Bemis to fit printed electronics on its packaging by 2014

By Joe Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Technology

Bemis partner with Thin Film for 'intelligent' packaging
Bemis partner with Thin Film for 'intelligent' packaging
Bemis has partnered with a printed electronics company to develop 'intelligent' packaging which it claims should be on the market in 2014.

Oslo-based Thin Film Electronics will provide printed electronics technology in the form of sensor labels that can collect and wirelessly communicate sensor information such as humidity, temperature and environmental factors affecting packaging from manufacture to commercial scale.

Bemis originally plans to use the label sensors on the outside of the packaging but believe it might be possible to use them on the inside sometime in the future.

The firm said it made the move to take advantage of the technology and the insight benefits it could provide about its packaging throughout the chain. 

Aim for labels

Donald Nimis, president of Shield Pack, a Bemis company, told the technology will need to be refined to be used every day on every package.

At first it will be used on products that are big and that package valuable high end market products as the technology is new and costly but when the cost is driven down it can be brought to other categories of packaging.

“We have been following events and the technological evolution over the last two years with regards to printed electronics and now is the right time to move in as it intersects with our technology, with ​[Thinfilm’s] expertise specialised in their field where ours is in conventional packaging​.

“I believe eventually industry will take it up when the technology is there but cost needs to go down.”

Nimis said he was not aware of any other flexible packagers in this field at the moment.

In the short term we are interested in purchasing the product and incorporating it on the label on the outside of packaging.

“Long term we hope it will be possible for it to be incorporated in printed films.

“Printed electronics is compatible with what we do but there is a lot to learn and it is about finding the way in packaging as it is not mature enough yet.”

Emerging technology

Nimis said printed sensor labels were an emerging technology that Bemis saw as aligning with their aim to invest in innovation.

“[The labels] will focus on the product roadmap, as they observe humidity, temperature and environmental factors in their electronic memory, so we can monitor and follow the packaging through all its attributes.

“It aligns with our long term structure, to invest in new and emerging technology and acquire technology to benefit our customers.

“The result is recording information to correlate potency and safety that the product experiences due to conditions it is put through and analyse packaging performance.

“It will allow us to make observations for packaging when it contains consumer products throughout the chain.”

Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm said: "These are exciting times for the printed electronics market, where innovative solutions that simply could not be manufactured before are soon to be delivered​.

"Our partnership with Bemis will lead to new categories and types of packaging that will bring intelligence to the everyday lives of millions of people worldwide​.”

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