail, such as for price tagging applications,” Elaine adds. “The products that Zebra produce to support these requirements are typically paper-based labels that incorporate security slits.” RFID benefits Jay Kim, managing director of BIXOLON Europe GmbH, agrees that secure labels such as RFID labels are popular in retail organisations, where they are used to keep track of high value goods such as jewellery, clothes, food and beverages. “They are also used in manufacturing applications, especially where metallic surfaces are prevalent, and in the automotive and aerospace industries, in which there are often many components involved in the production process,” he adds. “RFID is also important for logistics and the supply chain, and is used on items such as shipping containers, which often have unique contents or are stacked, making it very difficult to access. In logistics, RFID is used when tracking a parcel through its journey. Tagging is also used in the healthcare or energy industries for liquids and gas ingredients which might have a safety warning.” There are numerous benefits of using RFID technology, Jay adds. “RFID labels can be used in conjunction with warehouse management systems to provide faster and more accurate receipt, storage and distribution of goods,” he says. “Using these labels removes the need for optical access to text and barcodes, so they can be hidden as their data can be accessed by a reader or a beacon, which improves the efficiency of product handling. They also allow for faster and easier monitoring of inventory within a warehouse and more efficient item picking as they carry information such as colour, size and weight, which can help to eliminate errors.” Jay adds that there has been a surge

Elaine Wilkinson EMEA Supplies Product Management


Powered by