Imagine a world where you as a customer could influence a product’s production processes. You would, for example, be able to order beer tailored to your own specific taste, control the raw material and the recycling of bottles, as well as check the authenticity and delivery chain of every single item, and yet at a reasonable price. Just a fantasy? According to Sture Udd, CEO of the Vaasa-based UpCode, such a change in production processes is already just around the corner. UpCode is a smart code carrying product information that can be read using a smartphone or other device. Now the company has broken new ground by applying the code with sensor technology to industrial mass production.
The first sensors connected to production lines have been introduced in Bock’s Corner Brewery. The labels on the beer bottles contain detailed information on the production process. The introduction of the sensors does not require large investments or expensive additional equipment; instead they can easily be adapted to be a part of production lines and processes for all kinds of products. The information included in the code can be specified according to every single item and unit of a product and its features.
Udd believes that incorporating automatic digital sensor and data technology into every product unit will lead to a significant change of the role of the customer or client.
”This solution will deliver a significant change to product branding, as it enables not only product personalisation but also consumer-directed production and distribution. Thereby, our solution adds higher value to the product,” says Sture Udd.
Introduction of the sensor information will bring major benefits to both consumers and product manufacturers alike.
“Thousands of billions of dollars’ worth of counterfeit products are sold globally every year, and it causes considerable economic losses for many industries. In contrast, a product’s authenticity can be easily verified using UpCode, which in turn makes copies unprofitable on the market,” says Udd.
Manufacturers also receive additional benefits thanks to the improved efficiency of the production chain. Udd believes the innovation will lead to changes in both consumer behaviour and the production of goods.
“We now have an industrial scale method by which a product receives a digital value,” he says.
Business sector: Communication
Turnover: €26 million
Major markets: Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Lithuania, Russia, Algeria