Packaging and Supply Chain Challenges at PACK EXPO '19

I recently attended PACK EXPO 2019 in Las Vegas, and boy… what a remarkable experience it was for me! It was my first PACK EXPO event—and for that matter my first packaging technology show—and it was quite an eye opener. I am relatively new to the space having worked at Systech for little over a year now. I must say that it seemed there was something for everyone at this show… from plant-based packing, to AI solutions, to fully automated packing solutions. I was most amazed by some of the robotics on the floor, but regardless of how simple or sophisticated the technology, my instinct is that attendees found a solution they were looking for no matter their challenge or need.

I am proud to announce that we launched our Systech Brand Protection Suite® at PACK EXPO. As I write this, I see a correlation between my observations on the show and our new platform which supports our client’s needs throughout their brand protection journey. Systech’s next-generation offering integrates the key pillars of brand protection in one holistic solution. There’s something for everyone—from serialization and traceability to digital product authentication and data-driven insight.

Industry Findings on the Show Floor

We spoke with many booth visitors from companies across industries who shared various supply chain and brand protection challenges. Below is a sampling:

  • One small biotech was looking for a serialization solution with a smaller footprint as they have low-volume, yet high-value packaging and serialization requirements. They also needed fast production speeds as the items were cold-chain living cells used in immunotherapy treatments.
  • A large pharma was interested in aggregating their serialized products, along with tamper evident seals, even though these are not FDA mandates. They were more interested in supply chain security and the track-and-trace benefits of aggregation.
  • We had many conversations with companies from cannabis to CPG around straight up counterfeiting and diversion/gray market trading… the bane of most supply chains woes.

A critical component of our brand protection suite is digital product authentication. Our patented “non-additive” technology essentially turns any existing barcode or QR code into a unique digital identifier or e-Fingerprint®. Our e-Fingerprint technology is at the leading edge of the “smart and connected” packaging revolution. One of our core messages is “your packaging is ALREADY connected.” I was explaining this to our PACK EXPO booth visitors, and I can tell you that many were incredulous until we took them through a live demo which turned them into believers.

For example, we spoke with a global plastics manufacturer who described their unique use case. The company was interested in the non-additive and covert features of our technology that offers geolocation capabilities using a mobile app. They wanted to reuse bottles and scan them upon return to confirm product authenticity. This process would allow them to extend product lifecycle… ultimately saving money and increasing sustainability. Following our demo, the representative was convinced of the value in our connected packaging technology solution.

Live Booth Demo – Systech Solutions in Action

Our PACK EXPO demo experience was extraordinary with the help of two key Systech partners, Markem-Imaje and UPak Global. Systech relies on strategic partners to improve and enhance our solutions.

  • UPak provided their U-Track FCG2, a print and inspect machine specially designed for primary package serialization, which was outfitted with a Markem industrial inkjet printer.
  • Markem-Imaje’s Colos® software was also integrated with our UniTrace® track-and-trace software, demonstrating true end-to-end connectivity across the supply chain—from manufacturing ERP data, to packaging, all the way to the consumer’s hands.
  • We showed in real time why serialization alone CANNOT prevent counterfeiting… but our e-Fingerprint technology can.

It was amazing to watch the team demonstrate our integrated solutions quickly in a convincing manner. See for yourself in this eight-minute video from the show!

If you attended PACK EXPO Las Vegas, I am sure of two things: you got in more than your 10k steps each day; and you saw an overwhelming array of amazing technology and packing solutions. Based on what I saw and experienced, I’d say that intelligent packaging is alive and kicking and the innovations continue to amaze me.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit us there, we’d love to connect with you. Reach out with your packaging use case and we can chat about a solution that fits your unique needs.