“Residential Innovator” at Royal Joh. Enschedé.
Meeuwis de Weerd
Meeuwis de Weerd is the “residential innovator” at Royal Joh. Enschedé. Throughout his career, he has continually raised the bar in terms of knowledge and experience, acting as an innovator and problem-solver, always striving for professional excellence.
From a young age, he was fascinated by the inner workings of things, dismantling almost everything in sight, much to the frustration of those around him. As a non-conformist, he quickly made the enterprising decision to look beyond his homeland, resulting in the concept of a small retail chain in Berlin in 1991.
After valuable lessons in rapid growth, he found a position in a large security organization, following an HBO study in Security Management. In the following years, at various employers and in various positions, the bar was set higher and higher in terms of knowledge and experience, with varying degrees of success.
When we ask Meeuwis what drives him, he says: “At an early age, I always questioned why something ‘is’ the way it ‘is’. Only after many years, I realized that this is similar to Einstein’s motto; ‘imagination is more important than knowledge (for knowledge is limited)’. So, call it unbridled curiosity. Add to that a lack of resources and you have the recipe for thinking ‘out of the box’ to achieve unconventional results.”
He may not be the most visible person within Royal Joh. Enschedé, but the projects Meeuwis’ is currently working on could become a part of our everyday life. Working on the combination of paper and electronic circuits, he is laying the foundation for an industry standard for paper and/or ultra-thin-film Package Embedded Identifiers (PEIs). A PEI is an RFID application integrated into packaging that enables a product to be tracked from the moment it is packed until it is recycled.
Meeuwis says: “To be honest, I have a whole shelf full of ideas, but Package Embedded Identifiers (PEI) is a really cool concept to provide control over authenticity, inventory management, logistical optimization, and ultimately supporting recycling. Each of these items are currently an issue for companies worldwide. For instance, food manufacturers need to adhere to strict regulations on packaging, or luxury goods manufacturers want to prevent counterfeiting. PEI can solve a lot of these issues.”
Royal Joh. Enschedé is, among many things, one of the world’s largest producers of (postal) stamps. Meeuwis’ technology of ‘printed’ and paper-based RFID tags can be integrated into the existing production environment. This technology opens up opportunities to a variety of industries, including logistics service providers (for postage stamps), governments (for excise stamps), pharmaceutical companies (for authenticity stamps), and high-end FMCG manufacturers (for authenticity, warranty, logistics, etc.).
Meeuwis is excited about all the possibilities: “I always strive for an ecologically and financially responsible application to optimize both existing and new technology. It is all achievable, and an upscaled paper-based solution is a huge step forward in a wide spectrum of areas.”