By adding new functionalities to paper, the EU-funded ‘Roll-to-roll paper sensors’ (ROPAS) project aims to open up new market opportunities in the European paper, packaging and security label industries.
According to a report from the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA), at the moment it is not economically feasible to produce packages and labels with sensors.
However recent advances in a number of technology fields have enabled the incorporation of information into paper products that can interact with the user.
Using high-end and low-cost printing techniques to manufacture components, the ROPAS project intends to develop a wireless sensor device on a paper surface.
A technological platform is being developed that consists of an electronic circuit in which sensors, batteries and communication devices are integrated on paper using those printing techniques.
“The technologies will be used to create various new products based on the monitoring of environmental changes and communication of the observations,” the AIPIA report states.
Such products could, for example, incorporate a sensor in a carton of milk that will be able to send a text message warning that the milk is going sour.
Three applications will be used by the ROPAS project to demonstrate the new technologies: security tag, smart label and smart envelope.
“Work is continuing in the project to develop the technologies required to produce new high value-added products that meet consumer needs and have a high market potential,” AIPIA reports.