For a wide range of products, packaging has traditionally played a relatively simple role. However, that role is significantly enhanced with the emergence of smart or intelligent packaging. Meanwhile, consumers need a better understanding of a product's composition and whether it is still in optimal condition.
For any industry where the product quality of fragile goods can quickly and easily degrade – such as food and beverages, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals – having a better understanding of the packaged contents is vital. For example, when producing cosmetics, the packaging of fluids and materials requires great accuracy. Too much or too little of a fluid can be the tipping point between a nice perfume and expensive water. Additionally it's vital important to know when a seal was first broken and whether the product is still safe to use.
A Nose for Quality
When such volatile compounds are at play, the shelf life, composition and quality of the packaged product are always of utmost importance. So imagine the benefits if the package itself can detect anomalies, assess the status of package contents and inform the user. Instantly consumers know whether the product is still in prime condition and safe to use, without having to rely on generic ‘use before’ dates. This helps guarantee higher overall product quality and consumer satisfaction.
Since initial development for pharmaceutical blister packs, NTAG® SmartSensor ICs have benefiting both OEMs and consumers in a wide range of packages. Simply inserting a small, lightweight and low power NTAG SmartSensor chip into the lid of a container enables the capture, processing and logging of sensing data. A glance at a visual indicator or just a tap of a phone, and the status of the packaged product can be easily checked. For cosmetics, that could be the volume of a bottle, how many times the container has been opened or closed, temperature variations and sensitivity. For food and pharmaceuticals, that could be monitoring flour at a bakery, managing intravenous (IV) bags in a hospital or even supervising vaccines within syringes. The NTAG Smartsensor is based on RFID/NFC technology.
Getting Started is Easy
Regardless of whether it’s smart intelligent packages for cosmetics or pharmaceuticals, getting started with the sensory and analytical abilities of NTAG SmartSensor is easy. With a range of NTAG SmartSensor starter kits, including the NHS3100 Starter Kit for temperature monitoring, customers can very quickly get to grips with smart packages. So regardless of how they use it, they can relax in the knowledge that the contents of their packages will always be the quality expected by consumers.
Want to find out more? Make sure to watch our "Smart Packaging" Video.
This is the second part of our NTAG Smartsensors series. Click to read the first article Smart Farming.
For more information contact Stefan de Troch.