Thinking Outside the Box: How IoT is Transforming the Packaging Industry

Today, many Internet of Things (IoT) devices can be connected with smart packaging devices. Smart packaging allows manufacturers to place electronic components – such as alarms, LED lights, speakers, radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips and Bluetooth – inside their packages. These features not only protect packages  but also provide many conveniences. For example, a medicine package equipped with IoT technology can be monitored to track every pill taken out of the container. An alarm will even sound if the user removes an incorrect dosage. 

Automated Factories

The IoT makes it easy for companies, supply chain managers, product design and development teams, and equipment manufacturers to connect. Thanks to this digital connection, it has become more affordable and easier to maintain and manage factories and for managers to monitor the employees and equipment used for packaging. 

Management of Packaging Facilities

It is virtually impossible to determine how packaging equipment is functioning without advanced technology such as IoT. For example, IoT sensors can notify managers if there are changes detected that could damage packaging tools. With these sensors, businesses can effectively lessen maintenance expenses and downtime while boosting operational performance by regulating the working environment. 

Inventory of Packaging Materials

Because of IoT, managers can also better track the materials needed for packaging. As a result, they can replenish packaging inventory without needing to put any processes on hold. This means better inventory planning, since managers can forecast how long packaging resources will last and consequently, can make more accurate long-term plans in the procurement of these resources. 

IoT technology can also analyze operational the technology structure and internal data information technology systems of packaging businesses. This analysis can include data about everything from system capacity and data points to key performance indicators. 


Because of indicators and sensors, it’s relatively simple to check a product’s condition inside a package. Some packages even have the ability to extend a product’s shelf life, while others can detect fake products. This means that customers have better access to quality products. 

The Customer Benefits

Businesses need to invest in new technologies, but the challenge often lies with knowing what technologies and practices will positively impact them. Because virtually all customers want to enjoy a better shopping experience with a cutting edge interface, the integration of IoT into packaging provides a good long-term strategy for businesses. 

Substitution, Counterfeit, and Theft Prevention 

Businesses can lose both their profits and reputation if malicious individuals’ fake products attempt to use their brand names. To make matters worse, the quality of these counterfeit products is poor. Using IoT to monitor products and well as prove their authenticity can safeguard against this.

Business Transparency

Socially, economically, and environmentally responsible companies continue to grow in favor. According to studies, customers are more likely to purchase eco-friendly products over their non-eco-friendly alternatives. The packaging industry can assist with this, allowing businesses and customers to check where the materials used to produce products come from, the places they were made, the companies that manufactured them, and other related information. This information can prove crucial when customers are deciding on brands from which they wish to purchase.

Predictive Planning

One of the most common challenges businesses face is in encouraging repeat business. IoT-integrated packaging can help with this, notifying businesses when they should be contacting their customers for product replenishment. IoT technology can also integrate QR codes and other cloud-based options, which can direct customers to a business’s website and encourage them to repurchase. 

Product Experience

Some customers can find it difficult to understand what a product is about, especially if that product is new or includes unfamiliar materials. Once again, IoT can help with this, with QR codes on food packages, for example, that, when scanned, reveal nutritional content and ingredient information. 

What’s more, packaging companies that use IoT can guide customers to websites with tutorials and instructional videos or manuals. Appliance manufacturers, for example, can allow customers to scan their products’ codes, which will direct them to websites with step-by-step use guides as well as customer support resources.

That’s a Wrap

Clearly, IoT is changing the packaging industry for the better, helping to make businesses more sustainable and their product packaging more functional. Businesses just need to determine which IoT-enabled packaging products will work best for their needs. Looks like IoT has this packaging thing all wrapped up.


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