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Printed Electronics World
Posted on September 30, 2004 with 1 Comment

Case Study: Printed Battery Testers

Structural Electronics 2018-2028
Some batteries are sold with a disposable tester that forms part of the packaging. Selling at about 500 million a year, they illustrate how large the opportunities of simple printed electronics can be. Indeed, the two types of battery tester sold with batteries initially peaked at several billion yearly as supermarkets displayed them in prime positions as novelty articles. Supplier Avery Dennison made substantial profits from these laminates, we understand.
 
Advances in inks, non-electronic laminates and, above all laminar electronics are making possible a wide variety of labels and patches useful beyond EAS and RFID. These vary from diagnostics such as indicating when food is cooked to brand enhancement such as the chipless battery tester on Duracell batteries and their packaging - already sold in hundreds of millions. Most do not replace anything. Some replace inaccurate "magic" inks and tedious manual procedures.
 
The label on Duracell batteries shown (front and reverse) in the figure below is a chipless label on the packaging of Duracell batteries that acts as a disposable battery tester. The tester consists of a thermochromic display on a thick film resistor circuit with conductive silver interconnects, all printed.
 
 
Source: Duracell