Toppan, a long-time member of AIPIA with global interests in communications, security, packaging, decorative materials and electronic solutions, has developed a Near Field Communication (NFC) tag that uses paper material as the antenna substrate Instead of traditional PET film. which be called fragile label.


Global sales of the new labels kicked off in January, with Europe expected to be a promising market due to high environmental awareness.

In addition to reducing plastic consumption to zero by switching to paper, the new circuit manufacturing technique also ensures sufficient communication performance as an NFC device, the company said. Taking advantage of the properties of paper as a substrate, NFC tags are designed to break when removed, rendering communication impossible and thus preventing fraudulent use by reattaching the tag.

According to Toppan, the global NFC tag market was worth $3.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $15.5 billion by 2030. Drivers for the growth include more social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to increased use in contactless payment systems and supply chain management.

Table of Contents

What is a Fragile Label? Where does it Function Reflect Again?

Fragile labels also known as tamper-proof labels, This type of label is designed to indicate if a package or product has been opened or tampered with, and can help protect against theft or unauthorized access.

fragile label

Tamper-evident labels are often used in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and electronics, where product safety and security are of utmost importance. The label is typically made of a material that is difficult to remove without leaving behind visible evidence of tampering, such as a residue or a pattern that changes if the label is peeled or removed.

In addition to providing security, tamper-evident labels can also be used to protect confidential information or intellectual property. By affixing the label over sensitive areas of a document or product, any attempts to remove or alter the label will be immediately apparent, providing an added layer of protection against unauthorized access or tampering.

Overall, tamper-evident labels are an effective way to protect products and information, and are an important tool for ensuring the integrity and security of goods and materials during shipping and handling.

The New Fragile Label Makes a Contribution to Environmental Protection

NFC tags are mainly produced by using a metal foil to form an antenna on a plastic substrate such as PET film. As governments and businesses move away from the use of plastics, the NFC tag market is seeing a growing need to replace plastics with paper-based materials that have a lower environmental impact.

environmental protection

However, achieving sufficient communication performance has been challenging because the electrical resistance of the circuit increases when printing methods employing conductive inks, such as the widely used silver nanoparticles, are used to form antennas on paper.

“As the NFC market expands globally, Toppan’s new NFC tags meet the growing demand for greener solutions,” said Takamitsu Nakabayashi, General Manager, RFID/IoT and Security Development, Toppan DX Design Division. “We will expand sales globally, with a particular focus on the European market, where measures are being taken to reduce environmental impact.”

Through a new circuit manufacturing technology that combines laser edge technology and roll-to-roll network processing, the antenna is formed on a paper substrate using aluminum foil with low resistance.

This eliminates the plastic in NFC tags while maintaining the required communication performance, Toppan said. One million standard size NFC tags (80mm x 45mm) can reduce the amount of plastic resin by about 110 kg if paper substrates are used instead of PET film substrates.

Thanks to a layer structure in which the paper substrate doubles as the surface material, the new eco-friendly NFC tags are 30 percent thinner than Toppan’s existing PET film-based products. This means that documents or packages with NFC tags will not grow larger when stacked. When color printing is carried out on the surface of the label, a separate printing layer needs to be laminated.

Summary and Outlook

Nowadays, the proportion of environmental protection characteristics in the NFC label is also gradually enlarged, the most important is its safety performance, but also let the reason for businesses to make a choice.

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