Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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OpenSense labels claim to protect product integrity in medication packaging


January 5, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Jan. 5, 2016 – Jones Packaging, a provider of packaging solutions for healthcare and consumer brands, has entered into a commercial partnership with Thin Film Electronics ASA (“Thinfilm”), a provider of printed electronics and smart systems. The smart packaging collaboration will be funded, in part, by grants from both the Canadian and Swedish governments.

Together the companies will integrate Thinfilm’s NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard pharma packaging and establish manufacturing processes for production on Jones’ high-speed lines. Jones and Thinfilm say they will engage global pharmaceutical companies to integrate the smart technology into Rx and over-the-counter product packaging and deliver the solution to market.

The NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels, says Thinfilm, that can detect both a product’s “factory sealed” and “opened” states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. The tags contain unique identifiers that enable pharmaceutical companies to authenticate products and track them to the individual-item level through software and analytics tools. In addition, the tags remain active even after a product’s factory seal has been broken, “empowering brands and medical staff to extend the dialogue with consumers and patients,” it adds.

“Thinfilm’s unique printed NFC solution addresses multiple needs within the pharmaceutical channel, particularly around product integrity and patient safety, and allows our customers to connect the world of physical packaging to virtual and dynamic content on the internet — it’s a very unique and compelling proposition,” said Chris Jones Harris, principal, Strategic Initiatives and Alliances with Jones.

The company says the “Tag Talks First” protocol is a key feature of the NFC OpenSense tag and enables a read-speed that is up to 20 times faster than conventional NFC solutions, making it an “ideal technology for use within the high-speed, high-volume production lines found in Jones’ manufacturing facilities.”

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The work conducted by Jones and Thinfilm will also include the integration of ferrite shield labels with the NFC OpenSense tags. This will enable the NFC technology to function on metalized packaging, such as blisters commonly used for cold/flu medication.