Technological partner of excellence in digitization and innovation for companies, institutions and government authorities, Antares Vision Group interprets perfectly the “Encoding Beauty” concept, supporting brands in guaranteeing the safety, quality, sustainability and efficiency of products and supply chains.
The offer of the multinational Antares Vision Group based in Brescia includes an integrated ecosystem of technologies, software and hardware, developed to guarantee the quality and traceability of products along the supply chain, from materials to production, from distribution to the final user.
Antares Vision Group operates, therefore, in the integrated management of production and supply chain data, also through the application of artificial intelligence, focusing, in particular, on sectors such as life science, beverages, food, cosmetics, chemicals and packaging.
World leader for the tracking of pharmaceuticals, it provides solutions for monitoring the supply chain and validating the authenticity of products, supporting the business of over 50% of the 20 top players and numerous government authorities.
Monica Coffano, Key Account Manager Cosmetics of Antares Vision Group talks to ItaliaImballaggio about the Encoding Beauty project, which presents the advantages of pharmaceutical traceability to the cosmetics market at Cosmopack.
How are you involved? What are the technical characteristics of the phase you deal with?
Inside the Factory, in which a particular aloe-based emulsion will be packaged, we simulate a production line characterised by a tracking solution that cuts across the entire supply chain. The system classifies every phase, integrating production data starting from the field, information on energy consumption, logistics management and the different packaging phases. The platform is, therefore, a container of data, storing the data of every single saleable unit, furnished with a unique code attributed by the system, different for every standard package.
It is a QR code that is scanned in every packaging phase, from the bottle, therefore, to the box, to the pallet. Our solution is able to define what single packet is found in which box and pallet, so that every level of aggregation is tracked, up to handling in the warehouse. Here, the platform records the acceptance of each single product, superseding the customary logic that refers only to pallets.
This is an important aspect for controlling a supply chain, essential for fighting counterfeiting but also for managing parallel markets. Cosmetics products often have different prices and packaging in different markets; the distribution of a product in a different market from that of its intended destination is a problem that exclusively affects the brand owner.Another crucial theme is fighting counterfeiting, which for cosmetics products has both commercial and public health repercussions. This is why, also for the beauty market, Antares Vision is able to offer technology for control of the integrity of the packaging and of the product, of the closures and levels, given the increasing impact that counterfeiting is having on the finances and credibility of the sector.
Anti-counterfeiting, but also quality standards and consumer protection: what is the value of product track and trace in the beauty sector? A way to consolidate perceived quality?
The value of traceability lies in meeting concepts of transparency, reliability and ethics. These are themes with a strong impact, which act directly on consumer confidence, personalising the relationship with the brand. The unique code offers, in fact, the possibility of constructing a “one-to-one” relationship with the final user, humanizing and personalizing it. A code, moreover, reinforces the perception of reliability, especially regarding a complex and intricate issue such as counterfeiting.
The consumer often has a limited awareness of the risks that they take using, perhaps unknowingly, counterfeit products. Price plays an important role: if you buy a high-range product, it’s difficult not to notice the difference, if only because the price component is decisive. With regards to low-cost, however, the risk is more real. It is necessary to inform the consumer to see traceability as a tool for safeguarding and protecting their health, a means able to generate trust in all distribution phases. A QR code to be scanned becomes a vehicle of reliable information that goes beyond the mere commercial offer. We can mention information on sustainability, about which the regulator is increasingly demanding, or qualifying product information, the product’s use and any other suggestion that makes the QR code a channel for a constructive and constant dialogue between the consumer and the brand, with a view to reinforcing brand awareness and trust.
Do you think that the importance of tracking technologies goes beyond guaranteeing the integrity of the product/packaging, serving also as an anti-counterfeiting measure?
Our systems operate in a logic similar to two-factor authentication. As well as the QR code, in fact, there are elements that make the counterfeiting of the code itself difficult, highlighting the intrinsic value of the product.
It is not important for our system if the supply chain is long or short, because it has been designed to track every phase, with specific staff training and a precision that ensures control of the quantity of product in every package.
Tell us about your vision of sustainability: how does it emerge in the Encoding Beauty project?
The serum and the packaging were selected by the organisers for the high qualitative value, starting from the method of aloe cultivation, which is zero impact, with optimization strategies so sophisticated as to increase the intrinsic value of the product itself. In addition to this, the mono-material packaging integrates the sustainability content. It’s a theme that Antares Vision Group monitors with its tracking systems, measuring quantities and quality, offering full control of the production. It’s an integrated platform that offers the possibility, for example, of reducing waste and of providing important data for LCA analysis such as C02 emissions linked to production, transport and the logistics chain.