Smart, efficient food traceability with Digimarc

Improve supply chain visibility with complete & accurate data capture

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Digimarc’s solutions help businesses in a wide range of industries meet challenges in critical areas, such as brand protection, sustainability, traceability, and much more

Consumer and retailer expectations, insurance mandates, and regulatory requirements necessitate that consumer goods companies and food manufacturers communicate precisely when and where products were produced – and connect those products featuring variable, serialized identities to the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) traceability.

US-based digital watermarking technologies provider Digimarc makes use of more of the package, label, or shipping box, making scanning faster and easier. It repeats many times across a package, label, or corrugated box. It enables variable, serialized identities to be included in graphics with limited space for QR codes or DataMatrix alternatives. Digimarc’s solutions help businesses in a wide range of industries meet challenges in critical areas, such as brand protection, sustainability, efficient traceability, and much more. Digimarc’s digital identity can be applied to material and media of all kinds, including packaging, labels, audio, fabric, and more.

According to the company, Digimarc Platform enables smart, efficient food traceability in the field. Digimarc solutions claim to help to improve supply chain visibility with more complete and accurate data capture. Enables strategic recalls based on granular and timely information. Saves time by simplifying processes and minimizing handling. Digimarc platform claims to deliver efficiency and traceability; quickly associate an employee badge, multiple items, and corrugate tray; and simultaneously scan multiple items with a smartphone.

Serialized packaging delivers accountability, reduces risk

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Digimarc supports traceability initiatives. Product traceability across the global supply chain is increasingly essential for consumer brands and food manufacturers to promote consumer safety, mitigate risk, and gain real-time insight into product locations in warehouses and distribution centers. Digimarc for packaging supports these business needs with batch-lot and item-level traceability by applying serialized or custom identifiers and additional data to product packaging with variable data printing (VDP).

Flexible printing options

Digimarc serialization can be applied using digital presses, laser etching systems, and industrial inkjet devices. Digimarc supports consumer brands, including farm-fresh produce suppliers and fresh food and beverage manufacturers that utilize inkjet systems and are eager to meet sustainability and Agriculture 4.0 traceability goals.

Improved first-pass read rates

Many manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution environments utilize assembly lines and conveyor belts to automate their processes. Identifying items on the first pass is critical to accurate, real-time, automated decision making. Applying Digimarc identities to containers via inkjet printers provides data redundancy and a larger area to scan improved read rates. Several Digimarc customers have reported as much as a 30% increase in first-pass read rates over Data Matrix and QR codes.

Faster scanning

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In many business environments, manual scanning using handheld devices is critical to efficient operations. Slow or unsuccessful scanning not only impacts employee or associate productivity but can affect accuracy across your supply chain. According to the company, controlled studies have shown Digimarc scans packaging and labels significantly faster than many traditional barcodes, including QR, Data Matrix, and GS128 codes, saving time at every step in the supply chain.

Reduce costs

Compared with traditional UPC/EAN barcodes, DataMatrix, or QR codes, Digimarc requires significantly less ink on product labels. By as much as 69% over DataMatrix, this reduction in ink usage delivers meaningful savings on ink costs at scale when printing millions of labels annually.

Traceability partners

Digimarc partners with the Internet of Things (IoT) traceability platforms Evrythng and Sperantus to help companies pinpoint the progress of products across the globe and support track-and-trace initiatives. Digimarc detection capabilities are integrated into provenance data and the status of Digimarc-enhanced products throughout the supply chain.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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