OSLO /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Thin Film Electronics ASA ("Thinfilm"), a leader in development of printed electronics, and Bemis Company Inc. (Bemis), a Fortune 500 supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials, announced an agreement to develop a flexible sensing platform for the packaging market. The result will be a new category of packaging that can collect and wirelessly communicate sensor information, for use by leading food, consumer products, and healthcare companies worldwide.
Thinfilm has previously announced technology partnerships to develop an inexpensive, integrated time-temperature sensor for use in monitoring perishable goods and pharmaceuticals. Under the agreement with Bemis, Thinfilm will extend this work to create a customizable sensor platform that Bemis will subsequently tailor to its customers' individual requirements. The intelligent packaging platform can be adapted to monitor and record key physical properties and environmental data in packaged perishable products.
"Intelligent packaging is an emerging technology with many potential intersections with Bemis' flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials business segments," said Henry Theisen, Bemis Company President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our agreement with Thinfilm represents an investment in a technology that could eventually make printed electronics a component of every package we manufacture."
Bemis' packaging is used for a wide range of products from meat and cheese to medical devices and personal care items. Its customers include leading food and consumer products companies around the world.
The flexible packaging market for North America alone is estimated by PCI Films Consulting Ltd. to be $18.3 Billion.
"These are exciting times for the printed electronics market, where innovative solutions that simply could not be manufactured before are soon to be delivered," said Davor Sutija, CEO, Thinfilm. "Our partnership with Bemis will lead to new categories and types of packaging that will bring intelligence to the everyday lives of millions of people worldwide. We are excited to work with the company because of their distinguished history of innovation and their vision for printed electronics."
"The relationship between Bemis and Thinfilm is a clear sign that the printed electronics market is entering a new commercial phase. While vendors have created standalone components, the integrated systems commercialized through this partnership are truly disruptive," said Dr. Malcolm J. Thompson, founder and Director Emeritus of the FlexTech Alliance. "Vendors who have waited to see what printed and flexible electronics can offer should take this as a strong sign that now is the time to be seriously evaluating the new product opportunities that printed electronics can generate."
The Bemis Intelligent Packaging Platform is expected to be commercially available in 2014.
Bemis Company Inc. is a major supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials used by leading food, consumer products, healthcare, and other companies worldwide. Founded in 1858, the company is included in the S&P 500 index of stocks and reported 2011 net sales of $5.3 billion. The company's flexible packaging business has a strong technical base in polymer chemistry, film extrusion, coating and laminating, printing, and converting. Headquartered in Neenah, WI, Bemis employs approximately 20,000 individuals worldwide.
Thin Film Electronics ASA is a leader in the development of printed electronics. The "first to commercialize printed rewritable memory, Thinfilm is creating printed system products that will include memory, sensing, display, and wireless communication—at a cost-per-functionality unmatched by any other electronic technology." Thinfilm's roadmap of system products integrates technology from a strong and growing ecosystem of partners to enable the Internet of Things by bringing intelligence to disposable goods. Company headquarters are in Oslo, Norway, with product development in Linkoping, Sweden, sales offices in San Francisco, U.S., and Tokyo, Japan, and manufacturing in Pyongtaek, South Korea. Follow the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.