The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has formed a specialist consortium to create a UK manufacturing supply chain that will support the widespread adoption of NFC packaging. The three year project aims to “develop new processes, equipment and applications to enable the high volume manufacturing — billions or even trillions — of printed electronic components that incorporate NFC,” the company says.
“The project is providing a technology platform to develop new, innovative and novel functionalities and applications, alongside the building of specialist skills and capabilities,” CPI adds. “A key emphasis is to apply highly automated and high speed integration techniques to meet targets costs of 1% per NFC tag.
“The three year project is titled Scope and is building the manufacturing capability, capacity and skills required to commercialise and position the UK as a world leader in the production of smart products with printed sensors.”
“The project covers multiple application sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, beverages, games and security and provides a platform to develop second-generation opportunities within other key UK sectors including healthcare, food, energy, built-environment, defence and transport,” the company says.
“Currently initial concepts are being developed around low-cost, high volume, printed logic for integration into labels for smart packaging and product branding on fast moving consumable goods.”
“The project brings together the whole innovation value chain, providing the platform for end-users to develop their next generation packaging concepts and to prove these in terms of market viability and appeal,” says Mike Clausen, programme manager at CPI.
“So far, the consortium has made excellent progress and has worked closely to produce a range of NFC product concepts that integrate logic circuits produced on flexible substrates. Going forward, the next steps are to upscale the manufacturing process to ensure that these novel NFC applications are produced at the cost and speeds that industry demands.
“To do this, we are currently developing the capability to scale up these production processes to product market trial samples of up to 50,000-100,000 tags.”