HP Smart Packaging Wins GS1 Brazil Automation Award

The ceremony for the 2022 edition of the Brazilian automation association’s award was held last week in São Paulo.

Ed. Note: This article was originally posted at IoP Journal.

HP Brazil’s smart packaging solution won the 2022 GS1 Brazil Automation Award, at a ceremony held on Nov. 9 in São Paulo. According to HP the technology allows customers to ensure that they are buying genuine products and that they can dispose of them properly and recycle them using smart packaging methods created by the company. The same process was used by HP to digitally print personalized codes on boxes of printing equipment and on packaging for ink cartridges made in Brazil.

Every cartridge gets a unique ID in HP’s Smarter Packaging program, which utilizes technologies such as RFID tags and QR codes. The testing phase was when HP implemented the technologies in ink cartridges. This allowed HP to assess how the technology would work in practice and to provide authentication and validity to cartridges that are sold at both its online and physical stores. According to the company, Smarter Packaging is designed to ensure that HP cartridge buyers are able to trust that they are buying genuine products. Simply point your smartphone camera at the QR code to see it printed on the cartridge’s packaging. This is done via a digital process.

Kami Sadie, HP Brazil’s chief of manufacturing for supply chains transformation and resilience, is at center. Saidi is joined by Diego Mutta in a blue jacket as they celebrate with the HP Brazil Team.

When the action is completed, consumers receive immediate information to determine if the product they have in their hands are original cartridges. Customers also have immediate access to a webpage with information about their product, any services offered, and access to promotions in-store. According to the company, this action doesn’t require any special app. The consumer simply needs to point their smartphone at the QR code on a package and follow the instructions. Cell phones cameras detect QR codes automatically and show options that have been programmed into the digital code.

HP Brazil has made changes to the packaging process to make it more secure. The serialized codes are now printed digitally by printers, which allows for full traceability and product identification. Diego Mutta (HP Brazil’s reverse logistics project manager), stated that the digital printing technology was made available to all customers from the day the company adopted it. He says, “This technology is not only available to HP.” It can be used in other companies and sectors such as food, beauty, pharmaceuticals, etc. This technology can be used by everyone to improve their packaging.

Sincpress's Paula Valerio, with Diego Mutta and Kami Saidi, holding the 2022 GS1 Automation Award

Sincpress’s Paula Valerio with Diego Mutta, Kami Saidi holding the 2022 GS1 Automation Award

Mutta explains that the digital technology for printing packages brings many added benefits. Mutta explains that a digital process allows for printing on demand, which is a significant advantage over conventional technologies. This is because companies can print only the packaging they require to produce the products, thus eliminating waste. “In this instance, there is no minimum order quantity. Conventional processes must have an adequate cost. Mutta also reports that there are sustainability gains as well as cost savings. “I can guarantee a more efficient process with less materials and a lower carbon footprint.

Ink cartridges are another sustainable option. HP’s reverse logistics program allows customers to take out their old cartridges so they can reuse them in other products. Mutta states that HP’s Planet Partner program is free and available to all customers for many years. This allows them to collect used cartridges from their homes. “Now, customers can scan the cartridges to find out if they are genuine HP products—and also, with a click on the webpage, request the product to be discarded.”

For over two decades, HP Brazil has offered technologies to improve supply chain management, sustainability, and customer experience. The company’s investments into smart packaging include the use of RFID tags on its Brazilian-made printers to guarantee 100 percent efficiency and the delivery of the products. To allow for better communication with customers, it uses technology that digitally prints customized codes on boxes. The complete list of award recipients can be found here.

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