Greiner Assistec: plastic parts with printed sensor systems

Greiner Packaging

In its capacity as a solution provider and technology integrator, Greiner Assistec draws on its extensive solutions expertise in the production of innovative, functional plastics. And its collaboration with German startup innoME, a pioneer in the sensor technology space, has now delivered an impressive result: the development of a smart petri dish.

  • First proof of concept for thermoformed plastic parts with printed sensor systems
  • Smart petri dish prototype
  • Strategic partnership with innoME (Accensors)

Kremsmünster, Austria, April 2021. Greiner Assistec is currently working with Accensors, an innoME GmbH business unit specializing in film sensor technology, on a development project aimed at creating printed sensor systems. The first milestone came in the form of a proof of concept for an intelligent petri dish.

Smart, printed sensor systems

In Accensors, Greiner Assistec was able to bring a strong sensor technology partner on board. The aim of this strategic partnership is to offer future customers the option of buying thermoformed plastic parts with printed sensor systems, among other solutions. As part of the pilot project, an initial demo prototype has now been developed, taking the form of a smart petri dish. This involves printing two sensors on the film before putting it through a thermoforming process. And the resulting solution also allows for ongoing monitoring, with the initial prototype making it possible to check up on the pH value and the temperature of the medium in the dish using an Accensors scanner and an app. The resulting data obtained via this process can be harnessed to gain new insights in the realm of research and development.

New generation of intelligent petri dishes

The advantages of the new technology are clear to see – specifically, in the manufacturing process. The intelligent sensor systems can be produced and printed onto the films at an affordable cost and in high volumes. During the thermoforming process, the film printed with the sensor technology is subsequently formed into a three-dimensional shape while retaining the sensors’ functionality, ensuring that the petri dishes can be monitored as effectively as possible. “The development of this smart petri dish has yielded a promising outcome and highlights one of many different possibilities for transforming plastic parts through the use of printed electronics. This makes the initial proof of concept an important step in establishing our new center of excellence for the development of smart plastics solutions in Kremsmünster, Austria,” explains Natascha Andraschek, technology manager at Greiner Assistec.

Eike Wilhelm Kottkamp, founder and CEO of innoME GmbH, likewise sees this project as extremely promising: “The collaboration with Greiner Assistec and implementation of thermoformed film sensors in 3D geometries are a key milestone on our roadmap. Together, we are pleased to be bringing this value proposition to market – and we are eagerly looking forward to the future. At the moment, we are holding preliminary discussions with parties interested in specific applications in the biotech, smart manufacturing, and agricultural sectors.”

Greiner Assistec will continue to work with strong partners such as innoME to deliver the smart petri dish and implement other approaches in the field of intelligent plastics solutions based on printed electronics.

Technology facts:

  • Technology: Thermoforming of films with printed electronics
  • Items printed: pH and temperature sensors
  • Film material: PET

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