After movable type was first invented by Gutenberg at 1452, an method for transferring information dramatically changed the level of human interface from a small number of people to everyone1. In simple terms, it means people can access and transfer information through printed materials anytime. This printing technology has evolved over the years and the newest innovation is printed electronics. Thus the level of human interface has been changed from a rigid and expensive portable electronic device to lower cost and wearable electronic device—such devices can be worn by humans and affixed to all types of goods. If all goods can have their own electronic ID and instantaneously communicate with their surroundings via wireless means, the idea of ubiquitous printed electronics would be fully realized.
Dr. Margaret Joyce, professor of paper engineering at Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Wis., is among those at the forefront of intelligent printing. In September, Joyce was awarded a grant of close to $1 million to study printed radio frequency identification (RFID) tags with an eye on their use for homeland security. In her research, Joyce will evaluate the effectiveness of both flexographic and gravure printing methods for this application and will seek to better understand and identify the various ink, substrate, and press materials needed to optimize performance of printed RFID tag technology.
What Wal-Mart wants, Wal-Mart usually gets. The behemoth from Bentonville occupies a unique place in the history of American business. What it also occupies is a unique place in advancements that benefit both Wal-Mart and businesses worldwide. Wal-Mart’s size, scope, and directives issued as a function of both can drive innovation in many arenas, from packaging to supply chain management. Make no mistake, Wal-Mart acts in its own self-interest, in pursuit of its mission of “Always Low Prices.” This focus on lowering costs across the supply chain is the secret to Wal-Mart’s success, and the technologies Wal-Mart choose to push in pursuit of that goal benefit from massive dollars and attention when Wal-Mart sets its mind to something.
GAAmericas Golden Cylinder Awards
Congratulations to the 2015 Golden Cylinder Award Winners. Click here to view them.