The European paper industry is under pressure with paper use declining approximately 5% per year. Within ROPAS a technology platform is developed to add new functionalities to paper (fibre) based substrates. This will enable a whole new generation of high value added smart paper/cardboard products and open up new market opportunities in the European paper, packaging and security label industries.
ROPAS aims to develop a wireless sensor device on a paper surface which can be manufactured using high-end and low-cost printing techniques. A technological platform is created on a fiber based substrate consisting of the following building blocks: • a planar printed battery • a (wireless) signaling device • a printed sensor switch. Hereto, recent advantages in nanotechnology, (encapsulation) printing, surface modification of fiber based products, sensor and battery development, biotechnology (enzyme encapsulation) and ICT (wireless communication) are integrated on paper.
The technological platform can be used to create various high impact (security) applications, which are demonstrated in security tags and smart labels for anti-counterfeiting purposes to integrate displays in paper and smart track and trace envelopes. ROPAS will demonstrate products which give the consumer the benefit of saving time and giving more information about the package than possible today, at a low additional cost. Simultaneously creating new products and virgin businesses to boost the paper and pulp industry. The project results in: design guidelines for the technological platform, the creation of printable sensor materials, and processes for printing of such materials including conditioning of the paper substrates.
TNO is coordinator of the ROPAS project. The consortium is built such that all required different expertises to execute the project are present and thus forming a multidisciplinary team. TNO contributes to several levels of expertise in the project, such as inkjet printing, encapsulation and ICT protocols.