Dan O’Connell, president of Raflatac USA, welcomed the group and Jouko Lähepelto, senior vice president of UPM, gave an overview of the Finland based company that owns Raflatac.
Then Bryan Edmonson, purchases group manager of Procter & Gamble, spoke about the importance of labels. “Packaging is the number one communication vehicle for our brands,” he said. He explained that about 75 percent of purchasing decisions are made at the point of purchase, so consumers look to the labels to pick their products. He said that packaging will only continue to gain importance as more households use products like TiVo, which allow users to skip commercials. He said 50 percent of households will have TiVo in 2008.
Jan Svoboda, marketing director of UPM Rafsec, spoke about his company’s commitment to RFID technology and how it has been the first company to make an EPC Class1 Gen1 compliant RFID tag and the first to offer an EPC Class1 Gen2 RFID product. He said there are many opportunities to use RFID beyond retail compliance, including pharmaceuticals, digital and printed media, manufacturing, and apparel. He did mention, however, that outside of the USA there is not a great deal of demand for RFID.
Michael Liard of Venture Development Corporation stressed the need for label converters to become more involved in the production of RFID tags and labels. “The number of label converters engaging in RFID continues to grow,” he said. “However, compared with converter capacity in general, it remains limited.”
The event ended with a tour of Raflatac’s plant in