2011 Conference Review
The 10th Asian High Security Printing Conference was held in New Delhi, India, 7-9 December, 2011. Maintaining the tradition of its immediate predecessors held in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing respectively, it attracted 230 delegates from 35 countries.
The event, now managed exclusively by Reconnaissance International, concentrates on the wider printing requirements of governments at the state and federal levels. It was accompanied, as usual, by an exhibition of reputable and experienced suppliers into the security business.
Click here to view the programme
The first day of the conference was devoted to two workshops. The first consisted of a review of ‘Current Security Features for Banknotes and the Methodology for Selection’. It was led by Martin Arkwright and Jonathan Ward of Secura Monde International. The second was devoted to the growing interest in the ‘Technology Behind Tax Stamp Security’ and was moderated by David Tidmarsh and Glenn Wood of Reconnaissance International. Each specialty workshop attracted more than 50 attendees.
The conference itself consisted of six sessions spread over two days.
Session 1 - ‘The Regional Security Document Landscape’ began with a welcome address to India from Shri Ashwini Kumar of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India.
In his presentation ‘Currency Printing in India’ he noted that 17 billion banknotes are printed each year in India. It is expected that India will be the world’s second largest economy by 2020 and the demand for notes will increase accordingly. He sees a growing importance of the substrate in maintaining the security of the notes and stated that upgrades to the country’s paper mill plus a new jointly-owned mill should enable India to be nearly self sufficient in banknote paper by 2013/14.
Oleg Loginov of Goznak, Russia, then spoke about ‘Developments for the Effective Modification of a Banknote Series’. In discussing the upgraded series of Russian roubles produced in 2010 and 2011, he drew attention to the evolution of the watermark now combined with electrotype. The VFI (Varied Formed Image) technology using a 6.5mm wide embedded thread and the HMC technique which causes printed features to change color on rotation were both given special mention.
Mukesh Goel of Gopsons Paper, India, spoke about ‘The Changing Landscape for Tax Stamps in India’. He noted that tax stamps are only used on alcohol products in India (not tobacco) but this production alone is huge. 12 of the 29 states use tax stamps consuming 10,240 million a year in the process with a growth rate of 12-14%. He noted that most, if not all of the tax stamp use holographic effects but seemed unimpressed by this technology, advocating instead a system using a scratch off patch revealing a number verifiable by SMS. Digital barcode for tracking also should be considered.
Session 2 - ‘Travel, ID and Border Control’ was chaired by Daniel Holliger of OVD Kinegram.
Barry Kefauver of ICAO, USA, spoke about ‘Evidence of Identity - The Challenge’. He noted that 75% of the fraudulent use of passports is not in border crossings but in situations such as banking, education and elections. He drew attention to the fact that documents are becoming much more resistant to counterfeiting but attention needs to shift towards ensuring that the applicant is really who they say they are. Thus, the integrity of breeder documents becomes critical.
Terence Sim of the National University of Singapore spoke about ‘Biometrics in ID - How Secure are They?’. He began by noting the story of the man who accidentally grabbed his son’s passport and was able to clear most security checks to board his flight. If fingerprint recognition had been used, the error would have been picked up. Or maybe not. Dr Sim gave examples of how fingerprint readers, facial recognition systems and retinal eye scans can all be fooled. However, correctly used, the technology can assist in maintaining privacy rather than reducing it.
Lalit Agarwal of Datacard Asia Pacific, Singapore, considered ‘Passport Production: Industry Trends, Best Practice Options and Quality Control’. He considered best practices in passport production in respect of quality, security, durability and cost and noted that there will be inevitable trade offs. By 2014, the deployment of a secure global border crossing infrastructure that leverages the proliferation of ePassports and eVisas will begin in earnest. He recommended his own company as a resource for advice on how effective security can be added at the the personalization stage.
Amit Agrawal of Infineon Technologies, India, spoke about ‘3rd Generation of Travel Documents’. His presentation contained many acronyms and abbreviations testifying to the complexity of compliance with emerging standards relating to digital security.
Session 3 - ‘Currency Developments’ was chaired by Ian Smith of Leonard Kurz Stiftung and Co. KG.
Vijay Kumar Yadav of Bharatiya Reserve Banknote, part of the Reserve Bank of India, spoke about ‘Currency Counterfeiting in India - An Overview’. In line with increased banknote production over the last decade, counterfeiting has also increased. In fact, production has doubled but counterfeiting has increased by a factor of four. This has lead to the setting up of Forged Note Vigilence Cells (FNVCs) at all banks. The RBI works with all stakeholders to fight counterfeiting. Measures include public awareness campaigns, a clean note policy and the use of automation, deploying optical and chemical technologies are used alongside electronic communications and IT networks.
Maria Atkinson of De La Rue, UK, discussed ‘Extending the Useful Life of Banknotes’. She distinguished between low denomination notes (market notes with an average life of two years), payment notes (used to pay wages and issued through ATMs) to stored wealth notes (high denominations not usually circulating and with an average life expectancy of four years). She also noted how city economies place different stresses on banknotes from rural areas. She considered the effects of substrates and varnishes and made some proposals for cost effective solutions to enhancing the lifetime of banknotes.
Matthias Mueller of Hueck Folien GmbH, Germany, presented ‘Banknote with a View - New Window Threads for Currency’. He noted that the Bank of England was the first to introduce a water mark in 1697 but it was not until Kazakhstan introduced the 10,000 Tenge note in 2006 that a paper note appeared with a window allowing a sophisticated optically variable feature to be examined by reflection and transmission. The development of the Foil In Paper (FIP) security thread was described in detail. It can be incorporated into a paper substrate in perfect registration with the viewing window.
Brian Lang of PolyTeQ Services, New Zealand, spoke about ‘Guardian Banknotes - A Business Decision’. The speaker made a convincing case for the use of synthetic substrate, asserting that polymer based banknotes experience less counterfeiting that paper based ones (less than 4 ppm vs 50ppm for paper). Moreover, in New Zealand, only 4% of the population prefers paper over polymer, the latter affording longer note life with fewer bacteria.
The first day concluded with a spectacular conference dinner around the hotel pool during which Indian regional cuisines were presented to delegates to the accompaniment of traditional music and dance.
The second day began with Session 4 - ‘Printing and Production’, chaired by Martin Arkwright of Secura Monde.
Giovanni De Toni of Parvis, Italy, chose as his topic ‘Traceability and Quality Control in the Printing Works’. He expanded on the merits of barcoding, numbering and variously accounting for every item through the manufacturing process. Such a traceability system not only adds security and provides backwards traceability but provides an effective methodology for optimizing workflow and assisting problem solving.
Stephen Brown of KBA Nota-Sys, Switzerland. changed his title to ‘Secure Products Need Secure Platforms’. His basic thesis was that machines must be optimised for the security work they do. As an illustration, a Lexus minivan may be a splendid vehicle but it is not suited to delivering cash in transit. Likewise, there are excellent printing presses available but they should not be used for security printing. Security stands on four pillars: Design, Components, Printing presses and the Supply chain (secure shipments). Each was described in detail.
Rainer Rettig of Are-Con, Germany, spoke about ‘Evolution in Laser Engraving for Secure Decentralized Issuance’. The German health card was the first to use laser engraving in 1998 but the technology was cumbersome. The most recent example of 4th generation laser personalization system weighs only 26 Kg and contains provision for chip encoding. This makes it sufficiently portable to transport to remote areas.
Andrew Bonnell of Landqart, Switzerland, spoke about ‘Overt Security in the Paper Making Process’. Developing overt security features which are easy to authenticate but resistant to counterfeiting is challenging. So a background to their relative value was provided along with insights into their strategic adoption such as active versus sleeper features. UV fluorescent embedded fibers which shimmer when illuminated cannot be replicated by print technologies and substrates using a sandwich of two paper layers are useful new approaches.
Session 5 - ‘Substrates and Materials’ was chaired by Glenn Wood of Reconnaissance International.
Clemens Berger of Papierfabrik Louisenthal explained that ‘One Boot Doesn’t Fit All’. Because the needs of currency issuers are very diverse, a wide portfolio of security features and constructions is necessary. RollingStar is a new type of security thread using micro mirrors to create dynamic optical effects. The material is not susceptible to index matching in used notes like microlenticular features, and appears set for prime time as a new, anticounterfeit element on banknotes.
Amol Pachchapurkar of PPG Industries, USA, spoke about ‘Optimum Substrates for Securing Government ID Credentials’. He provided a background to the long standing use of Teslin for government credentials. The product has many physical and chemical properties making ideal for this purpose and in the last few months, a laser engraveable version has become available.
Thangarathnavel Manickavasagam of Bayer Materials Science, Germany, addressed ‘High-Tech Films for Passport, Driver’s License and Smart ID-Card Applications’. The paper presented features of the Makrofol materials which make them resistant to print alterations when applied by dye diffusion or thermal transfer. Anti-scratch properties and laser engraveability at high speeds are some of the properties designed into these materials.
Masayo Mouri of Dai Nippon Printing, Japan, described ‘Photopolymer OVDs for ID’. In addition to developing Lippmann holograms using proprietary photopolymer recording materials, DNP has also optimised ways of incorporating these into paper documents (as a window thread) and plastic cards. In the latter case, the holograms are embedded between the base substrate and surface layer to give greater resistance to counterfeiting.
Session 6 - ‘Security Features’ was chaired by Astrid Mitchell of Reconnaissance International and concluded the conference.
Ian Smith of Leonhard Kurz, Germany, spoke about ‘Latest Developments in Foil Security Features for Banknotes’. Among the features described were Kinegram zero.zero, Volume, Dynamic, Evolution and reView. All these features used the same basic layer structure of stamping foil except for ‘Volume’ which is based on Lippman photopolymer and ‘Dynamic’ which is an array of linear microlenses.
Vladimir Shtaida of Goznak, Belarus, spoke about ‘Excise Control - Developments of Innovative Security Features against Counterfeits in Belarus’. Belarusian tax stamps contain 17 security features of which the Unigram is the most innovative introduced in 2004. This optically polarized feature can be checked with a polarizing filter verifier and combined with a hologram. 2 billion per year are produced and over the last seven years have increased tax revenues by $6 billion.
Hugues Souparis of Hologram Industries spoke of the ‘Success of DID in Banknote and ID’. The DID feature consists of linear gratings combined with optical coatings. The result is a colored element which changes color by simple rotation of 90 degrees. The effect is highly visual and easy to appreciate and yet very difficult to replicate illegally. It was first applied to a document 10 years ago, has been adopted by 15 countries on passports and ID cards and no counterfeit has yet been reported. It has now been adopted for the two highest denominations s of Phillippine’s new banknote series.
Tal Gilat of Inksure Technologies, New York, described ‘New Improvements in Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement from Taggant Technology’. CarSure is a new taggant technology released in January 2011 capable of machine verification through a car windshield. A particular challenge were the technical developments required to avoid the interfering effects of light piped through the glass of the windshield. This new technology is currently deployed by two governments, one in Europe and one in Africa, to verify that car taxes have been paid.
Anton Goncharsky of Computer Holography Center, Russia, described ‘High Security Holograms - Covert and Overt Security Features’. Optical origination techniques have their limitations, which have been superseded by e-beam. It seems that electron beam origination is so difficult and expensive it can only be carried out by four companies - Optaglio, Giesecke & Devrient &D, DNP and Computer Holography Center. It is possible through the use of such technology to produce dynamic covert imagery amongst many other advanced optical effects.
Scott Palm of Crane Currency, USA was the final presenter with a paper on ‘Micro-Optics for Banknotes - The Next Generation’. Crane Currency pioneered the use of Moytion based on microlenticulars in 2006. The speaker pointed to new directions for the technology which included an embedded microlens structure allowing for the applications of adhesives and varnishes without index matching. New methods of incorporating the products into banknotes were also presented.
Special thanks were given to the honorary sponsors – Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India and Bharatiya Bank Note Reserve Mudran, old sponsor OVD Kinegram and the silver sponsors Hueck Folien, Manipal Technologies and Digital Identification. without whose support the event would not have been possible. 23 exhibitors, mostly from Europe, also added greatly to the occasion.
The 11th Asian High Security Printing Conference will take place in Dubai, 25-27 September 2012.