Advancing traceability in today’s complex global supply chain is critical for manufacturers to meet regulatory mandates and manage issues like quality, product recalls and manufacturing inefficiencies. To help brands improve product traceability and support greater consumer engagement, Crown Holdings Inc. (crowncork.com), a leading supplier of metal packaging products worldwide, has developed CrownSecure™, a code scanning system that assigns every package a unique and singular identity quick response (QR) code. During manufacturing and distribution, product information is stored in a central, reliable Cloud Datamatrix database and can be accessed at any time by brands, retailers or consumers by scanning a code on the container.
The CrownSecure database assigns a unique ID to each package and stores a variety of information on the product (e.g., origination/expiration date/path of travel). As a result, brands can regularly update the product’s status, building a data trail and consumers seeking to purchase the product can validate its authenticity at any time via a mobile phone or web application.
Crown marks the unique code which can be laser etched or applied with an inkjet system onto the cans as part of the manufacturing process. All codes are marked and validated before supply, ultimately helping customers improve efficiency on filling lines by limiting downtime and eliminating the need for brands to purchase additional equipment to apply the codes. This process also ensures the codes are highly readable, making it easier for consumers to scan.
“The ability to scan and track products is highly relevant to today’s food and beverage markets,” says Christopher Ramsey, innovation manager for Crown Holdings Inc. “These industries are facing challenges that range from retailers or consumers seeking to identify a product’s origins all the way through to being able to provide a clear ‘paper trail’ if product recalls become necessary.”
For brands that are subject to counterfeiting, CrownSecure offers additional benefits as a means to protect brand reputation and identity. The unique data can be used to prove authenticity and that it has not been copied, resulting in several scans in multiple locations.
Brands can also use the CrownSecure solution to enhance consumer engagement. The technology makes a range of promotional opportunities possible by allowing consumers to access reward programs or additional product information after scanning the QR code, which directs users to online channels or websites.