Thin Film Electronics ASA (“Thinfilm”), a developer of printed electronics, has announced it has entered into a commercial distribution agreement with PakSense, Inc., a developer of intelligent sensing products specifically designed to monitor perishable goods. Terms of the agreement authorize PakSense to distribute Thinfilm Smart Labels to food suppliers and retailers of produce, meat and seafood in North America, South America and Central America. In addition, PakSense has submitted pre-orders for the labels, which are targeted for delivery to lead customers in early 2015.
PakSense currently provides numerous major food retailers and suppliers with products to help monitor the condition of perishable items through the global supply chain. With a footprint of more than 1,500 customers in more than 70 countries, PakSense has a proven track record in helping ensure that only the freshest and safest products reach consumers.
“PakSense is a market leader in the development of intelligent sensing products specifically designed to monitor perishable goods,” says Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “In addition to being a noted expert in cold chain transport and distribution, they maintain an extensive network of resellers and distributors, which makes them an ideal Thinfilm partner. We’re excited to join forces with them in delivering our printed electronic technology to their many clients throughout the Americas.”
PakSense's current products are one-time use electronic time and temperature loggers optimized to monitor and record conditions at the “container” level for up to 90 days. They monitor all segments of the food supply chain including supplier to the retail distribution center, retail distribution center to the store and perishable exports. Many food suppliers and processors also use PakSense Labels as a component of their internal quality assurance programs.
The Thinfilm printed electronic labels will indicate if certain temperature ranges have been exceeded and complement PakSense time and temperature monitors. The ultra-low cost associated with the printed electronics process will now make it possible for PakSense customers to use multiple Thinfilm labels in a shipment at the “item” and “pallet” level. This will lead to added visibility into temperature variations that may exist within a shipment. The enhanced data can then be used to make better informed stocking decisions, and should ultimately aid in the delivery of products that are safer, fresher, and higher in quality, the companies say.
“By introducing Thinfilm’s printed electronics technology to the perishable foods space, PakSense will provide another tool to help ensure overall product integrity and reduce unnecessary waste, while arming producers, retailers and consumers with the information they need to make smarter decisions,” says David Oster, CEO of PakSense. “We’re delighted to pass this value along to our customers and look forward to working with Thinfilm on additional technology developments in the future.”
In addition to Thinfilm’s own technology and logic, key components of the smart labels will be provided by several Thinfilm ecosystem partners, including thermistors from PST and electrochromic displays from Acreo.