PRINT4PACK

Project Acronym PRINT4PACK
Project Title Low cost integrated autonomous RFtemperature sensors for food packaging
Project Start Date 01/01/2013
Project Duration 30 Months
Project Website www.print4pack.com
Partners’ names and countries Chimigraf Ibérica SL, Catalonia, Spain
Zettlex, UK
Plasto-sac, Israel
Envases Plasticos Del Ter SA, Catalonia, Spain
LEITAT Technological Center, Catalonia,Spain

Project Coordinator:

Name: Armand Marcé

Organization: CHIMIGRAF IBÉRICA, S.L.

E-mail: AMarce@chimigraf.com

At present there is a lack of fresh food monitoring together with a need to improve food quality and reduce food spoilage worldwide. Print4Pack project emerges to contribute to solve this challenge. Suggested already available solutions are based on ink-jet and screen printing inks for RFID, energy storage devices and temperature sensors. However, these techniques are not suitable printing technologies for the packaging industry. Colorimetric labels already exist. However, they are too expensive for the final application in the food packaging industry. The main targeted innovation of Print4Pack project is the combination of very low cost high precision high productivity gravure printing of temperature sensors, supercapacitors as energy storage devices and RFID antennas integrated to SoC IC for food packaging applications.

The objective of the project is to develop new printing technique which can be used for low cost, radio frequency (RF) sensing. The main target of the project is RF temperature sensing and logging for chilled, frozen and fresh food. The technology comprises a printed temperature sensor, printed power supplier (supercapacitor), and printed RFID antenna coupled with very low cost chip. The project also includes development of suitable polymer substrates with appropriate surface properties for high speed/high precision printing. Sensors, energy storage devices and antenna will be developed by gravure printing in order to ensure scalability for packaging industry. The project’s first step will be the study of different materials for printed antennas, energy storage devices and temperature sensors. All suitable materials will be formulated in inks for rotogravure printing, one of the most relevant printing technologies in food packaging sector. Design of the electronic components will be developed initially using laboratory printing units at first and high precision high speed rotogravure printing in a second stage. This will ensure transferability at industrial levels. A low cost integrated autonomous RF temperature sensor for food packaging will be the main demonstrator.

Evaluation of both technological and economical viability of the printed device as well as a business model for industrial transfer will be also carried out in the project.