Taking the smart option

9 February 2004

Converting smart labels is clearly a niche to investigate. And although RFID has taken some time to get off the ground, with early adopters having had to take brave decisions, it is apparent that within the next decade this particular sector of the smart label business is expected to show exceptional growth.

A new study from Freedonia predicts that USA demand for smart labels will expand over 14 per cent a year for the next three years (see our news story this issue). That's the equivalent of 11 billion units worth $460M. The company predicts that by 2012, demand will surpass 30 billion units, at over $1.2 billion in sales value.

"Best gains are expected in the nascent RFID label segment, whose size will nearly triple each year from a small 2002 base," it states. Applications will include "labelling of mail, crates and pallets, airline baggage, library books, and military assets".

Price has been a significant reason given for uptake of RFID, as well as the continual striving towards common communications standards. A global standard must be the ultimate goal.

But once numbers of RFID labels do start to increase, price will naturally fall. From then on economy of scale cracks in, sales could mushroom and prices continue to fall.

This year sees an interesting event on the subject. PISEC Smart Packaging (www.smart-packaging04.com) takes place on September 14–15 in Chicago. A conference and exhibion, it is being launched alongside the Labelexpo Americas event. Significantly, it has been identified by the organizer as important enough to warrant separate marketing, promotion and branding.

The smart option is probably to find out more!

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