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Company, Innovation
Rhenoflex and osapiens make transparency visible
Whether it is transparency in the supply chain or the optimal use of resources – the demands made on the shoe industry and its products are leaving retailers increasingly confronted by major challenges.

Rhenoflex is a pioneer in sustainable reinforcement solutions for the shoe and lifestyle industry; osapiens is a successful Mannheim-based software company. The collaboration between the two businesses is making it feasible to integrate software into thermoplastic reinforcement materials using a chip. The aim is to digitalize physical products and thereby create a more useful connection between brands, retailers, resellers, and consumers. This will also unlock new business models in the long term.

Whether it is transparency in the supply chain or the optimal use of resources – the demands made on the shoe industry and its products are leaving retailers increasingly confronted by major challenges. The chip-based solution developed by Rhenoflex and osapiens provides an answer to this issue. It makes each shoe traceable – from the production to the recycling stage.

“Our solution requires zero effort from the manufacturer. They receive the counter cap with an integrated chip. Both elements are inseparably bonded,” says Dr. Gunter Scharfenberger from Rhenoflex.

The innovative collaboration between Rhenoflex and osapiens offers many other additional benefits. The reinforcement material thus protects the chip against pressure and external influences and makes it virtually impossible to remove. Any deformations necessitated by certain processes don’t have any negative impact on the integrated chip, and the reinforcement materials are made using a sustainable production process that is virtually 100% waste-free. No downstream processes such as punching-out or trimming are required.

With the help of the tracking technology, manufacturers can measure and analyze their CO2 footprint and reduce their costs through early problem diagnosis. Every manufacturer can determine for themselves the detail they require from the tracking information. Consumers can also benefit, for example by digitally accessing product information such as the materials used, available shoe sizes, and colors.
 
In the long term, this also unlocks new business models, such as digital customer targeting via the metaverse. For example, during a test run, the Mannheim-based shoe manufacturer Melvin & Hamilton used an avatar that moves through a virtual world on consumers’ smartphones. 

Learn more about this successful cooperation in the latest edition of Steptechnik.

Julia Rosinow
Communication Manager
+49-621-5709-6263
j.rosinow@rhenoflex.com
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