There are several kinds of security labels on the market today, and they all have their purpose, but a new type of security label is already making waves. Also known as the printed memory label, this new product was invented to protect the products that governments and businesses distribute.
The printed memory label not only stores information about a product’s condition and authenticity, but it can also collect information about how the labelled product was handled during the distribution process. Then, the information can be collected, viewed and used to increase the quality and security of products.
How the Printed Memory Label works
This high-security label uses rewritable memory. Currently, the label can contain up to 36 bits of memory capable of storing up to 68 billion points of data in as many combinations. This type of label, when placed on a product like a water filtering system, can alert the user when it’s time to change the filter. In the medical industry, the memory label can tell an equipment user whether all of the parts in a medical device are compliant.
The memory label is made by printing micro-circuits on a thin film plastic containing adhesive. The label is applied in the same way any adhesive label would be.
What Product Information Do Memory Labels Contain?
Businesses are using memory labels to protect their brand. This is because the labels contain formation about expiration dates, lot and geographic codes as well as serial numbers. All of this is information that can thwart attempts to counterfeit a business’s products.
Memory Labels vs. RFID and Silicon
Although RFID and Silicon represent two very secure means of label technology, the fact remains that they are also two of the more expensive measures available. As well, these and their hologram and invisible ink counterparts are able to be copied.
As well, because memory labels are printed, their cost to produce is significantly lower than it is to manufacture RFID tags, silicon labels or holographic images.
Finally, systems like RFID require the installation and implementation of a company-wide system so that products can be tracked as they move through various departments. Memory labels are self-contained and require no system to be implemented before a company can begin using them.
Memory labels are also available with a cryptographic feature. This feature enhances security by combining the printed memory with other security label forms like QR or bar codes. These codes, unique to each label are encrypted, readable only by a special reader. Authorised personnel use a secure smartphone application to read the information stored in the label.
Where Memory Labels can be used
The applications for which memory labels can be used are numerous. They can be used for the tracking of products across long distances. The pharmaceutical industry can use memory labels to ensure the safety and integrity of the products they manufacture and ship. Government agencies can use these labels to secure tax and duty stamps.
Basically, the memory labels allows for the integrity of most any product to be assured from the moment it leaves the factory or warehouse until the moment it reaches the customer. Even after a product reaches the customer, the label can collect information about how that product is being used.
Although this kind of security label has just recently gone into production – toward the end of 2015, to be exact – it is poised to create several changes in the way in which information is collected, stored and communicated to users. In the meantime, there are several types of security labelling available to businesses which offer various levels of security for virtually any product.