Investigating the durability and product lifetime of MagTags

MagVision is the home of innovative technologies and platforms for track & trace, brand protection, identification and authentication uses. Products include the MagID, a patented marking technology which provides a low-cost, environmentally friendly way to track & trace products through the application of magnetic ink codes on or inside brand packaging.

MagVision got in contact with the SMI Hub following the Global Research and Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) conference in 2021, recognising synergies between their work and that of the SMI Hub, which they were hoping to use to advance their MagID technology.

The MagID is an advanced track and trace system using state-of-the-art magnetic sensor technology, enabling high-volume covert markings to be applied on the inside of packaging or under labels, which have been developed to facilitate more sustainable systems and enhance the reusability of packaging. The company wanted to understand the long-term effects of weathering and extensive washing would have on MagTags over time, which are polymer labels incorporating the MagID.

The SMI Hub completed an extensive experimental study to assess the robustness of the MagTags – for example how long the MagTags will remain scannable under accelerated weathering conditions and what will happen to them if exposed to high temperatures.

The SMI Hub devised a range of experiments to understand the robustness of MagTags:

  • Exposure to high temperatures: simulated dishwashing to ascertain whether the tags are sustainable for both domestic and commercial dishwashing
  • Weathering: accelerated weathering using the Hub’s in-house weathering chambers to test the effects on tag properties and degradation over time
  • Mechanical testing: testing the mechanical properties of the tags, such as rigidity, as a function of temperature using the equipment in the state-of-the-art characterisation labs housed at the SMI Hub

These experiments found that the tags still scanned reliably after extended exposure to both accelerated and outdoor weathering (51 and 65 days respectively) and simulated dishwashing conditions (3 weeks of constant exposure at 40, 70 and 90°C). The mechanical testing confirmed the glass transition and melting points of the tags and that the tags themselves were particularly robust to high temperatures.

The SMI Hub team was smart, patient, and professional.”

Nathalie Muller, MagVision

Next steps

Following the SMI Hub’s experiments, MagVision is including the results in product information and marketing materials to prospective customers.

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