Title:
Reusable Container with Radio Frequency Identification Seal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container enclosing an interior and having at least one door that can be displaced from a closed position preventing access to the interior, and an open position providing access to the interior; the container including: a first recess, the recess being in the door; an insert projecting into the recess so as to extend outwardly therefrom to provide an insert portion outside the slot; a second recess, the second recess being in a part of the container other than the door; a second insert, the second insert projecting inwardly of the second recess so as to extend outwardly therefrom to provide an insert portion outside the second recess; and wherein when the door is in the closed position the portions are adjacently located so that when secured together movement of the door toward the open position is inhibited.



Inventors:
Atherton, Peter Samuel (Leesburg, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/884471
Publication Date:
10/09/2008
Filing Date:
02/17/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
340/572.1
International Classes:
B65D43/00
View Patent Images:
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20020063135Bottle keeperMay, 2002Brisendine
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20080093363Secure Sample CollectionApril, 2008Pedlar
20070187405CONTAINER FOR COMPOSITIONS CONTAINING CEFDINIRAugust, 2007Pujara et al.
20090223999DUAL SIDED CONTAINERSeptember, 2009Hill et al.
20080041925Construct for heating multiple food items in a microwave ovenFebruary, 2008Cambay
20090308373Portable Insulated GrillDecember, 2009Scott et al.
20030228073Perti disposable designer plastic bagsDecember, 2003Mark



Primary Examiner:
FAN, HONGMIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BUCHANAN, INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A container enclosing an interior and having at least one door that can be displaced from a closed position preventing access to said interior, and an open position providing access to said interior; the container including: a first recess, said recess being in said door; an insert projecting into said recess so as to extend outwardly therefrom to provide an insert portion outside the slot; a second recess, said second recess being in a part of said container other than said door; a second insert, said second insert projecting inwardly of said second recess so as to extend outwardly therefrom to provide an insert portion outside said second recess; and wherein when said door is in said closed position the portions are adjacently located so that when secured together movement of the door toward the open position is inhibited.

2. The container of claim 1 further including a seal secured to said portions thereby inhibiting movement of the door toward the open position without causing alteration of the seal.

3. The container of claim 2, wherein said inserts are sufficiently rigid to inhibit deformation of the inserts permitting withdrawal of the inserts from the recesses without alteration of the seal.

4. The container of claim 1, wherein said container has a hollow body surrounding said interior, with said door being pivotally attached to said body so as to be moved angularly between the open and closed positions.

5. The container of claim 1, wherein said container includes a hollow body surrounding said interior, with said door is removably attached to said body so as to be displaceable relative to the body between the open and closed positions.

6. The container of claim 1, further including a second door, said second door being located adjacent the first door and including said second recess, said second door also being movable between an open position and a closed position with respect to said interior.

7. The container of claim 6, wherein one of the doors must be displaced toward the open position thereof before the other door can be displaced toward the open position.

8. The container of claim 7, wherein said second door is pivotally attached to the body so as to be angularly movable between the open and closed positions.

9. The container of claim 7, wherein the second door is removably attached to the body so as to be displaceable between the open and closed positions.

10. The container of claim 2, wherein said seal is an RFID label.

11. The container of claim 10, wherein said RFID label is altered in a detectable manner if tampered with by movement of the/each door to the open position.

12. The container of claim 11, wherein said RFID label has an RFID function, said function being disabled if the label is tampered with by any movement of the or each door towards the open position thereof.

13. The container of claim 1, further including an RFID tag that is to receive or store a code identifying the container.

14. The container of claim 13, further including a seal secured to said portions thereby inhibiting movement of the door toward the open position without causing alteration of the seal, wherein said tag contains information identifying said label.

15. The container of claim 1, further including a sensor to provide a signal containing information in respect of the container, and a storage means operatively associated with the sensor to receive said signal to store said information.

16. The container of claim 1, further including a detector to generate a signal indicative in respect of whether the container has been penetrated, and a storage means to receive the signal from the detector to store said information.

17. The container of claim 16, further including a transmitter to transmit information from the or each storage means.

18. The container of claim 2, wherein the container includes at least one RFID reader to read said RFID label, said reader being adapted to store information in respect of said RFID label.

19. The container of claim 18, wherein said reader is also adapted to transmit information stored in the reader.

20. The container of claim 1 wherein each insert is slidably located in its respective recess.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to containers to receive a seal to indicate whether the container has been opened or tampered with, and more particularly but not exclusively to a reusable container with radio frequency identification seal.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A radio frequency identification (RFID) label or tag (the terms label and tag are used interchangeably in this document) is a label or tag that includes electronics enabling the label or tag to store information that can be read by a remote reading device using radio frequency (RF) communications means. A pressure sensitive (i.e. self-adhesive) RFID label or tag is attached to a surface by means of pressure sensitive adhesive on the RFID label or tag.

A pressure sensitive RFID label or tag can incorporate tamper indication, such that its RFID function is modified if the RFID label or tag is applied to a surface and subsequently tampered by being partially or completely removed from the surface. In this way the tamper status of the RFID label can be monitored remotely and automatically by using an RFID reading device.

A tamper indicating RFID label can be used to seal a container. The integrity of the container can then be monitored remotely and automatically by using an RFID reading device to monitor the tamper status of the tamper indicating RFID label.

Reusable containers are commonly used to store and transport commercial goods (such as pharmaceutical products) or sensitive items (such as classified documents or secure electronic equipment). Using a pressure sensitive tamper indicating RFID label to seal such a reusable container provides a fast and easy way to determine whether the container has been opened. The RFID label may include a writable electronic memory and so may store information regarding the contents of the container. The tamper indicating RFID label will be removed and will usually be discarded when the container is opened.

A disadvantage of using a pressure sensitive tamper indicating RFID label to seal a reusable container is that after removal the RFID label leaves an adhesive residue that may also include portions of the label electronics. In order for a new tamper indicating RFID label applied to the container to provide reliable RFID function it is necessary to clean off the residue left by the previous RFID label. This is time consuming and inconvenient. If the residue is not removed, residual electronic portions of the previous RFID label (commonly residual portions of the RF antenna) may interfere with the RFID performance of a new RFID label applied over the residue.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is the object of the present invention to overcome or substantially ameliorate at least one of the above disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There is disclosed herein a container enclosing an interior and having at least one door that can be displaced from a closed position preventing access to said interior, and an open position providing access to said interior; the container including:

a first recess, said recess being in said door;

an insert projecting into said recess so as to extend outwardly therefrom to provide an insert portion outside the slot;

a second recess, said second recess being in a part of said container other than said door;

a second insert, said second insert projecting inwardly of said second recess so as to extend outwardly therefrom to provide an insert portion outside said second recess; and wherein

when said door is in said closed position the portions are adjacently located so that when secured together movement of the door toward the open position is inhibited.

Preferably, the container includes a seal secured to said portions thereby inhibiting movement, of the door toward the open position, without causing alteration of the seal.

Preferably, said inserts are sufficiently rigid to inhibit deformation of the inserts permitting withdrawal of the inserts from the recesses without alteration of the seal.

Preferably, said container has a hollow body surrounding said interior, with said door being pivotally attached to said body so as to be moved angularly between the open and closed positions.

Preferably, said container includes a hollow body surrounding said interior, with said door is removably attached to said body so as to be displaceable relative to the body between the open and closed positions.

Preferably, the container includes a second door, said second door being located adjacent the first door and including said second recess, said second door also being movable between an open position and a closed position with respect to said interior.

Preferably, one of the doors must be displaced toward the open position thereof before the other door can be displaced toward the open position.

Preferably, said second door is pivotally attached to the body so as to be angularly movable between the open and closed positions.

Preferably, the second door is removably attached to the body so as to be displaceable between the open and closed positions.

Preferably, said seal is an RFID label.

Preferably, said RFID label is altered in a detectable manner if tampered with by movement of the/each door toward the open position.

Preferably, said RFID label has an RFID function, said function being disabled if the label is tampered with by any movement of the or each door towards the open position thereof.

Preferably, the container further includes an RFID tag that is to receive or store a code identifying the container.

Preferably, said tag contains information identifying said label.

Preferably, the container further includes a sensor to provide a signal containing information in respect of the container, and a storage means operatively associated with the sensor to receive said signal to store said information.

Preferably, the container further includes a detector to generate a signal indicative in respect of whether the container has been penetrated, and a storage means to receive the signal from the detector to store said information.

Preferably, the container further includes a transmitter to transmit information from the or each storage means.

Preferably, the container includes at least one RFID reader to read said RFID label, said reader being adapted to store information in respect of said RFID label.

Preferably, said reader is also adapted to transmit information stored in the reader.

Preferably, each insert is slidably located in its respective recess.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred forms of the present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a container;

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of a cross sectional view of the container of FIG. 1 with the container doors partly open;

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of a cross sectional view of the container of FIG. 1 with the container doors closed;

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of one of the doors of the container of FIG. 1, and an insert that is inserted into a recess in the door;

FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of the top of the container of FIG. 1 after the container doors are closed and sealed, showing how the door inserts and tamper indicating RFID label are applied;

FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of a cross sectional view of a portion of the doors of the container of FIG. 1 after the doors have been closed and the container sealed using a tamper indicating RFID label;

FIG. 7 is a schematic illustration of a cross sectional view of the container of FIG. 1 with the container doors closed and sealed as illustrated schematically in FIG. 6, showing additional components that may be included with the container to enhance the functionality of the container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention will be described in a preferred form in relation to a rectangular container 100 that is illustrated schematically in FIG. 1. The container 100 has two doors 101 and 102 that open outwards (and in some designs may be removable) to allow access to the inside of the container 100. It should be appreciated that the principles described herein could be applied to containers of other shapes and containers that have a single door or more than two doors 101 and 102. The container 100 includes a hollow body 110 surrounding the interior 111 of the container 100. Preferably the door 101 and 102 and pivotally attached to the side walls 112 and 113 of the body 110.

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration showing the container 100 in end cross sectional view, with the sectioning plane being a vertical plane defined by the line A-A of FIG. 1. In the illustration of FIG. 2 the container is shown with the doors 101 and 102 partly open. The container doors 101 and 102 pivot around hinges 201 and 202 and close as indicated by the arrows 203 and 204. The doors 101 and 102 may in some embodiments be designed to interlock as they close. The designs of the doors 101 and 102 and the hinges 201 and 202 may allow the doors 101 and 102 to be removed from the container 100 when they are open. In the present embodiment the door 102 has a flange 205 that is part of the door 102 and extends under the door 101 when the two doors 101 and 102 are closed. Consequently in the embodiment of FIG. 2 the door 102 must be closed before the door 101, and the door 101 must be opened before the door 102. If an attempt is made to open the door 102 first, the flange 205 of the door 102 will force the door 101 to open further than the door 102 while they are in contact.

In the present preferred embodiment an insert 206 is inserted into a recess (or pocket) in the door 101 as indicated by the arrow 207, and similarly an insert 208 is inserted into a recess (or pocket) in the door 102 as indicated by the arrow 209.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration corresponding to the illustration of FIG. 2 but with the doors 101 and 102 closed. After the doors 101 and 102 are closed the inserts 206 and 208 cannot be removed without opening at least one of the doors 101 and 102. After the doors 101 and 102 are closed at least part of each insert 206 and 208 is exposed on the outside of the container 100, as described below.

Preferably, but not necessarily, the flange 205 may extend most or all of the way under the door 101 to the hinge 201, thereby making it as difficult as possible to open the doors 101 and 102 without moving the inserts 206 and 208 apart from each other. In some embodiments the flange 205 may engage with the hinge 201 in such a manner as to prevent the door 102 from being opened at all until the door 101 has been substantially or fully opened. In some embodiments the design of the door 102 may be such that the flange 205 can be retracted into the door 102 so as to minimize the size of the door 102 when the door 102 is open. In some embodiments the flange 205 may not be continuous along the length of the door 102 but instead may comprise one or more discrete extensions to the door 102.

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of the door 101 before the insert 206 is inserted into the recess 401 in the door 101. The recess 401 of FIG. 4 is in the form of a rectangular slot, the inner perimeter of which is indicated in FIG. 4 by the dotted line 402, and the insert 206 is inserted into the recess 401 by sliding it into the slot as indicated by the arrow 403. In the embodiment of FIG. 4 part of the insert 206 is exposed after the insert 206 has been inserted into the recess 401. The insert 206 can only be removed from the recess 401 by sliding it out of the recess 401, which is not possible when both of the doors 101 and 102 are closed (see the illustration of FIG. 3). FIG. 4A is a sectional end view, through the section B-B, of the door 101 and insert 206. The insert 208 fits into a recess in the door 102 in a similar manner.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the container 100 with the doors 101 and 102 closed, showing the inserts 206 and 208 in place in the doors 101 and 102. As in the illustration of FIG. 4, the dashed line 501 shows the outline of the insert 206 within the recess in the door 101, while the dashed line 502 shows the outline of the insert 208 within the recess in the door 102. As illustrated in FIG. 5, a portion of each of the inserts 206 and 208 is exposed on the outside of the container 100 after the container is closed. Furthermore, the inserts 206 and 208 are adjacent to each other after the doors 101 and 102 are closed, and neither insert can be removed from the container without opening either or both of the doors 101 and 102 and thereby moving one of the inserts 206 and 208 relative to the other.

A pressure sensitive (i.e. self-adhesive) tamper indicating RFID label 503 is applied to the exposed portions of the inserts 206 and 208 such that part of the label 503 is applied to each insert. In this embodiment no portion the label 503 is applied to the container 100 or to either of the doors 101 and 102.

Optionally, but not necessarily, additional latching or locking mechanisms 504 may be used to secure the doors 101 and 102 closed.

FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of a cross-sectional view, taken through the section C-C shown in FIG. 5, of a portion of the doors 101 and 102 in the region of the inserts 206 and 208. In FIG. 6 it can be seen that the insert 206 slides into a recessed groove in the door 101 and the insert 208 slides into a recessed groove in the door 102. The recessed grooves in the doors 101 and 102 extend around three sides of each of the inserts 206 and 208, as illustrated by the dashed lines 501 and 502 in FIG. 5, so that the inserts 206 and 208 cannot be removed from the doors 101 and 102 when the doors 101 and 102 are closed. The pressure sensitive tamper indicating RFID label 503 is applied across both inserts 206 and 208, but preferably does not contact the container 100 or either door 101 or 102.

Preferably the inserts 206 and 208 will be made from a material (such as a plastic) that does not interfere with the RF performance of the RFID label 503.

Preferably the pressure sensitive RFID label 503 will be configured to indicate tampering, such that its RFID function will be modified if it is partially or completely removed from either the insert 206 or the insert 208.

In one preferred embodiment the RFID label 503 may include a disable-on-removal feature, such that its RFID function is disabled if it is tampered by being partially or completely removed from either the insert 206 or the insert 208. This disable-on-removal feature may result from (i) using a strong adhesive to attach the RFID label 503 to the inserts 206 and 208, so that the RFID label 503 is damaged when removed; or (ii) including in the design of the RFID label 503 certain weak points that are intended to break or separate or fail in some way if the RFID label 503 is removed from the insert 206 or the insert 208; or (iii) other deliberately introduced design element(s) that result in modification to the RFID performance of the RFID label 503 if it is partially or completely removed from the insert 206 or the insert 208.

One technique for providing a disable-on-removal feature in the RFID label 503 is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,888,509. In that application, a tamper indicating label is described. The label may include RFID components and an electrically conductive tamper portion coupled to the RFID components. In some embodiments the tamper portion may constitute all or part of the RF antenna of the RFID label. The tamper portion should be constructed from a destructible electrically conducting material such as electrically conductive ink. The tamper portion can be formed such that it is damaged when the label is tampered by being removed from a surface to which it has been applied, thereby modifying or disabling the RFID function of the RFID label. In one embodiment, adhesion characteristics of the tamper portion are adapted to break apart or otherwise damage the tamper portion when the RFID label is tampered, for example, by partial or complete removal from a surface to which it has been applied. In this way the RFID capability of the RFID label may be disabled when the tamper portion is damaged, indicating tampering. In one embodiment the RFID label may be attached to a surface by means of an adhesive layer, with the tamper portion positioned between the RFID label substrate (that includes the RFID components) and the adhesive layer. One or more layers of adhesion modifying formulation may be applied in a specified pattern between the RFID label substrate and the layer of adhesive, with the layers of adhesion modifying material modifying (by selectively increasing or decreasing) the adhesion of the layers that they separate, and thereby promoting damage to the tamper portion if the RFID label is tampered or removed from a surface to which it has been applied. Since the tamper portion is electrically connected to the other RFID components in the RFID label, and may form part of the RFID components of the label, the RFID function of the label may be modified or disabled completely if the RFID label is applied to a surface and subsequently tampered by being partially or completely removed from the surface.

The container 100 may be used to store or transport goods that interfere with the RF performance of the RFID tag 503. To ensure consistent performance of the RFID tag 503 an RF ground plane—typically an electrically conductive layer such as a layer of metal—may be included directly underneath the location of the RFID label 503. In FIG. 6 a ground plane 601 is illustrated on the inside of the flange 205 directly underneath the RFID label 503. In those embodiments where one or more ground planes are included, the design of the RFID label 503 may be adjusted to provide optimum RFID performance of the label 503 talking into account the proximity of the ground plane(s). It should be appreciated that the inclusion of a ground plane, such as the ground plane 601, is not a requirement and in some embodiments a ground plane will not be provided.

From the descriptions of FIGS. 1 to 6 it can be seen that once the container 100 is closed and the tamper indicating RFID label 503 is applied to the inserts 206 and 208, it will be impossible to open the container doors 101 or 102 without tampering the RFID label 503 and thereby modifying its RFID performance characteristics, which modification can be detected by an RFID reading device. Conversely, if the RFID label 503 reads normally this can be regarded as an indication that the container doors 101 and 102 have not been opened since the RFID label 503 was applied.

The tamper indicating RFID label 503 may include a read-only or a read-write data storage memory. Typically the RFID label 503 will store a unique identification code, which may be permanently encoded in the label 503, and may also be recorded with information relating to the contents of the container 100.

In some embodiments the container 100 may include a permanently affixed RFID tag (the container tag) containing a code (the container ID) that identifies the container 100. FIG. 7 is a schematic illustration of the container 100 with a container tag 701 applied to the inside of the container wall. In some embodiments the container tag 701 may be embedded within the material of the container 100. In some embodiments the container ID may be recorded into the memory of the RFID label 503 in order to match the RFID label 503 to the container 100. In some embodiments the unique ID code of the RFID label 503 (stored in the memory of the RFID label 503) may be recorded into the memory of the container tag 701 in order to match the RFID label 503 to the container 100.

A typical scenario for use of the container 100 could be as follows. The container 100 may be used to securely transport items—for example, pharmaceutical goods or classified documents—from one location to the other. At the point of origin the container 100 may be packed with items. The inserts 206 and 208 may be placed in the container doors 101 and 102, the container doors 101 and 102 closed, and the tamper indicating RFID label 503 applied to the inserts 206 and 208. In some embodiments the ID code stored in the RFID label 503 may be recorded in the container tag 701 (if present) or the container ID (stored in the container tag 701, if present) may be recorded in the RFID label 503, or both. Information regarding the container contents may be recorded in the RFID label 503 or in the container tag 701. The container 100 may then be transported to a destination location. At the destination the RFID label 503 may be read (using an RFID reader) to determine whether or not it has been tampered. If the result of reading the RFID label indicates that the label 503 has been tampered, the intended recipient of the container 100 may take appropriate action or refuse delivery of the container. If the result of reading the RFID label 503 indicates that the label 503 is untampered, the information stored in its memory may be read and processed. If a container tag 701 is used, information in the container tag 701 may be read and processed, which may include cross-referencing this information with information stored in the RFID label 503, as described above. When the container 100 is to be opened the RFID label 503 will be removed and discarded, the doors 101 and 102 will be opened, and the inserts 206 and 208 will be removed and discarded. Since the adhesive RFID label 503 was only applied to the inserts 206 and 208, there is no adhesive residue to clean off the container 100 or the doors 101 and 102. Another shipping operation can then be undertaken with new inserts 206 and 208, and a new tamper indicating RFID label 503.

In addition to the advantage of there being no adhesive clean-up after removal of the RFID label 503, a further advantage of the present invention is that the material used to make the inserts 206 and 208 can be matched to the adhesive of the RFID label 503 to provide optimum tamper indicating performance of the RFID label 503 over the required environmental operating conditions. This can be done without having to compromise the properties of the material used to make the container 100.

Variations on the Preferred Embodiments

It should be appreciated that many variations are possible on the above described preferred embodiments, while still falling within the general scope of the present invention. Several non-limiting examples of such variations will now be described.

In one variation on the above described embodiments more than one pair of inserts 206 and 208 may be used when closing a container—for example, it there are two or more openings to the container.

In another variation on the above described embodiments the inserts 206 and 208 may be held in the doors 101 and 102 by means of a “click-in” or “snap-in” mechanism that does not prevent the inserts being removed but does prevent them falling out.

In another variation on the above described embodiments the container 100 may have a single door opening (rather than a pair of doors), and one of the inserts 206 or 208 may be inserted into a recess in the single door, with the other insert being inserted into an adjacent recess in the body of the container 100.

In another variation on the above described embodiments one of the inserts 206 or 208 may have the RFID label 503 pre-applied to it or integrated into it, so that after closing of the doors 101 and 102 the unapplied portion of the RFID label 503 is then applied to the other insert.

In another variation on the above described embodiments the tamper indicating RFID label 503 may be a passive RFID label that does not carry an on-board power source and so will respond to a query from an RFID reader, but will not actively and independently generate an RF signal.

In another variation on the above described embodiments the tamper indicating RFID label 503 may be an active label that includes an internal power source (such as a battery) and is thereby capable of initiating an RF signal to be read by an external RFID reader. In some embodiments an active tamper indicating RFID label 503 may be configured to generate an RF signal or internally store indicative data when a tampering even occurs to the label 503. A disadvantage of this variation is that active RFID labels are usually significantly more expensive than passive RFID labels, and the RFID label 503 is a consumable item that must be replaced each time the container 100 is sealed. Hence it is generally advantageous to use a lower-cost passive RFID label for the tamper indicating RFID label 503.

In another variation on the above described embodiments an RFID reader 702 (see the illustration of FIG. 7) may be housed within or on the container 100 in such a manner that the reader 702 is able to read the tamper indicating RFID label 503. The RFID reader 702 may in turn be connected to a device 703 within or on the container 100 that includes a communications capability, such as a wireless communications capability, and provides the ability to:

    • accept data from the RFID reader 702 and communicate the reader data to a remote external device; or
    • receive data from a remote external device and query the RFID reader 702 according to the data so received.

In this way it will be possible to determine remotely whether the tamper indicating RFID label 503 has been tampered and therefore whether the container 100 has been opened. The device 703 may preferably be powered by an internal power source (such as a battery). In one embodiment the device 703 may store the container ID instead of the container ID being stored in a separate RFID tag 701 attached to or embedded in the container. The device 703 may include additional capabilities, including but not limited to:

    • a clock; or
    • a means to determine position, such as a global positioning system means; or
    • sensors to detect specified chemicals; or
    • sensors to detect light or other radiation; or
    • sensors to detect sound; or
    • sensors to detect motion or orientation; or
    • other sensors.

Data derived from such additional capabilities may be communicated via the communications capability of the device 703 to a remote external device, along with data derived from the RFID reader 702. The RFID reader 702 and device 703 may be contained within a single housing. The RFID reader 702, or the antenna of the RFID reader 702, may be mounted on the inside of the door 101 or the door 102 in order to be in close proximity to the tamper indicating RFID label 503.

In another variation on the above described embodiments the container may be equipped with a means to detect penetration of any of the container walls or of either of the doors 101 or 102. This may be important in order to detect when surreptitious access has been gained to the container interior by making a hole in a container wall or door, or by separating the container walls along an edge. In one embodiment of the present variation the walls of the container 100 and each of the container doors 101 and 102 may incorporate an electrical penetration-detection grid, the electrical properties of which may be modified if a hole of greater than specified dimensions is made in the grid. The device 703 may include a means to monitor, either using wired or wireless methods, the electrical properties of each of the penetration-detection grids in the container 100 and container doors 101 and 102, thereby providing a means to determine whether the container 100 or container doors 101 and 102 have been penetrated. The device 703 may further provide a means to store or communicate to a remote external device information indicating whether or not the container 100 or container doors 101 and 102 have been penetrated.

In another variation on the above described embodiments the container 100 may be a collapsible container.

In another variation on the above described embodiments ridges or other raised areas may be provided on the outside of the container doors 101 and 102 in the vicinity of the tamper indicating RFID label 503 in order to provide protection against the label 503 being damaged due to impact.

In another variation on the above described embodiments the inserts 206 and 208 may be made somewhat smaller than the recesses that house the inserts, in order to allow the inserts to move a small amount within the recesses, thereby minimizing the possibility that any physical distortion of the container 100 or container doors 101 and 102 (that may occur, for example, in transit) will be transferred to the inserts 206 and 208, and to the RFID label 503, and thereby lead to a “false tamper” of the RFID label 503 (i.e. a tamper of the RFID label 503 that is not the result of someone trying to open the container 100).

It should be appreciated that the devices and methods described herein may be used to seal any type of container, including a housing or casing for an item of electrical or electronic equipment. In this case it may be important for warranty or maintenance purposes to know whether the item of equipment has been accessed in an unauthorized manner.

In respect of the abovementioned inserts 206 and 208, it should be appreciated the inserts 206 and 208 are sufficiently rigid to inhibit their removal without damaging the RFID label 503. For example the inserts 206 and 208 may be made of generally rigid plastics material. The inserts 206 and 208 are slidably located in their respective recesses 401.

Each of the inserts 206 and 208 projects inwardly of the respective recess 401 so that each insert 206 and 208 has an enclosed portion 114 located in the associated recess 401, and an exposed portion 115 located outside the associated recess 401, with the exposed portions 115 being located adjacent each other when the doors 101 and 102 are in the closed position, thus permitting the application of the RFID label 503 thereto.