Thinfilm works with Jones Packaging to create smart packaging solution for medicines

Will integrate NFC OpenSense labels into paperboard cartons

Thin Film Electronics, a specialist in printed electronics and smart systems, has formed a partnership with Jones Packaging, a Canadian provider of packaging for the healthcare and consumer industries, to integrate Thinfilm’s NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard pharma packaging and establish manufacturing processes for production on Jones’ high-speed lines.

The collaboration will initially focus on integrating the NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard cartons for prescription and over-the-counter medicines. As part of this initiative, London, Ontario-based Jones has placed a 'six-figure' unit order for NFC OpenSense tags, says Thinfilm.

NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels 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 make it possible for pharmaceutical companies to authenticate products and track them to individual-item level using software and analytical tools.

Thinfilm’s 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, the firm says. This makes it suitable for use within the high-speed, high-volume production lines found in Jones’ manufacturing facilities. The work conducted by the two firms will also include the integration of ferrite shield labels with the NFC OpenSense tags. This will enable the NFC technology to function on metallised packaging, such as blisters commonly used for cold/flu medication.

The collaboration will be funded, in part, by grants from both the Swedish and Canadian governments.