Should You Use Security Tags on Your Products?

Shoplifting isn’t a new problem – things have been stolen from stores for as long as there have been stores.  Often shop owners would just take the hit and that would be the end of it. Then developments in security tags offered a new option – tagging products and setting up detectors at store entrances to catch the thieves. So should you be adding security tags to your products?

Types of security tags

There are two main categories of security tags that you will see in use in stores around the UK.  The first is RF or RFID tags which use one of two different radio-frequency systems on a label applied to a product.  This label is ‘deactivated’ by the checkout staff when the item is bought but otherwise will sound an alarm if it passes through the detector at the door while still active.

The other is a hard tag which works in a similar way but is attached to the clam packaging or other type of plastic covering.  It can also be attached to things likebottle tops for wine and alcohol.  These hard tags are removed at thecheckout to stop them signalling the detector when the item leaves the store.

RF tags

 Most of the time, customers don’t realise that RF (radio frequency) and RFID (radio frequency identification)tags are in place.  They can be inside a product, on the back or sometimeseven on the actual packaging such as shrink wrap plastic, clamshell packagingor even blister packs.  These are clever types of anti-shoplifting devicesthat send a signal from the tag to the transmitter placed at the door to let itknow that the tag hasn’t been deactivated and the alarm then sounds.

When an item is paid for correctly, the checkout assistant deactivates the RF tag with a special tool and this allows you to walk past the transmitter without it sounding.  It doesn’t always work – we’ve all had an alarm sound because a tag hasn’t been deactivated properly!  But they are largely accurate and a good way to secure products.

RFID tags

 RFID tags are a little more advanced and can be used for more than just an anti-theft device.  That’s because each tag identifies the individual product – these tags are used for things like self-service checkouts or those machines that let you tag your products as you shop and not put them through the checkout.

RFID tags work over shorter distances than RF tags, usually around 10cm.  Some are passive, responding to radio waves from a scanner or transmitter.  Others are active and contain a tiny battery to send and receive signals.

Hard tags

Hard tags are a more visual deterrent than RF or RFID tags because they are bulky and prominent.  You can see them attached to anything from razor blade clam packaging to bottles of whiskey.

Unlike RF tags, they are removed from the product when it is sold with a special device at the checkout.  If the tag isn’t removed, the alarm will sound when the product passes the detector at the door.  Hard tags use a similar system to RF tags.

Benefits of using security tags

The most obvious benefit for a business to using security tags on their products is that it can help reduce theft.  Some businesses using hard tags have seen as much as a 90% decrease in theft when adding them to clam packaging.

The ease of use is another benefit.  Whichever type of tag you use, they are designed to be easy to add to the product and many packaging companies supply packaging ready made to add these tags.  They can be added at manufacturing point or by staff in the store and are easily deactivated.

Equipment is installed at the checkout to remove or deactivate the tags as well as at the entrances to the shop then the system is ready to go.

Buying in bulk, these tags can be an affordable security measure.  When added benefits such as stock control are added, you can get better analytics on what is happening in the store.  Plus there is a clear benefit in reducing the number of thefts which saves the business a lot of money in lost revenue.

Finally, there is the peace of mind for customers and staff in the use of these systems.  Staff can concentrate on helping customers rather than trying to watch out for thieves.  And genuine customers will be happy to see that steps have been taken to protect merchandise and make for a better experience for shoppers.

Getting the right packaging

One of the key elements in using security tags is ensuring that you have the right packaging on the products to incorporate the tags.  Clam packaging is one example where the product is trapped between moulded plastic sheets, allowing customers to see the items inside but protecting them.  These can have RF tags added to the packaging or hard tags attached to them as required.

Blister packs are another easy to secure packaging option.  These can be used for products such as ink cartridges as well as things like medication and tags can also be added to the outer packaging for these items.

A growing sight

 RFID tags, in particular, are a growing sight in different areas of life.  Uses for them include in libraries, in car windscreens for tolls and even in some contactless credit or debit cards.  So the sight of these tags is something we are more likely to see around life in many different ways.

For more information about our clam packaging options, get in touch

Why Use Clamshell Packaging Services to Pack Your Products

The right packaging is a key part of marketing and selling your products.  Not only does it protect the item and reduce the risk of theft, but it also markets the brand and ensures you can tell customers the information they need.  But why would you use Clamshell packaging services?

What is clamshell packaging?

Clamshell packaging is a clever type of packaging that encases the item in clear plastic that is tough and protects the items inside.  You can also pack a number of items together inside the packaging if they are sold together.

It is easy to include cards or information in the clamshell packaging to tell people more about the product such as how to use it or what it contains.  And the clamshell packaging is tamper-proof once sealed plus security tags can easily be added to reduce the risk of theft.

Outsourcing packaging

If clamshell packaging is the ideal solution for your business it doesn’t mean you need to invest in all the equipment and employ staff to create it.  That’s because you can outsource the service to a specialist company who can handle it for you.

This means you don’t need to have any clamshell packaging equipment on the premises.  You prepare your items and then send them to the packaging company who follow the process you have laid out with them to package the items.  This includes any marketing materials and paperwork needed and security measures that are added.

Another benefit is that you can have more than one type of packaging for your products by working with a specialist.  If you need to use blister packaging for some of your products, then a specialist offering different types of packaging can handle all of this in house by the one company.

Click to see more discussions on our clamshell packaging services.

When is Clamshell Packaging the Right Option?

When you have a product, packaging it is very important.  Not only does it help with branding and offer information that customers need but it is also a safety and security issue for many items.  You want to be certain people can’t interfere with the products and that security tags can be added.  There are various types of packaging available so how do you know if clamshell packaging is the right choice?

What is clamshell packaging?

It is a style of packaging where the top of the pack is hinged and allows it to open while remaining connected – like a clam shell.  This kind of packaging normally includes a hanger tab to allow items to be easily displayed and sometimes other options such as a flat base, so they can free stand.

Clamshell packaging is tamper resistant and offers great protection for the product while also allowing people to easily see what the item is.  Clamshell packages are created to be a tight fit around the item so there’s no wasted space or room for it to move around.  And the clamshell packaging is created as a single piece construction so there’s no assembly required.

When is clamshell packaging the best option?

There are lots of uses for clamshell packaging but some of the most common include for food, smartphones, electronics, ink cartridges and more.  Often this is used for higher value items because security tags can easily be added and not easily removed to deter theft.

It is also more expensive than blister packs, so this is why it tends to be found on higher value items.  Both the need to protect the products and also for customers to easily see the contents makes the investment in stronger, tamper-proof clamshell packaging more worthwhile.

The clamshell packaging can also easily include instructions or information that customers need and have branding, and product information displayed on it.  This makes it easy to brand an item and to offer valuable information to help with sales without any extra marketing around it.

If you would like to know more about our eco-friendly clamshell packs, you can find out more on our Eco-Pack webpage.

How to Choose a Supplier for Clamshell Packaging Services

When it comes to packaging your products, there are lots of different options that can be considered.  With products that need to have a backing card, for example, then clamshell packaging can be an ideal option – it pins the item to the backing card with special protective plastic.  If this is the right option for your product, how do you then choose a company offering clamshell packaging services?

Considerations when choosing a company

There are a few main considerations when you are looking for a clamshell packaging company.  For starters, you want to think about volume – how much do you need and how often?  Do you want a stock product that they already have available or do you need a custom product to exactly match what you sell?  And are there any industry-specific considerations such as being in the food or medicines industry?

Once you have an idea about these, you can start looking at the companies available.  See what types of packaging is available – if they do other options such as blister packs, you could save money by buying in bulk.  Do they have connections with printing companies that can help make the whole process quicker?

Information to find out

Ordering any type of packaging can be simple but there are a couple of things to know.  For example, does the company you are considering have a minimum order requirement and does this figure work for you?  It may be just 20-50 units but if it is a bigger number and this is more than you need, you may want to consider other options.

Also look at turnaround time.  If you order a minimum order how long will it take them to get it to you?  How much longer is it if you order double the amount?  You want to be able to factor in time to get the packaging and get the items to the shop or stockist when working out order times.

There are lots of questions and things to consider, but we may well have the perfect solution and answers to these. Please do get in touch with us so as we can discuss and review your requirements in more detail.

Retailers Moving towards Greener Packaging

By Stephanie Clifford,

The Pyranna, the Jokari Deluxe, the Insta Slit, the ZipIt and the OpenIt apply blades and batteries to what should be a simple task: opening a retail package.

But the maddening — and nearly impenetrable — plastic packaging known as clamshells could become a welcome casualty of the difficult economy. High oil prices have manufacturers and big retailers reconsidering the use of so much plastic, and some are aggressively looking for cheaper substitutes.

“With the instability in petroleum-based materials, people said we need an alternative to the clamshell,” said Jeff Kellogg, vice president for consumer electronics and security packaging at the packaging company MeadWestvaco.

Companies are scuttling plastic of all kinds wherever they can.

Target has removed the plastic lids from its Archer Farms yogurts, has redesigned packages for some light bulbs to eliminate plastic, and is selling socks held together by paper bands rather than in plastic bags.

Wal-Mart Stores, which has pledged to reduce its packaging by 5 percent between 2008 and 2013, has pushed suppliers to concentrate laundry detergent so it can be sold in smaller containers, and has made round hydrogen peroxide bottles into square ones to cut down on plastic use.

At Home Depot, Husky tools are going from clamshell to paperboard packaging, and EcoSmart LED bulbs are about to be sold in a corrugated box, rather than a larger plastic case.

“Most of our manufacturers have been working on this,” said Craig Menear, the head of merchandising at Home Depot. “We’ve certainly been encouraging them.”

Shoppers have long complained that clamshells are a literal pain, and environmentalists have denounced them as wasteful. To save money and address complaints, retailers and manufacturers started minimizing packaging in the e-commerce sphere a few years ago. Amazon, for example, introduced a “frustration-free packaging” initiative in 2008 intended to defuse wrap rage and be more eco-friendly. Other retailers have also been looking for ways to improve the customer’s unpacking experience.

“As a guy in packaging, I get all the questions — there’s nothing worse than going to a cocktail party where someone’s asking why they can’t get into their stuff,” said Ronald Sasine, the senior director for packaging procurement at Wal-Mart. “I’ve heard over the years, ‘How come I need a knife to get into my knife?’ ‘How come I need a pair of scissors to get into my kid’s birthday present?’ ”

To see the full article from NYTimes, click here.

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Clamshell Packaging Services: We use a Circular motion Rotary System to weld our card clams, blister packs, and clam pack. On certain sizes we can weld up to 650 clams per hour depending on complexity, we choose this particular machine due to low-cost tooling and setup, we apply a High-Frequency weld to the pack in order to seal.