Preparing for the Era of Printed Electronics – Part 1

Crown Partners With Brunel University
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Brands are continually seeking new ideas and different means by which to engage consumers and they look to their packaging partners for new inspiration and concepts.

Adding Value to Packaging

Recently, conversation has turned to the field of printed electronics, which has emerged over the past few years as a singular opportunity to enhance the consumer packaged goods industry.

At its simplest, printed electronics refers to the system by which traditional printing methods are employed to create ultra-thin electrical devices on different materials. Devices may range from transistors and resistors to integrated circuits, LEDs and even photovoltaic cells. For the packaging industry, this heralds the arrival of a new level in intelligent packaging – packaging that can actively communicate with, and interact with, consumers, mobile devices and the world at large.

The two came together when Cormac Neeson, Director of External Affairs at Crown, saw an opportunity to engage the next generation of packaging designers to research and model new concepts that would leverage printed electronics to engage consumers at a higher level.

Partnering with Brunel University

Working with Brunel University in London, UK, and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), we hosted a design challenge to post-graduate students. Each team needed to propose and design new packaging concepts manufactured from metal, and all concepts had to feature printed electronics.

The students were given three months to develop their packaging concepts. After that deadline, each team was required to create an interim presentation and storyboard for their ideas before making final adjustments to their designs.

In the following entries to this series we will detail the fantastic results achieved by the students – and the exciting possibilities that we are actively exploring to commercialize these designs and bring them to store shelves in the future.

Learn more about innovation at Crown.