Firmen & Produkt News
New mass produced ecological light scattering films for plastics, paper and carton introduced by technology provider ISCENT and machine manufacturer Uteco
ISCENT and Uteco are introducing printable holographic-like film – without adding any chemicals, metals or laminations on the films! Tailored optical eye-catching or hidden effects can be produced on various substrates such as plastics, paper and carton. An Innovative manufacturing process enables a cost-effective and environmentally friendly end product.
ISCENT Light Scattering Technology allows plastic and paper wrappings, magazines, carton and plastic packages, cards, se well as leisure and interior decorating products to be given an attractive new look. The technology is suitable for mass production and can be integrated into existing printing presses. Applications of the technology include the ability to label genuine brand products with a technical solution that is difficult to counterfeit. Printers can reduce the use of inks with this method, and advertising agencies can create striking packages that are environmentally friendly. The technology is also suitable for thermoformed 3D forms, injection-moulded plastic products.
As commercial holographic technologies are based on metal foiling or coatings, laminated structures and UV curable varnishes, with the ISCENT Light Scattering Technology, none of these will be needed, nor will any other extra materials. The rainbow colours are generated simply by altering the topography of the plastic or paper surface being treated. The ISCENT’s process is based on a hot embossing technology where tailored optical lattice design on the main roller is copied to the web by the heat and pressure.
Iscent Oy, a technology developer and provider, is offering the technology jointly with Uteco Converting S.p.A., a recognized global leader in the manufacture of printing presses and converting equipment. THE NEW PRODUCT: specially designed production machinery with the capacity to produce end product up to 1,200 mm wide, which will open up a completely new range of business opportunities, enabling large-volume product lines thanks to minimised raw material costs.
ISCENT Oy, based in Finland, was founded in 2011 with the objective of commercialising a new, high-quality optical effect film material, mass produced by hot embossing. ISCENT is a spin-out from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. ISCENT supplies film materials to companies and licenses its technology to converting industry of film materials.
Uteco Converting S.p.A. is a recognized global leader in the manufacture of printing presses and converting equipment. Uteco provides innovative technical solutions for its presses, laminators, and special configuration presses for highly sophisticated printing and packaging applications.
Iscent: Hall 7.1/ D51, www.iscent.fi
Uteco: Hall 3 /E20, www.uteco.com
VTT: Service innovations in the value chain of printed magazines
Opportunities for renewal of the forest sector exist in innovative services e.g. in the value chain of printed magazines. The print media has faced serious challenges as digitalization affects the use of print products. In order to succeed in competition with digital media, the forest industry must examine thoroughly the whole value chain and its different roles in finding new possibilities for services.
One way to emphasize a strong service orientation is the adoption of so-called service-dominant logic, which means that customer value (value in use) is the starting point of the development. In one study by VTT, possibilities for new services have been looked for through two different topics, one focusing on novel combinations of printed and digital content and the other on the launch of a new magazine title.
Based on the results, there are clear customer needs that could be answered by providing knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS). Through close co-operation, the paper producer could offer knowledge that is very important to the publisher from the viewpoint of printed magazines. The publisher would need a more efficient process for launching a new magazine title as well as better arguments for promoting advertising in printed magazines. Both of these are areas in which the paper producer could take a role as a facilitator of innovation.
For more information, please contact: Anu Seisto, Principal Scientist
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT: Additional value for packages with Hybrid Media
The packages are expected to carry ever more information in a limited space. One solution is hybrid media, i.e. printing intelligent elements on the packages and obtaining the information with a reading device. VTT studied the best ways to produce additional business to the value chain of packages via already existing technologies for hybrid media.
The study approach included a technology survey about 2D applications, interviews with industrial experts from the package value chain, and two industrial case pilots. Researches also visited forerunner companies in Japan.
Available hybrid media technologies are 2D bar codes, digital watermarks, image recognition, fibre matrix, RFID tags and magnetic codes. Hybrid media can give benefits in form of cost savings, new business opportunities, and additional value to already existing business and increased customer loyalty to all players in the value chain. Pilot tests and user studies showed that additional hybrid media service should include detailed product data, recipes, nutrient need, user instructions and matching of user demand. Obstacles for use are costs, time consuming and complexity.
In Japan mobile barcodes are part of everyday life, well known to consumers and used on flat rate basis. The introduction was from the beginning based on consumers’ needs, not on early profit. Today it operates on a win-win principle with benefits for all the players in the value chain and several traditional printers have created completely new service concepts for their customers.
For more information, please contact: Ulf Lindqvist, Research Professor
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT introduces an ecological light scattering film for brand protection, packages and consumer products
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed printable holographic-like film technology for plastic-based and fibre-based packages, enabling cost-effective and environmentally friendly dynamic printing. This allows wrappings, mobile phones, CD jewel cases and laptops to be given an attractive new look. The technology is suitable for mass production and can be integrated into existing printing presses. Iscent Oy, a new Finnish enterprise, is commercialising the technology jointly with VTT.
Applications of the technology include the ability to label genuine brand products with a technical solution that is difficult to counterfeit. Printers can reduce the use of inks with this method, and advertising agencies can create striking packages that are environmentally friendly. Applications further include transparent films and gift wrappings, which can be made more decorative without compromising transparency. The technology is also suitable for injection-moulded plastic products such as mobile phone shells, CD jewel cases and laptops, and for laminate solutions such as interior design elements and sports equipment.
Commercial holograms in the printing industry are almost without exception printed on narrow-web lines. Iscent is investing in the capacity to produce end product up to 1,200 mm wide, which will open up a completely new range of business opportunities, enabling large-volume product lines thanks to minimised raw material costs.
Commercial holographic technologies are based on metal foiling or coatings, laminated structures and UV curable varnishes. With the new light scattering method, none of these will be needed, nor will any other extra materials: the rainbow colours are generated simply by altering the topography of the plastic or paper surface being treated.
The new method is based on a hot embossing technology where a pair of rollers similar to a calender exerts nip pressure on the plastic or paper web run through them. The lattice design on the main roller is copied to the web by the heat and pressure.
Iscent Oy, based in Tampere, Finland, is commercialising a new, high-quality optical effect film material. Iscent supplies film materials to Finnish and foreign companies and licenses its technology to converting industry of film materials. The new method enables cost-effective production and has a potential worldwide market. The technology can be licensed internationally for a scalable business opportunity.
+358 20 722 3044
Sales Manager, Iscent Oy
+358 40 525 7426, email@example.com
VTT: World’s first pilot factory for printed intelligence industrialisation opened
The grand opening of the PrintoCent Pilot Factory for Printed Intelligence Industrialisation took place on 13 March. The PrintoCent productisation environment at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland premises in Oulu represents the most advanced industrialisation capability and service, being at least two or three years ahead of others. The latest Roll-to-Roll pilot printing line offers unique manufacturing performance to integrate printed intelligence into our everyday consumables and living environment.
Roll-to-Roll manufacturing finally enables companies to profit from the new technology on a large scale
Besides ground-breaking technological advancements, PrintoCent offers a unique business and manufacturing environment for companies to manufacture components, products and solutions based on printed intelligence technologies. The PrintoCent Pilot Factory reduces the commercial and technical risks before fully commercial operation commences. Hence, the creation of this tailor-made environment is suitable for companies of all sizes.
Today, there are around 180 professionals working in the PrintoCent community. Although there are numerous companies exploiting this multidisciplinary business development environment, PrintoCent is actively building industrial partners’ global network and thus focuses on killer applications, pilot manufacturing and value chains development. Market forecast companies have estimated that there will be a 250 billion euro industry in the field of printed electronics and intelligence in 15 years.
The PrintoCent is based on the research work that began in the late 1990s at VTT led by Professor Harri Kopola. He points out that the Pilot Factory is a real milestone from lab to fab. PrintoCent Director Ilkka Kaisto believes that the availability of Pilot Factory services will stimulate the application-driven industry activities and through the European COLAE-project the key players are building the networks and partnerships towards joint service platforms for commercialisation.
Disruptive route to product innovations
It should be noted that the PrintoCent development approach is a disruptive route, not an update to any old production technology. The companies are provided with a completely new setting that enables the agile development and creation of truly innovative product concepts. At the very core is the idea of producing intelligent products with tremendous industrial speed so that the costs favour mass production. The biggest challenge is to introduce unlimited possibilities in printed intelligence to companies, and to bring it into their technology toolbox. Therefore, the most fantastic killer solutions are yet to be invented.
To make sure that the best printed intelligence solutions are identified and jointly developed, an international industrial PrintoCent cluster is being created. Printed Intelligence technology enables new large area, flexible, thin and light products to be standalone or to be integrated into structures like buildings, packages and vehicles, and to radically renew electronics products. Home diagnostics and wellness, distributed and renewable energy, smart packaging and anti-counterfeiting, and interactive user interfaces and electronic solutions for our everyday services are examples of application areas. Furthermore, numerous different industries could benefit from this technology so it is vital that the moment is seized with both hands.
Annual review 2011-2012 of VTT Printed Intelligence www.vttprintedintelligence.fi
More information: Ilkka Kaisto, firstname.lastname@example.org , +358 40 149 4006
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT: Transparent plastic-like packing material from birch fibril pulp
VTT Technical Research Centre and Aalto University have developed a method which for the first time enables manufacturing of a wood-based and plastic-like material in large scale. The method enables industrial scale roll-to-roll production of nanofibrillated cellulose film, which is suitable for e.g. food packaging to protect products from spoilage.
Nanofibrillated cellulose typically binds high amounts of water and forms gels with only a few per cent dry matter content. This characteristic has been a bottleneck for industrial-scale manufacture. In most cases, fibril cellulose films are manufactured through pressurised filtering but the gel-like nature of the material makes this route difficult. In addition, the wires and membranes used for filtering may leave a so-called “mark” on the film which has a negative impact on the evenness of the surface.
According to the method developed by VTT and Aalto University nanofibrillated cellulose films are manufactured by evenly coating fibril cellulose on plastic films so that the spreading and adhesion on the surface of the plastic can be controlled. The films are dried in a controlled manner by using a range of existing techniques. Thanks to the management of spreading, adhesion and drying, the films do not shrink and are completely even. The more fibrillated cellulose material is used, the more transparent films can be manufactured.
Several metres of fibril cellulose film have been manufactured with VTT’s pilot-scale device in Espoo. All the phases in the method can be transferred to industrial production processes. The films can be manufactured using devices that already exist in the industry, without the need for any major additional investment.
VTT and Aalto University are applying for a patent for the production technology of NFC film. Trial runs and the related development work are performed at VTT.
The invention was implemented in the Naseva – Tailoring of Nanocellulose Structures for Industrial Applications project by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) that is included in the Finnish Centre for Nanocellulosic Technologies project entity formed by UPM, VTT and Aalto University.
Nanofibrillated cellulose grade used was UPM Fibrilcellulose supplied by UPM.
+358 20 722 4632
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
KeepLoop Oy and Finnish research organisation VTT combines mobile phone technology and microscopy.
A pocket-size microscope accessory developed by Finnish scientists will be accurate to one hundredth of a millimetre.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the leading multi-technological applied research organisation in Northern Europe, has developed an optical accessory that turns an ordinary camera phone into a high-resolution microscope. The device is accurate to one hundredth of a millimetre. Among those who will benefit from the device are the printing industry, consumers, the security business, and even health care professionals. A new Finnish enterprise called KeepLoop Oy and VTT are already exploring the commercial potential of the invention. The first industrial applications and consumer models will be released in early 2012.
The operation of the device is based on images produced by the combined effect of an LED light and an optical lens. Various surfaces and structures can be examined in microscopic detail and the phone’s camera used to take sharp, high-resolution images that can be forwarded as MMS messages.
An ordinary mobile phone turns into an instant microscope by attaching a thin, magnetic microscope module in front of the camera’s normal lens. The device fits easily in the user’s pocket, unlike conventional tubular microscopes.
The plastic macro lens of the mobile phone microscope magnifies objects effectively. The camera’s field of view is 2 x 3 millimetres. A number of LEDs have been sunk into the outer edge of the lens, allowing objects to be illuminated from different angles. Images illuminated from several different angles could be used to produce 3D topographic maps, for example, with mobile phone software. The 3D maps would be accurate to one hundredth of a millimetre.
The competitive edge of the product is based on next-generation lens technology, the compact and user-friendly structure, and customisable extra features.
The mobile phone microscope is suited for examining surfaces and surroundings, for security, health care, and even games
The mobile phone microscope could also be used to study surface formations, especially in the printing industry as part of quality control and in field conditions. In the security business the device could be used, for example, to read microcode in various logistics systems, while it is also suited for studying security markings, and for authenticating products as genuine as part of brand protection. The microscope is capable of detecting hidden symbols in products that are not visible to the naked eye.
The device can also be applied to study of the environment. Consumers could use the instant microscope when out and about to examine the leaves of trees and plants, for example, or study insects. Another potential application is in examining textile structures such as strands of hair, or the fibrous structure of paper.
The device also has uses in social media, and in community-based hybrid media where traditional forms of media are used in combination with each other. There are also several potential applications in the gaming world.
KeepLoop Oy is a new innovative company based in Tampere, Finland. The company develops optoelectronic accessories for mobile telephones around the world. The company’s target groups are both the industrial sector and consumers. By working together, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and KeepLoop have been able to produce a package that combines the scientific study of technology and commercial potential.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland:
Key Account Manager
+358 20 722 2298
KeepLoop Oy: Jaakko Raukola
+358 40 527 2684, email@example.com
Phone: +358 40 839-2215 | Skype: ali.toivola
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.keeploop.com
VTT technology gives the product package a voice
As the proportion of senior citizens grows, their special needs are gaining momentum. Human eyesight, for example, weakens with age. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has been developing new NFC (Near Field Communication) -based applications that make life easier for people with vision impairments. A group of affected persons recently tested an innovative, speech-based item identification system and new "talking" packaging for medicine and food.
Solutions that link products and digital product info are becoming ever more common. They offer a range of possibilities for both the normal-sighted and the people with visual impairments. Food packaging, for example, can include links to information relevant to the individual customer, from the origins of the product to ecological aspects and possible allergy risks.
The HearMeFeelMe project, a collaborative effort by VTT, TopTunniste (Finland) Tecnalia (Spain) and Demokritos (Greece), introduced five different applications for acquiring medical information, all of them based on NFC technology (Near Field Communication). By touching the info code on the packaging with a mobile phone, the user downloads product and dosage information which can be heard on a phone or a computer. End users participating in the project represented the Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired (FFVI), the Caritas Foundation, Joutsen Pharmacy 6 in Oulu and SSI, a Spanish provider of geriatric services.
Speech tagging application finds most favour
The testers' favourite in this study was Top Tunniste's Touch 'n' Tag demo, a mobile phone application that enables visually impaired users to identify everyday items, including food, with the help of voice memos. To record a memo tag, the user touches the NFC label on the packaging and dictates the information into the phone. The recording can then be listened to by touching the label again with the phone.
Another demo application was the so-called speaking medicine packaging. When touched, this provides spoken dosage instructions and other important information. The data was stored on the NFC chip by pharmacy staff and could be listened to by the user at home.
Not yet tested
by end users was an almanac demo designed to ensure properly-timed medication, using the elderly person's own social network. This enables e.g. nurses and family members to remind the patient of scheduled doses of medicine or meetings. The user receives the reminder as a message on his or her mobile phone and replies with an NFC acknowledgement, e.g. by touching the pill dispenser with the phone, to inform the nurse or family member that the medicine was taken.
Many new applications in the future
In the future, visually impaired people may use NFC applications for a variety of purposes, including item recognition, spoken product information on food or medicine packaging, personal reminders, calendars or spoken manuals for home appliances.
Mobile devices are usually unbeatable when it comes to everyday IT-based services, since they are always flexibly at hand and the threshold for using them is low across all age groups. Solutions designed for devices that are already part of everyday life, become popular the fastest.
For more information:
Research Professor Minna Isomursu, Tel. +358 40 843 3871
Research Scientist Marja Harjumaa, Tel. +358 44 515 9439