Labels that accurately measure elapsed time or temperatures just keep getting smarter. As an example, Timestrip Plc now offers time-lapse labels for use with ethylene absorption filters that are found on certain domestic refrigerators to help extend the shelf life of fruit and vegetables. The filters now appear in certain types of refrigerators sold in Europe by the Fagor Group, known widely in Spain and France for branded household appliances. Once activated, a non-toxic liquid dye travels across the label at a prescribed rate to show users when a filter should be changed.
In Germany, KSW Microtec AG has launched KSW-VarioSens Basic, a semi active RFID interface and a paper-thin battery. The credit card-sized label works via wireless communication in the ISM band at 13.56 MHz. KSW says it allows easy and effective monitoring of temperature sensitive goods at an affordable price with all the benefits of RFID technology. Users collect temperature information using an RFID reader for processing afterwards according to the user need. Depending on the application and measurement interval KSW-VarioSens Basic label can be re-used. The company is providing the KSW-VarioSens command set to all software integrators free of charge to simplify the development of software applications. Samples are available now ahead of series production, which begins in the next few months in Dresden, Germany.
Ciba Specialty Chemicals and FreshPoint have introduced OnVu, a new time-temperature indicator system. It allows producers of food products, retailers and consumers to check at a glance whether perishable products have been correctly supplied and stored, and their relative freshness.
The indicators are available as labels or as inks for printing on packaging.