This smart packaging lid concept derives from our participation in the Horizon 2020 project called PRESTIGE. It was an EU wide collaboration between designers, material scientists, material suppliers, end-users and manufacturers, to explore the role that novel materials play in design-driven innovation.
The idea here was to embed an NFC antenna & chip in the lid that contains specific information on the product like expiry date, ingredients, where the ingredients come from, how to best use the product and a counterfeit proof signature. All these infos can be accessed via a smart phone and could help to further engage with the user.
To embed or rather to overmould electronic components is quite challenging since the temperature of the injected plastic can damage or destroy them. That is why a lot of research went into optimising mould flow and to make the electronics parts more resistant to heat.
NFC antennas work best if they have a large diameter. To make them work in a small cylindric lid, researchers from Infineon developed a miniturised antenna architecture.
A very reliable, fast and cheap way to produce printed electronics is to use roll-to-roll or screen printing techniques that deposit different ink formulations onto a flat substrate like clear polymer films.
To explore how conductive inks change their performance after being deformed, researchers from Walterpack vacuum-formed printed sheets and measured the remaining conductivity afterwards.
Project assistants: Hadrien Fouin, Beatriz Lobao, Anna Röder, Amelie Graf, Agatha Sowinski (photography), Nina Eder, Valerie Feiertag
Special mentions: Thomas Herndl & Mladen Pesic / Infineon – Austria, Lionel Tenchine / IPC – France, Tayeb Boudjiet / Walterpack – Spain, Katie Beverley / PDR – UK, Antoine Latour / CEA Liten – France, Dong-Bach / University of Glasgow – UK