How Pirlo Makes Cans Smart with Smartrac's On-Metal Tags

How Pirlo Makes Cans Smart with Smartrac's On-Metal Tags

Equipping metal packages with NFC tags to digitize the products included has been a challenge – technically as well as economically. With more than a little help from Smartrac and its innovative on-metal NFC tags, Austrian metal and plastic packaging specialist Pirlo has found a solution that can and does make cans smart.


While packages made from cardboard or plastic work well with traditional NFC tags, metal surfaces like those of cans require an extra layer between the metal surface and the tag to redirect the reader’s inductive field and prevent the energy from being wasted as heat within the metallic surface. Ferrite is well suited for that task but using it as an integral part of the NFC tag is technically challenging since it is inflexible and tends to break under pressure or mechanical stress. That, in turn, made it hard to manufacture and deliver tags in a standard roll format that fits the needs of the packaging industry.


The Benefits of Ferrite Without Cost or Handling Drawbacks

Smartrac’s Bullseye™ On-Metal and Circus™ On-Metal NFC tags now use an innovative combination of a super-thin flexible ferrite material layer and performance-optimized antenna designs. Using these technologies, both tags solve the problem that conventional tags face on metallic surfaces and are available in RFID industry-standard roll format, rather than as encapsulated, individual hard tags or foam-based inlays and tags that hardly comply with the needs of the packaging industry.


Pirlo now makes the most of these capabilities and selected Smartrac’s Circus On-Metal tags to be applied to tin cans. The Austrian metal and plastic packaging specialist leverages the information-carrying function offered by the on-metal tags, providing its potential customers with the ability to use the NFC-enabled cans as a communications channel with end customers.


Packaging Solutions to Enter ‘Smart’ Territory

By tapping their NFC-enabled smartphones on the tags, consumers can securely access Smartrac’s enhanced customer experience solutions powered by its Smart Cosmos market partner Blue Bite. Users have the possibility to receive dedicated product information, personalized content, or place follow-up orders. Additionally, the tags can also be used to trigger product authentication. Thanks to the fact that Smartrac’s on-metal NFC tags make onward processing easy and cost-effective, Pirlo can overprint the inlays according to their customers’ needs.


Patrick Eichstaedt, Vice President Sales EMEA at Smartrac said: “With its technical expertise and innovative mindset, our customer Pirlo provides a perfect example for what is possible with our unique, flexible ferrite-based NFC inlays. We are looking forward to further supporting Pirlo to create state-of-the-art packaging solutions that go beyond traditional packaging and enter the realms of ‘smart’ customer experience and secure product authentication solutions.”


For more information on Bullseye™ On-Metal and Circus™ On-Metal tags, please contact our Sales & Customer Service Team.


The Pirlo Group – a Perfect Combination of Tradition and Innovation

Since 1908, Pirlo has been successful both nationally and internationally as a manufacturer of metal packaging. Since 2010 the company has successfully developed a new business unit that concentrates on the production of plastic or laminated tubes. Ongoing investments in production facilities in Austria and Poland have helped secure Pirlo’s leading position in the market. For more information, please visit Pirlo’s website.