Ultra-thin Shipping Label


When Bayer approached SODAQ a year ago with the challenge to increase the traceability of their valuable seed shipments, the expectation seemed overwhelming and impossible. Bayer wanted a label as thin as a regular adhesive barcoded shipping label but with the added functionality to track and trace the shipment. Across borders. Across oceans. Without breaking customs requirements. Sustainable. Preferably biodegradable. For a price below 10 euros per label. Operational for at least 6 months after activation. And along the way, as well able to measure temperature, shock registration and able to detect the opening of a package. And so it began…


Problem


When Bayer approached SODAQ a year ago with the challenge to increase the traceability of their valuable seed shipments, the expectation seemed overwhelming and impossible. Bayer wanted a label as thin as a regular adhesive barcoded shipping label but with the added functionality to track and trace the shipment. Across borders. Across oceans. Without breaking customs requirements. Sustainable. Preferably biodegradable. For a price below 10 euros per label. Operational for at least 6 months after activation. And along the way, as well able to measure temperature, shock registration and able to detect the opening of a package. And so it began….

Solution


In a typical SODAQ style prototype development project we allocated a team of 6 fte for an entire year. In close co-operation with Bayer we collected the potential technologies to solve such a challenge and came up with groundbreaking insights and solutions. For example the biodegradable printed battery solution from Elmeric. And the new i-Sim technology deployed by Vodafone. All together integrated on a superthin flexible label and integrated with the _____ chip of ______. In the end we selected Altair, subsidiary of Sony, to manufacture the labels. First let us show you the result.


As of 2020, the complexities of the supply chain have only become more prominent with the global network that most companies are operating within. Sure, technologies have facilitated most of this process, but with the amount of parties that may be involved in the development of a single product, it is no surprise that many companies still seek optimizations within the supply chain. Bayer is the world's largest pharmaceutical and life science company. Imagine the scale of packages that are both entering and leaving their warehouses on a day to day basis. With today's modern technology, tracking each package by scanning seems outdated.




Result


With a label barely thicker than a few sheets of paper, this cutting-edge technology contains a battery, (i)SIM, microprocessor, modem and antenna. The implications for future businesses implementing such technologies are manifold. The supply chain itself is introduced to a new dimension of traceability with additional elements such as precise GPS and time of box opening, amount of box movements and further integrations such as temperature monitoring. The solution provides an effective anti-tampering possibility that may prove to be of much value in the pharmaceutical industry.

Bayer and SODAQ are working on multiple IoT developments. As a company we are able to envision technologies and the use for it in our activities. SODAQ acts as an extension of our technology department and can actually turn our vision into actual proof of concepts, prototypes and in the end take the lead in the production of the real thing as well. Working on ground breaking solutions like this brings real joy to our work.


The solution at this point is at an almost go-to-market level. In order to produce the label at cost effective pricing we need to manufacture over ten million labels each year. Only Bayer has allocated the use for ten million labels annually, so when two or three more corporations adopt this new technology, the production will start in quarter one of 2021. SODAQ will continue its future development and will apply (parts of) the technology to lots of other user cases and scenarios.

How can we make IoT work for you?

Our experienced engineers are ready to deliver innovative low power tracking and sensing solutions for your next big operation. Please get in touch using the Get in Touch button on the bottom right, send an email to sales@sodaq.com or give us a call at +31 30 300 0301.

Contact Us


Ollie Smeenk
Product Manager
ollie.smeenk@sodaq.com
+31 35 300 0301

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