PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, April 2014

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viewpoint 6 APRIL 2014 www.PackagingDigest.com LISA MCTIGUE PIERCE Executive Editor lisa.pierce@ubm.com Satisfied with printed electronics so far? Hollywood often tells us how much a movie cost to make so we'll be suitably impressed with the studio's commitment to totally wow us. So I was amazed to learn that companies developing printed electronics are spending from a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars to make prototypes. T ese numbers come from research done by IDTechEx, producers of Printed Electronics events around the world. As we all know, risk-adverse packaging developers and engineers often need proof-of-concept on emerging technologies. But I was doing articles about packaging applications using printed electronics back in 2008. Fast forward six years and the number of commercialized packaging applications is still pretty low, in my opinion. But I can see that changing rapidly—and perhaps overnight. IDTechEx polled end users, asking what they want in printed electronics. T e answers are enlightening. More brand owners are pursuing printed electronics programs—and with dedicated staf . Not surprising, most of the work is going on in secret to protect intellectual property (IP) and ensure a competitive edge. "Many users see printed electronics adding value by enabling dif erentiated products and interactivity," reports IDTechEx. Two other insights from the study: • "End users do not want to become integrators themselves, they want to see complete solutions or prototypes that they feel is currently lacking in the industry." (T ose huge investment dollars mentioned above now make more sense.) • "T e technical performance has fallen short of expectations, as has cost reduction: many are starting with simple devices, f nding that more sophisticated devices are too complex right now." A recent promising development that addresses the performance and cost issues is an agreement between T+ink, a leader in conductive ink technology and Edison award winner, and Sun Chemical, the largest global producer of inks. In partnership, they have formed T+sun to develop new conductive ink solutions designed to engage consumers with interactive packages, as well as to help manage inventory systems. Terry Kaiserman, chief technology of cer at T+ink, explains that conductive ink "of ers more security than QR codes" and can replace radio frequency identif cation (RFID) at "a fraction of the cost." When asked how conductive ink of ers more security than QR (quick-response) codes, Kaiserman explains about the company's Touchcode technology, which is sensed and recognized through the capacitive screen on a smartphone. "Touchcode conductive ink signatures cannot be easily replicated by a counterfeiter," he says. "QR codes can be photocopied and reproduced by anyone. Touchcode technology is embedded at time of packaging printing or container fabrication. It's invisible on the packaging." When asked what percentage of the cost of RFID, he reiterates, "It's a fraction of the cost—depending on the type of package, substrate and ink formulation." If you haven't been impressed with printed electronics, just wait. T e next wave of high-impact, cost-ef ective packaging applications is sure to get your attention—and the attention of shoppers. Call today for superior systems across a variety of industries: UÊ `ÊEÊ iÛiÀ>}iÊ UÊ *iÀà > Ê >ÀiÊ UÊ i V> ÃÊ UÊ * >À >ViÕÌ V> Ê UÊ ÕÌ Ì ÛiÊ UÊ i` V> Ê UÊ `ÕÃÌÀ > Ê UÊ iVÌÀ VÃÊ UÊ ÜÊ ` } Û>ÌiÊÞ ÕÀÊ«À ViÃÃiÃ°Ê Ì>VÌÊ- « >Ì VÊÌ `>Þ° 434.385.9181 There's a smarter way to speed up your CONVEYOR SYSTEMS. >`iÊ ÊÌ iÊ1-Êà ViÊ£ Èx° ->iÃJ-«>ÌV°VÊUÊ-«>ÌV°V Simplimatic Automation is owned by Simplimatic Engineering Holdings, LLC, a business development and private equity firm. ½ÌÊÃ>VÀ wViÊÌ iÊÃÕVViÃÃÊ vÊÞ ÕÀÊLÕà iÃÃÊÜ Ì ÊÃÕL «>ÀÊV ÛiÞ ÀÊ ÃÞÃÌi ðÊ7 Ì Ê ÛiÀÊ{äÊÞi>ÀÃÊ vÊiÝ«iÀ i ViÊ Êv>VÌ ÀÞÊ>ÕÌ >Ì ]Ê - « >Ì VÊ ii«ÃÊÞ ÕÀÊ«À `ÕVÌÃÊ Û }ÊÃÜ vÌ ÞÊÜ Ì Ê Û>Ì ÛiÊ `ià } ]ÊivwV i ÌÊ >Þ ÕÌÃÊ> `Ê >Ý Õ Ê«À `ÕVÌ Û ÌÞ° SIMPLIMATIC. NO INTERRUPTION. ALL INNOVATION. ES416672_PD1404_006.pgs 03.29.2014 02:31 UBM black yellow magenta cyan

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