Validactor looks to combat counterfeiting
The firm has developed services aimed at combatting counterfeiting and food adulteration.
It does this by product serialization: assigning a unique QR code to each product enabling the possibility to track and manage any single product unit.
By doing this it is able to control product originality, diversions, expiration, recalls, stolen items, legal distribution in appropriate areas, seized products, prototypes and samples.
Product like a car with unique number plate
Dino Sergiano, one of three founders of Validactor, said it is launching worldwide.
“All systems in place are complex there was, and still is, no major interaction with final customers. Every product can be like a car as they have their own number plates and the history is known,” he said.
“Everybody is mad with the Internet of Things (IoT) and RFID but it is expensive given the scale of production in food and difficult to implement.
“QR codes are the simplest thing to read with a smartphone and data is in the database. It can help the little artisan producers who want to protect production, track customers and have control of product on the shelf or after sale.”
Sergiano added it has decided to offer for free to any requesting company (if producing original products) up to 10,000 codes.
Validactor started with non-perishable customers and a focus on luxury garments being moving into the food space.
The firm is talking and holding demos with an olive oil consortium in the south of Italy, firms such as Presidént, Dr Oetker and Barilla as well as packagers such as Bobst.
Serialisation and VACodes
Companies serialise products generating a digital page for each unit. The page is accessible via unique graphic codes readable by any smartphone.
Users can check product authenticity by scanning the codes called VACodes. These codes are generated by manufacturers to manage activities such as recalls, expiration dates and alerts.
A VACode is a special version of a QR Code created by Validactor to access products data and status. VACodes do not contain any data - they are a shortcut to access products data stored on Cloud servers.
People can use the Validactor apps to scan VACodes and interact with manufacturers, distributors and resellers.
Anyone can control the status of each Validactor enabled product using any QR code scanner but the firm has been developing specific apps for the consumers and the points of sale.
The apps allow manufacturers and customer to interact for customer profiling, loyalty services and sales.
One example is collecting loyalty points by buying a product across all retailers and not just for one retailer as is the norm today.
Sergiano said the algorithm randomly generates an alpha-numeric string of 17 digits and letters and there is no possibility for an identical string.
“We have not set-up a fixed number of fields, it is configurable so perishable or non-perishable can set up any field to explain your product. The quantity and kind of information depends on the manufacturer,” he said.
“People want to be informed and we have to give them a simple service, QR codes are everywhere on products and bring the user to a website or generic page of the product. We have to move these QR codes as they are key to real information.
“This may take time and there will always be special cases such as loose fruit and veg and we cannot check adulterated products. Our codes should be used on a batch level, one code for a batch scan to check the quality and stick the code on a packaged item or pallet.”