Page 51 - Packaging News Magazine Jan-Feb 2019
P. 51

January-February 2019
By integrating the RFID tag with a paper label, the manufacturing process becomes more scalable...”
A theme that featured strongly on both days was sustainability, where A&IP has raised concerns in some quarters. Several speakers demon- strated how the sector is addressing these issues. In particular, the Eco technology by Stora Enso is designed for intelligent packaging functional- ities in supply chain, retail and e-commerce applications.
The new technology enables the RFID tags to be produced on a 100 per cent fibre-based paper label, unlike traditional plastic tags, re- sulting in a lower carbon footprint for sustainability conscious B2B and B2C companies, explained Juha Mai- jala, director of the company’s Intel- ligent Packaging Flagship.
“This technology is unique, in the sense that it offers a recyclable and plastic layer free option for RFID end-users, thus enabling a digital and sustainable packaging infra- structure,” he added. “By integrat- ing the RFID tag with a paper label, the manufacturing process becomes more scalable and, as result, also more cost-effective – all without compromising on performance and reliability,” claims Maijala.
From a different perspective, CEO and co-founder of Dutch based Parx Plastics Michaël van der Jagt launched the company’s world-wide patented technology to make plastic antimicrobial by using a biocompat- ible, non-leaching, non-toxic, eco- friendly trace element. This offers a highly effective – and cost effective – defence against microbial growth and reduces food waste consider- ably, his company says.
He explained how the trace ele- ment of zinc helps the human immune system to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Van der Jagt said that by incorporating it into a
packaging film it creates the same type of ‘immune system’ in plastics. This offers a 99.99 per cent antimi- crobial property, tests show, which, in layman’s terms, means 1000 times less bacteria after 24 hours.
Michael Zehnpfennig VP of Opera- tions and Solutions at Wiliot told del- egates that innovators have been ex- perimenting with embedding Rain RFID and NFC into packaging for some time. Bluetooth beacon technol- ogy offers the advantage of connecting more easily, by using lower cost infra- structure, without the need for con- sumers to tap products, he explained. But the bulky form factor, expense and limited battery life has meant that Bluetooth enabled packaging has been a non-starter for most brands.
His company is building the first battery-free Bluetooth tags by har- vesting energy from ambient radio waves. Bluetooth tags with no main- tenance, an unlimited lifetime, and a paper-thin form factor open up a world of possibilities in packaging and are certainly more environmen- tally friendly than devices with metallised components, he said.
Recycl3R uses the Internet of Things (IOT) to provide value to
BELOW, LEFT: As a production technology Eco is fully compatible with all Stora Enso tag designs.
CENTRE: Bluetooth beacon technology beckons.
BELOW, RIGHT: Groundbreaking PE innovation
– Asahi Kasei has launched a sub-micron R2R technique to achieve an ‘invisible’ RFID tag.
something that is not valuable for the brands: their packaging waste. Ivan Gonzalez, the company’s CEO, provided insights and results from a Horizon 2020 EU funded project, and a use case pilot launched in Spain. This is based on a B2B ser- vice that facilitates the retailers engaging with their customers, giving information about how and where to recycle every product and by giving rewards when they recy- cle them.
Perhaps one of the most exciting new products on display came from Japanese company Asahi Kasei, which introduced a sub-micron roll to roll (R2R) technique to achieve an ‘invisible’ RFID tag. Takeshi Kamijo, a member of the printed electronics development group, outlined the roadmap to the creation of this transparent antenna.
The company has developed a large area seamless roller mould (SRM) using EB-lithography, which includes various mould pattern variations and a unique, high resolu- tion, printing process and conduc- tive cuprous oxide ink, it says. The aim is to print a sub-micron copper antenna on PET using this new printing technology. The tiny metal mesh on the packaging substrate is less than 3μm thick.
This metal mesh transparent antenna could be a revolutionary step in the adoption of RFID on to many packs where ‘real estate’ is at a premium, which can make brand owners and pack designers reluctant to adopt a device they want because it could interfere with a long estab- lished brand or pack image.

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