Thin Batteries to Power Cold-Chain Sensors

At Sensors Expo 2012 on June 6-7 in Rosemont, IL, Blue Spark Technologies will highlight the potential use of its carbon-zinc batteries as a primary low-voltage power source for sensors in pharmaceutical, food, beverage, and chemical supply-chain logistics, and other operations.

“One major challenge in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries today is effective cold chain management," explains Matt Ream, Blue Spark VP of Marketing, in a press release. "The issue is particularly pressing today because global supply chains often involve multiple shippers, warehouses and distributors, which increase complexity and the risk of non-compliance at one or more points along the chain. Printed electronics technology advancements have enabled the development of sensor solutions that are practical, affordable and easy to integrate into existing track-and-trace supply chain processes.”

Blue Spark has partnered with developers of low power integrated circuits, such as EM Microelectronic and IDS Microchip, to develop time-and-temperature monitoring and data logging solutions based on battery-assisted passive (BAP) RFID. Depending on user requirements, Blue Spark’s thin, flexible batteries can be combined with other printed electronic components, such as programmable chips, RFID tags and antennas, conductive and color-changing electro-chromic inks, and sensors that detect temperature, humidity, vibration, or shock, the company reports.

Ream adds: “Real-time time-and-temperature monitoring and data logging systems powered by thin, flexible printed batteries will allow suppliers of perishable food and pharmaceuticals to monitor compliance and proper handling from point of origin to point of delivery. This is essential to protect consumers, ensure product quality, and minimize waste and loss caused by improper handling and transport of perishable consumables and temperature sensitive chemicals.”

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