Hot on the heels of Toppan, who have integrated NFC tags into paper packaging (AIPIA newsletter 21-07-21), ISBC, a Russia based RFID solutions developer has collaborated with AIPIA member, SAPPI – a global paper and packaging material supplier – to present an innovative new smart paper with embedded RFID chips. The chips are embedded into the paper sheet without any impact on the paper surface, which remains flat and smooth.
The smart RFID paper supplier was looking for an alternative to plastic for smart printing and Sappi’s Swiss Matt paper – used mostly as an inkjet paper for large-format printing – was settled on due to its white surface, print results, plus scratch and water resistance. The companies also report that the product is as easy to print as a regular sheet of paper, making it a cost-efficient solution for printers, the partners claim.
Another reported advantage of the ‘sandwich product’ is that it can be printed using various kinds of printing techniques and equipment – helping to eliminate in-house development work and avoiding investments in new machinery, software, and business processes. The desired information can simply be transferred to the paper-embedded RFID chip: for the encoding process, ISBC has developed a special encoding machine and training materials.
Ivan Demidov, ISBC’s founder and inventor, says: “Our patented technology is unique on the market. It offers end-users a PVC-free, more sustainable, and future-proof option.”
Initial potential applications, include contactless tickets on buses, trains, trams, and other means of transport, as well as for prepaid cards and gift cards, business cards, and access control, including key cards for hotel rooms, or admission wristbands for events and trade fairs. But future packaging applications are also possible.
These paper-based sensors and labels can also be integrated into diplomas and other certificates to verify document authenticity, so a possible route is open to authentication of CPGs. Conventional postcards can also be enhanced by integrating an RFID tag with interactive URLs, again a feature which is becoming increasingly popular on packaging.