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Lorktech develops electronic shelf label demonstrator

Sara Ver-Bruggen - 12 Mar 2013


A US start-up commercialising electronic shelf label (ESL) technology and systems is close to finalising its first demonstrator to show to grocery chains.

Lorktech has been developing ESLs for commercial use for some timeThe company, Lorkowski Technologies (Lorktech), produces ESLs, systems, software management and services based on monitoring and replacement of current and future ESL management systems, and was founded by Mark Lorkowski, a student at Case Western Reserve University, in 2010. Lorktech is based in north-east Ohio, where the FlexMatters cluster is based.

FlexMatters is a regional innovation cluster focused on low-cost, scalable manufacturing of flexible electronics for products and devices that include electronic writing tablets, switchable eyewear, printed batteries and medical implants, for various markets.

The cluster was set up in 2010, with support of federal and regional public funds, to generate new business opportunities in flexible electronics and is managed by NorTech, a regional economic development organisation serving 21 counties in north-east Ohio.

Collaboration

To help Lorktech execute its business model, FlexMatters assisted the start-up in finding local partners and collaborators. One of these is Kent Displays, which is commercialising e-paper displays and products based on liquid crystal materials, originating from research at Kent University.

The company has successfully industrialised a production process for these types of e-paper displays, which are commercialised under the Reflex brand. Through its manufacturing arm Kent Displays has produced a few hundred prototypes of the ESLs, which are being integrated into an electronic shelf label system that can provide dynamic pricing. This will help Lorktech to show its system to potential customers and investors.

FlexMatters now has about 60 members, which include universities in the region, material suppliers, manufacturers, integrators, start-ups, service providers and end-users.

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