Chapter

Printed Smart Labels in Packaging

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  • Inštitut za celulozo in papir
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Abstract

The presented chapter is an extensive overview of the categorisation, materials used, printing technologies, environmental impacts, applications, future trends and potentials of printed smart labels in packaging. In the first part, the smart labels are defined and their role in the wider context of communication media is explained. Besides the aims of the packaging of the future, the networking objectives and the connection with the paradigm of Internet of Things are also presented. Further, types of smart labels are categorised and classified in electronic article surveillance, radio frequency identification (RFID), smart labels for brand enhancement, smart labels for diagnostics, electronic shelf labels and hybrid electronics smart labels. The focus of the contribution is on RFID for packaging applications and therefore RFID labels with printed sensors. In the second part, the materials used in smart labels are analysed, including inorganic and organic materials and substrates. In the contribution of printing technologies for smart labelling the comparison of additive and subtractive manufacturing patterning is shown and the comparative overview of printing technologies (offset, gravure, flexo, screen, inkjet, μCP, nano-imprint and dispense) is presented including the systematic comparison of parameters as printing form, ink viscosity, line width and thickness, printing speed, etc. Furthermore, the application values of printed smart labels are analysed. The implementations of printed electronic with the focus on RFID and sensing devices are discussed, including already launched and successful commercial solutions and some products at developmental research level. In the final part of the contribution, the environmental impacts of smart labels are explained. The presentation of negative impacts does not overlook the fact that there is a difference between active and passive RFID and that the components of smart labels should be treated differently, especially according to their material and complexity of components. The environmental positive impact of the printed smart labels is demonstrated especially when considering many opportunities for the improvements and reorganisation of management processes of recycling systems. In the conclusions, the implementations of information processing and augmented reality in printed smart labels for packaging are discussed. Here, the conceptual frameworks for smart packaging are presented, challenging the research field with some considerations about the need of constant redefinition and clarification due to persistent changes in the interconnectivity and relationship between physical and virtual media.

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... The use of invasive plant papers for these purposes has not been widely studied except by Kavčič and Karlovits (2020). The combination of ink printing techniques and the influence of the paper is well known (Brodnjak et al. 2017), but newly developed materials (paper substrates) need to be tested due to the inherent influence of the fibre composition and surface sizing or coating, which can influence the absorption and ink spreading mechanism. ...
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