Jones Packaging Inc. (jonespackaging.com), a world-class provider of premier packaging solutions for healthcare and consumer brands, has entered into a commercial partnership with Thin Film Electronics ASA (thinfilm.no), a global leader in printed electronics and smart systems. Together the companies will integrate Thinfilm’s NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard pharma packaging and establish key manufacturing processes for production on Jones’ high speed lines. Jones and Thinfilm will engage leading global pharmaceutical companies to integrate the smart technology into Rx and over-the-counter product packaging and deliver the solution to market.
NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels that can detect both a product’s “factory sealed” and “opened” states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. The tags contain unique identifiers that make it possible for pharmaceutical companies to authenticate products and track them to the individual-item level using powerful software and analytics tools. In addition, the tags remain active even after a product’s factory seal has been broken, empowering brands and medical staff to extend the dialogue with consumers and patients.
“Our strategy of developing printed electronics solutions for the healthcare market led us to this important collaboration with industry pioneer Thinfilm,” says Chris Jones Harris, principal, strategic initiatives and alliances with Jones. “Thinfilm’s unique printed NFC solution addresses multiple needs within the pharmaceutical channel, particularly around product integrity and patient safety, and allows our customers to connect the world of physical packaging to virtual and dynamic content on the internet – it’s a very unique and compelling proposition.”
Thinfilm’s “Tag Talks First” protocol is a key feature of the NFC OpenSense tag and enables a read-speed that is up to 20 times faster than conventional NFC solutions. This makes it an ideal technology for use within the high-speed, high-volume production lines found in Jones’ manufacturing facilities. The work conducted by Jones and Thinfilm will also include the integration of ferrite shield labels with the NFC OpenSense tags. This will enable the NFC technology to function on metalized packaging, such as blisters commonly used for cold/flu medication. This is perfectly aligned with Jones’ contract packaging capabilities in the area of customized blister packaging solutions for solid dose products including tablets, caplets, capsules and gel caps.
“Jones has been in business for well over a century and is a trusted partner to many of the most recognized global pharmaceutical and consumer brands,” says Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “We are very excited to be partnering with a true innovator in the packaging industry and look forward to helping them deliver this leading-edge NFC solution to the pharmaceutical space.”
The Jones/Thinfilm smart packaging collaboration will be funded, in part, by grants from both the Swedish and Canadian governments.