Thin Film Electronics ASA ("Thinfilm"), a leader in development of printed electronics, and Bemis Company, Inc (“Bemis”), a Fortune 500 supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials, today announced an agreement to develop a flexible sensing platform for the packaging market. The result will be a new category of packaging that can collect and wirelessly communicate sensor information, for use by leading food, consumer products and healthcare companies worldwide.
Thinfilm has previously announced technology partnerships to develop an inexpensive, integrated time-temperature sensor for use in monitoring perishable goods and pharmaceuticals. Under the agreement with Bemis, Thinfilm will extend this work to create a customizable sensor platform that Bemis will subsequently tailor to its customers’ individual requirements. The Intelligent Packaging Platform can be adapted to monitor and record key physical properties and environmental data in packaged perishable products.
“Intelligent packaging is an emerging technology with many potential intersections with Bemis’ flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials business segments,” said Henry Theisen, Bemis Company President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our agreement with Thinfilm represents an investment in a technology that could eventually make printed electronics a component of every package we manufacture.”
Bemis’ packaging is used for a wide range of products from meat and cheese to medical devices and personal care items. Its customers include leading food and consumer products companies around the world.
The flexible packaging market for North America, alone, is estimated by PCI Films Consulting Ltd to be $18.3 Billion.
“These are exciting times for the printed electronics market, where innovative solutions that simply could not be manufactured before are soon to be delivered,” said Davor Sutija, CEO, Thinfilm. “Our partnership with Bemis will lead to new categories and types of packaging that will bring intelligence to everyday lives of millions of people worldwide. We are excited to work with the company because of their distinguished history of innovation and their vision for printed electronics.
“The relationship between Bemis and Thinfilm is a clear sign that the printed electronics market is entering a new commercial phase. While vendors have created standalone components, the integrated systems commercialized through this partnership are truly disruptive,” said Dr. Malcolm J. Thompson, founder and Director Emeritus of the FlexTech Alliance. “Vendors who have waited to see what printed and flexible electronics can offer should take this as a strong sign that now is the time to be seriously evaluating what new product opportunities printed electronics can generate.”
The Bemis Intelligent Packaging Platform is expected to be commercially available in 2014.