by Jeroen Van Bauwel
adding digital value
Nordic Label Oy in Finland is attracting new business and widening its product portfolio using Xeikon smart label technology. The success and uptake of Xeikon’s ‘Track and Trace’ smart label solution is helping to reposition the successful label printer and set them apart from the competition. Since investing in digital five years ago, the over 100-year-old company is now at the cutting edge of digital label production in the Nordic regions.
Marko Rintanen, Production Director at Nordic Label explains, “As a leading label manufacturer in Finland with many years of experience in all kinds of printing methods, digital printing is fairly new to us and we have been on a learning curve. However, since we partnered with Xeikon we have seen our business leap forward in new and very exciting ways. Xeikon’s smart label solution is groundbreaking and so easy to install and utilise. Our customers, the brand owners, are now as excited as we are at the potential that smart label production offers. With the cooperation of one of our key customers, Vellamo, we were proud to participate in a recent Xeikon Café project working together with UPM Raflatac, Magic Add and Xeikon to demonstrate the powerful and multiple advantages for brands using smart labels.
Jeroen Van Bauwel, Director Product Management at Xeikon states: ‘Globally there is increasing demand from brand owners for smart labels. Fighting to stand out from the competition, enlightened brand owners are using smart labels to differentiate themselves and protect their brand. There is a specific need for security applications like our ‘Track and Trace’ in the supply chain to help battle counterfeiting which is big business on a global scale and poses a huge threat to brands. With Xeikon’s smart label solution brands can track their products at every step from production to the consumer. Brands can also initiate direct marketing communications using the data behind the smart label to measure success and engage and build relationships with consumers who are looking for authenticity and trust in the brand.”
With Xeikon’s Track and Trace, each and every package and label is given its own digital identity by means of a unique image, text, number or bar code. The latest version 7.0 of Xeikon’s powerful X-800 workflow enables the integration of the unique information and the printing of a high security, variable printed code. The Xeikon press automatically and securely prints the unique code, which can be scanned with any standard application. Xeikon has developed a groundbreaking, cloud-based application that puts the ‘smart’ into label design and helps brand owners bring packaging and labels online to measure the success of their campaigns and protect brand image.
One of the ways that brand owners can effectively and efficiently gain insight into the needs of their target audience is by collecting data on the movements of their products. For sustainable brands for example, interested in auditing their carbon footprint and product safety, smart labels are an efficient solution to track and trace products through the production and logistics phase. Giving the consumer a personalized and contextual digital experience and offering safety, reliability and timely delivery, smart labeling offers immediate access to valuable and relevant product information on any device.
‘A smart label’ activates a response in real-time through a digital interaction between the label and a users’ device. Smart’ labels’ incorporate and integrate technology that extends the functionality and content of the label beyond traditional print methods. This can be done in a variety of ways using QR codes, RFID tags or near field communication (NFC). These types of labels rely on an interaction with a consumer device like a smartphone and support data transmission and collection for sales and marketing and security and inventory purposes. Smart labels and tags can affect the retail experience in a variety of ways and allow for new and beneficial interactions between consumers and products.
Rintanen concludes, “Our industry is quite conservative but new things excite us so challenging ourselves to think in new ways was a big step forward. Xeikon took care of everything - the automation, the installation of the software, the digital label press and the training – it was all very smooth. Now with Xeikon’s smart label application up and running, we can download the variable data straight from the cloud. It's all automatic. All the codes are set up for us. The key to our successful operation has always been the customer relationship and customer satisfaction, so the truly exciting part of all this has been talking with our customers about the possibilities and opportunities for them – sharing ideas and trying to find value together. Xeikon’s smart label solution is helping us position ourselves at the cutting edge of technology. I would highly recommend to any label printer to look at Xeikon’s smart label solution as an exciting new venture which can only build value into their business.”