Metallic finish for NFC labels to enhance packaging

Labels with metallic finishes maintain NFC communication performance and bring value to high-end products, claims Toppan Printing.

The company believes that traditionally all the focus for development has been on essential functions with little attention has traditionally been paid to visual design for RFID tags and QR code labels used for product management and authentication. Labels have been attached in positions that ensure they are inconspicuous and do not negatively impact the overall design of the product or package.

The ubiquity of smartphones has prompted heightened demand for product experiences via NFC tags. Businesses are considering ways to attach NFC labels in positions that make them easier for consumers to access while maintaining the quality of the product or package design. To meet these needs, Toppan has developed NFC labels with a metallic design. The NFC labels can be attached to expensive items such as wine, spirits, and luxury brand goods without sacrificing design quality. Brand owners can also leverage NFC functions to facilitate product traceability, anti-counterfeiting, customer-relationship management (CRM) and other customer-focused services driven by digital transformation.

Two types of label are available—a metallic decor type and a metallic surface type.

The metallic decor type label features decorative metallic designs achieved by combining a variety of printing techniques, including metal foil transfer employing digital printing. High quality designs can be produced at low cost and with short lead times because no printing plates or cylinders are required. The metallic surface type, meanwhile, uses metallising via vapour deposition to produce a metallic mirror finish. In addition to gold and other metallic colours, matt finishes are also available.

NFC communication performance can be inhibited by metal materials. Toppan has addressed this by leveraging expertise in NFC tag antenna design to ensure communication performance even when metallic decoration techniques are applied.

“We have taken advantage of Toppan’s wealth of decorative techniques and extensive antenna design know-how to develop labels offering excellent visual quality and optimal NFC communication performance,” said Takamitsu Nakabayashi, senior R&D manager in Toppan’s security business. “They can be applied seamlessly to high-end and luxury product packages to provide all the benefits of NFC-enabled customer engagement and supply chain management, and we plan to add to this series of products in the future.”

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