Soluble labels are not for food

Tuesday, 11 October, 2005

A UK-based electronics manufacturer is nearing the end of trials testing a soluble label that decomposes to indicate whether the product inside has been exposed to damaging conditions.

The unnamed company is likely to make a decision on whether to use the completely soluble ink and label system soon. If the company opts to use it the technology could be commercialised by the first quarter of 2005. The label can be adjusted to react to unsuitable conditions where the humidity or moisture levels are too high and are likely to damage the product. The label could be applied to the protective packaging of appliances such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) or mobile phones where exposure to moisture affects their ability to function.

The soluble label also doubles as a security seal and once removed from a package cannot be replaced in its original form. The labels are designed to break down in either cold or hot water and can be triggered within 10 to 40°C, according to the customer's requirements. OPM Group, which supplies the water-based ink printing system, and Aquasol, which supplies the adhesive soluble label, have partnered to market the technology and are in the early stages of getting the technology commercialised in a range of industries, including automotive and medical.

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