The published articles are meant to primarily educate the students in printing to supplement their knowledge in the field of Printing. These are not simple Glossary of printing terms, but to the extent possible every term has been explained in brief so that it can be of some use to the students who appear in some sort of examinations and interviews.
I served the Printing Industry for over 40 years
in various capacities, a major part in an Security Printing Organization. In order not to waste the printing and paper related knowledge which I gained over years, I decided to keep them in public domain for the reason stated in prepara. Most of the illustrations - over 90% - have been generated by me to explain the terms suitably.
While I am not sure to what extent the published content will help, if the content is going to be of use to some one in some manner, I will be greatly satisfied.
Your views may be sent to me ( for my record and correction wherever needed.



- Over 400 terms-

Click on this line to read from 'A'

Saturday, December 27, 2014

One rupee currency notes

One rupee currency notes are set to make a comeback after two decades, although in a different colour
( News  Courtesy : The Times of India dated 27th December, 2014)

NEW DELHI: One rupee currency notes are set to make a comeback after two decades, although in a different colour.

Instead of the familiar indigo, the new Re 1 notes will be predominantly pink-green on the front and back in combination with others, a finance ministry notification said. Unlike other currency notes, the Re 1 notes will be issued by the government. As was the norm earlier, the currency note will be signed by the finance secretary, while the Reserve Bank of India governor will continue to sign notes of all other denominations.

"It contains the words 'Bharat Sarkar' above the words 'Government of India' with the year 2015 on the representation of the Re 1 coin with the rupee symbol having floral design and the surrounding design consists of picture of 'Sagar Samrat', the oil exploration platform and with the authentic rendering of value in fifteen Indian languages in language panel with the year figure shown on the centre bottom in international number," the notification said.

Other currency notes have RBI printed on them.

Over the last few years, the government and the RBI have focused on coins for smaller denominations and discontinued Re 1 and Rs 2 notes citing the high cost involved and the clogging of presses. But the decision to go back to Re 1 notes came as a surprise.

The 1935 Rupee One is the only note with Serial Number on the reverse.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Polymer Substrate for Bank Notes

Polymer Substrate  in place of Paper substrate for Bank Notes and Currencies
(Written by : N.R. Jayaraman)

In the last two decades the Central Banks across the globe that issue Bank Notes and Currencies have started thinking of replacing the 100 % cotton based paper substrate with that of Polymer substrate for printing the Bank Notes and currencies. While over 30 countries have already gone in for polymer substrate Bank Notes and Currencies in one  denomination  or the other, several other countries too have started examining the proposal to put to use Plastic currencies as the life span of Bank Notes will be higher compared to conventional Bank Notes. 

Today the countries that are known to use Polymer substrate for printing their currencies include Australia, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Papua, New Guinea, Romania, Vietnam, Fiji, Mauritius, Canada, Israel and Kuwait etc. As per the information the latest that are contemplating to join the club of polymer substrate for Bank Notes are India and Switzerland. It is still not known when will these two countries will release first of their polymer Bank Notes. However the following news published in the Times of India gives an idea in respect of India's position on Polymer Bank Notes.
RBI to introduce Rs 10 polymer notes on trial basis 

 ...............The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will execute a union government's mandate to introduce plastic/polymer currency note of Rs 10 on a field trial basis in five cities in India. Depending on the success of the move and how these notes work, the RBI will then decide on the next denomination of such notes that have to be brought out, KC Chakrabarthy, deputy governor, RBI said. "It will not be tomorrow. There is a process involved," he said.

In an informal chat with reporters on sidelines of first ever 'Town Hall' meeting organized by RBI in association with Corporation Bank in Karnataka here on Tuesday, Chakrabarthy said, "The process of introducing plastic notes has commenced. Tenders have to be called," he said, without sticking to a time frame when these notes to be introduced in distinct geographical regions of the country identified by the apex bank will become a reality.

Incidentally, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena in written reply to the Rajya Sabha in March had said RBI proposed to conduct field trials of Rs 10 polymer banknotes in five cities - Simla, Kochi, Jaipur, Bhubhaneshwar and Mysore. The field trials will be carried out in these places keeping in view the varied geographical locations and climatic conditions there. Plastic notes have relatively longer life compared to the prevailing paper banknotes .............

Polymer substrate is made from biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) which is a non-fibrous and non-porous polymer. Compared to paper substrates, Bank Notes printed on BOPP are harder to tear, more resistant to folding, more resistant to soiling, and remain waterproof. Further they are easier to process on the machines. The other advantage is that the substrates are shreddable and recyclable at the end of their life span thus eliminating environmental and pollution concerns. Additionally some of the security features that are not printable on paper substrates can be incorporated in the polymer substrate which is also cost effective and reduce  the production and replaceable costs compared to the paper substrate. 

In the history of Bank Notes printed on Polymer substrate , to my knowledge the substrates such as Tyvek®, Guardian®, Bradvek an improved version of Tyvek, Durasafe ®, Hybrid™ and Synthhec® have only been used for printing the Currencies and Bank Notes. 

Prior to the invention of Polymer substrate for printing Bank Notes and Currencies, the central banks around the world desired the invention of some substrate which will have both polymer and cotton in combination so that the longevity of the currencies will not only increase even under extreme climatic conditions, but at the same time be able to take on the same printable features of paper base substrate and cost effective. Therefore the paper manufacturers while inventing long lasting and more secure substrates in place of paper substrate also realized the need for cost effectiveness without compromising the possibilities to print the time tested security features as printed on cotton based substrate banknotes . 

The aspirations of the Central banks were very clear and simple. Any rational change in the substrate for printing the Bank Notes will be a welcome step, but it should be possible to retain the traditional printed security features such as intaglio printing, offset and letterpress printing, water mark, security thread, OVI, latent images, micro-printing, and intricate background patterns applied on paper substrate. Such prints applied on polymer substrate should not get wiped out during circulation. If additional features could be incorporated on polymer substrate, it would be gladly accepted. 

In this direction some attempts made to over coat the bank note printed sheets with thin layer of varnish or to laminate the sheets with a thin layer of film before processing the sheets into notes for circulation did not meet the expected level of increased lifespan, but also caused several other technical problems. 

Right from 1960 onwards various paper manufacturers tried to develop long lasting alternative material essentially based on plastic to replace the pure cotton fiber substrate on which the Bank Notes and Currencies are printed. 

As early as in 1960, Australia's national science agency called CSIRO, which is one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world had taken up the project of development of polymer substrate for printing Bank Notes in collaboration with the Australian Govt. In the year 1967, concerned with huge quantity of forged Australian $10 currencies  in circulation, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in collaboration with CSIRO decided to speed up the experiment of alternative substrate to paper substrate to print Bank Notes which will not only have longer life, but also remain difficult to reproduce or copy. 

As the experiments in the direction of innovating plastic based substrate for printing Bank Notes and Currencies were underway in Australia, in the year 1980, DuPont an US firm in   joint venture with American Bank Note Company (ABNC) developed polyethylene fiber  based substrate to replace the paper based currencies. They were successful to the extent in producing trial based Bank Notes printed on Tyvek®, a polymer based substrate ,which was expected to have longer life span than paper based substrate and at the same time susceptible to the acceptance of various special printing inks without getting erased from their surface during circulation. 

Sometime in 1980, the Tyvek® substrate was first used on the currencies of Rupublic of Haiti, a country under French Governance to produce the lower denominational Bank Note. The trial based exercise was taken up by both Costa Rica (Republic of Costa Rica is a country in Central America) and Isle of Man (Small Island between Great Britain and Iceland) in the year 1983. Only Costa Rica and Haiti issued Tyvek® banknotes. ABNC printed test notes for Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Venezuela but it appears that they were never placed in circulation. 

Though the plastic currencies produced on Tyvek® found broader public acceptance who actually welcomed the shift, on the technical side there were several problems. The first of the problems associated with plastic substrate was reported in Haiti printed Bank Notes. In around 1980, the central bank issued a 50 gourde currency printed on the Tyvek® substrate manufactured by DuPont. The currencies did not meet the physical properties anticipated besides causing huge problems on ink adhesion on surface, ink wear and delamination as noticed during circulation. Tyvek® did not perform well in trials and smudging of ink and fragility were reported. After few years the condition of notes put in circulation were found faded, smeared and looked like forgered ones. The project thus was a failure. Also the anticipated level of drastic saving on cost did not materialize. Therefore the project was abandoned as not satisfactory. 

Since Tyvek® substrate did not found much favor, an improved version was used by Bradbury Wilkinson & Co for printing one of the polymer banknotes under the brand name Bradvek for the Isle of Man in the year 1983 replacing the currencies printed on Tyvek®. However even Bradvek substrate notes were found acceptable reportedly due to certain other technical problems. 

Finally at the end of 1980 , the Reserve Bank of Australia were successful in developing a new polymer substrate intended to improve banknote quality. This plastic substrate called Guardian® was first used in 1988 for the Australian ten dollar commemorative note, which also incorporated a a see through window with a foil element called Optically Variable Device (OVD). However, this foil feature turned out  to be sufficiently not  durable and alarmed with the extent of public interference with the OVD, the notes were withdrawn and never re issued. So the central bank printed its next denomination, the five dollar note, on plastic and replaced the foil with a white printed element. Australia gradually switched its entire series to polymer notes from 1992 onwards. 

The substrate Guardian® is manufactured by a firm called Securency International, a division of Innovia films under an agreement with Reserve Bank of Australia. These were also rolled out in smaller neighboring states around the same time. Innovia Security is the supplier of Guardian® substrate to other countries. It is learnt that over 24 central Banks spread in Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Romania, Singapore, Vietnam, Guatemala, Brunei, Mauritius Nigeria, Hong Kong etc have adapted Guardian® for the production of some of their Bank Notes and Currencies. Guardian® consists of three major elements. They are the base film called ‘Clarity®C’ the opacified print layers that enable offset and intaglio inks to adhere to the substrate, and security features that are either printed or embedded in the 75µ deep substrate. Clarity®C is base film that forms the foundation of Guardian® polymer banknote substrate. It is a high performance, biaxially oriented polypropylene film, ideally suited to banknote production. 

On the other side, in the year i.e 1980, Canadian engineering company AGRA Vadeko and US chemical company US Mobil Chemical Company in a joint venture developed a polymer substrate trademarked as DuraNote. DuraNote offered advanced counterfeit protection. One sheet of Duranote consisted of twenty one ultra-thin layers of OPP film, adhesive, coatings and printable surfaces. The field trials claimed that it had four times more life circle than the conventional paper substance and stayed crisp and did not dirty easily. These properties translated into reduced printing costs. In addition the manufacturers claimed that clear plastic window provided in each note along with choicest embedded security features would make the copying of notes very difficult. It had been reportedly tested by the Bank of Canada in the 1980s and 1990s, and test notes were printed for twenty one countries in regular currency printing plants with the same designs as per the regular Bank Notes. They were reportedly put for field test from the year 1997 besides testing by eminent security printer like Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the United States Department of the Treasury. 

What exactly is Polymer substrates and their  the quality which is proposed to replace the paper substrate to print Bank Notes and Currencies? The substrate proposed is not pure plastic material, but is a combination of Cotton and Polymer substrate. The development is combining polymer and cotton to prepare the substrate sheets. 

One approach is to use cotton on the outside with a core of polymer in the centre. The other is the reverse of it, i.e cotton inside with a core of polymer on the outer. These material retain  the feel of paper with the polymer core providing mechanical strength. 
Structure of Polyester based substrate

An alternative approach is a cotton paper core protected on each side by thin film layers. The film layers provide protection against soiling and tearing. Both approaches enable common banknote paper features such as watermarks and threads to be used.

Giesecke & Devrient GmbH, parent company of Louisenthal Paper mill in Switzerland, recognized this potential and started to develop a completely new banknote substrate that would combine the benefits of cotton and polymer. In 2008, G&D launched this pioneering substrate called Hybrid™. The G &D produced substrate is a sandwich material composed of paper inside and polymer on the outside . 
Printed on Hybrid™ 

The first ever commemorative banknote on Ryder Cup, Europe issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) used the Hybrid™ substrate including substrate embedded features. The Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan (RMAB), Bhutan's central bank, has reissued its two lower denominational banknotes using Hybrid™, a paper/polymer substrate made by Louisenthal. The Bank of Jamaica issued a new series of banknotes in 2012. The $100 Jamaican note is made of the Hybrid™ substrate. The notes were printed by Giesecke & Devrient. 
HybridTM banknotes are ideal for challenging conditions. By uniting cotton and polymer banknote technologies, we have succeeded in creating a perfect composition. HybridTM banknotes combine proven security with a considerably longer service life – and the result is a banknote that is slow to soil, does not become limp, and yet still enjoys the trust of the population because of its similarity to the well-known cotton banknotes.

As per Louisenthal mill statement:-
“Hybrid™ brings the advantages of paper banknotes and polymer banknotes together in an innovative combination of protective polyester film around a cotton fiber core. Already proven in circulation on three continents (Africa, America, Asia), Hybrid™ banknotes combine security with durability and ensure public acceptance. 

Hybrid™ ’s core can be exclusively customized with embedded watermarks, security threads, and machine-readable elements to ensure the banknote substrate is secure against counterfeiting. Due to its polyester film, Hybrid™ banknotes are durable, remaining clean and stiff even in extreme circulation conditions. Printing on Hybrid™ enables exploitation of the full potential of security features and intaglio printing to provide the trusted touch and feel of banknotes” 
- Unquote

G & D also manufacture 20 % synthetic fiber mixed paper substrate which of course is not polymer substrate. According to G & D ‘Synthec®’ is the enhanced durable banknote substrate for improved quality throughout the banknote’s lifetime. The synthetic fibers and ‘LongLife’ protective coating of Synthec delivers an optimized combination of outstanding mechanical stability, stiffness, and anti-soiling properties’. 
As per the latest news the new Swiss banknote series is set to be printed using substrate called Durasafe® manufactured by Fortress paper operated through Landqart mill, a Switzerland based paper mill as invented in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich. The same substrate appears to have been already used on one of the Bank Notes issued by Morocco. Landqart produces banknote, passport, visa paper. 

As per Landqart :-
Quote:- *
“The DURASAFE® is the innovative new composite paper-polymer-paper banknote substrate from Landqart AG. It is the platform for the world's most secure banknotes. DURASAFE® is composed of two cotton paper outer layers with a fully transparent polymer core. The paper is high security cylinder mould made containing a watermark and security fibers and other traditional security features including easy to recognize Bank Note Paper tactility. The polymer core adds strength and security, while allowing windows to be formed virtually anywhere on the banknote. Windows are formed to look into the core of the substrate, or directly through the substrate”

De La Rue is the world’s largest commercial banknote printer and Printing machineries and equipments manufacturer whose products have been supplied to several Central bank print units in various countries. De La Rue has launched Safeguard®, a polymer substrate similar to Hybrid and Durasafe substrates, but has differently processed substrate. Safeguard® is the result of an intensive four year development  programme that started when some of their customers were eager to have polymer as a substrate instead of paper substrate and were looking for an alternative source of supply.   
According to a De La Rue press release dated 18 November 2014, the Central Bank of The Gambia will introduce a 20-dalasi banknote before the end of 2014 to commemorate 20 years in office for President Yahya Jammeh. This note was designed and printed by De La Rue on Safeguard® polymer substrate.

Polymer banknotes are banknotes made from a polymer such as biaxially..... issue a 20 Dalasis banknote printed on De La Rue's Safeguard® polymer substrate. 

The Banque du Liban has launched a new commemorative polymer banknote produced on De La Rue’s Safeguard® polymer substrate. 
The 50,000 LBP note has been issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Banque du Liban. The new Commemorative polymer banknote is issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Banque du Liban.

Over the last 20 years we have developed more than a dozen polymer banknote designs, produced more than 30 million polymer banknotes, built knowledge and understanding of design and print process and developed polymer feature patents.

 To read complete details of Polyester notes issued by various countries year wise click on this *

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tamper Evident Labels

Evident Labels (TEL)
Written by: N.R. Jayaraman
All over the world the use of tamper evident labels is gaining momentum for safeguarding their products. Though the use of such labels does not fully end the attempts to forge the products or counterfeiting, it does help in at least identifying attempted tampering.  What is tamper evident label (TEL) and how do they help identify the attempted or actual tampering on the products?  As the name implies TEL i.e tamper evident labels mean, any  attempt to tamper or to open the sealed contents is revealed or made evident instantly by the appearance of the labels.

Common uses of such security labels include food packing, electronics and other product packs, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, beverages, or use as warranty labels, as brand protection on valuable products and much more. The labels have covert and overt messages or features for easy or instant detection.

Some of
TEL are multi layered. Each layer may have a message too. When someone attempt to remove the label from the surface on which they have been pasted or struck, the bottom layer of the label will delaminate to transfer the hidden messages printed on the adhesive side of the labels to show ‘opened’, ‘void’ or any customized special message or sign on the surface of the pack from where they were removed thus revealing that the  pack has either been tampered or attempted to be tampered with.

Some other TEL on low priced products are simple labels without any  'void' messages or security feature inbuilt in them.  They may have some special character or design or unique number code as overt feature. However In the case of TELs which are inbuilt with unique colour changing security feature, when someone attempts to peel off the labels using heat, or freeze the labels for easy removal, a clear indicator in the form of  either white or coloured stripes appearing over the entire surface of the label can be seen revealing  tampering.

When some one attempts to  remove the labels inbuilt with  hidden 'void' or special message, which of course are printed with a special colour changing inks, on removal of the label  the hidden message will not only get transferred on to the surface from where they were removed, but also the colour of the messages will become darker on contact with air due to the special formulation of the  inks used.  Unable to peel TEL,  fearing detection when they again attempt to paste back the peeled off labels or try to paste fresh counterfeited labels in the same place, the dark message already transferred on to the surface of the peeled area will show up as dark image through the top layer of the labels. Besides, the surface of peeled off area  will repel the adhesive of fresh labels causing air blocks which will be glaring revelation of the attempted tampering.

Some of the customized labels which offer more security are supplied with inbuilt security features too. They include not only colour changing pattern, leaving on surface hidden messages but also  special serial no which is registered in the data base etc. The self destructive labels cause fracture like appearance when attempted to open. In particular the destructible labels are generally made on fragile base and therefore it is virtually impossible to remove them in one piece.

Some other labels are incorporated with additional special deterrents such as a patented or special slits or cuts or inked design that is only readable with a special gadget on the face of the label. There are multiple layered labels too that helps to keep the sensitive information such as manufactured date and batch no protected by printing them in the second layer which can not be therefore be altered as it will be below the top layer. Labels with security features are used for product authentication, for reducing theft and providing counterfeiting protection. Some of them also help in track and trace operations too.

The label manufacturers offer different formats of TEL ready to use which include general type and customized labels, with or without inbuilt security features. The basic difference on the product supplied by them range from labels on paper, thin metal or film base and other advanced combination of materials and production processes. With the new state-of-the-art digital printing equipment and technology, cost-effective multi-colour printed logos and special designs are produced on the TELs. 

Few of the most important industries that consume huge quantity of TEL has been the pharmaceutical industry followed by automobile spare parts industry both of whom  grow  universally by not less than 5 to 6 % every year. In order to protect against all adverse influences like counterfeiting/adulteration of their products, they keep  on updating their package protection system with the passage of each day especially on high value products and life saving products in pharmaceutical industry. Counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical or automobile spare parts industry is not limited to duplicating their  products but also counterfeiting the sealed packing similar to the originals so as to sell the fake products as authentic ones.

Therefore the use of  particular firm specific TELs on their packing as well as containers acts as the first deterrent in thwarting the tampering attempt as most of the TELs are firm specific which may not be available everywhere and are also not easy to copy for duplication as they keep on changing the elements of features sometimes with each batch. Therefore the intent to provide anti counterfeit and tamper evident features, all with strong adhesive on their back is the foremost priority in the minds of the industries who are more concerned on the safety of their products. Many varieties of material used for tamper evident labels as I said earlier include very thin but strong paper to thin film substrates.

The features found on the TELs especially used on the packs of high value products include overt and covert features. Some varieties  produced are shrink seal TILs, TILs with security cuts (the security cut features are built in by the label printer at the converting stage itself) done with the help of a special cutting die.  The face of the material is given cuts at various angles so that by any way if one try to remove the labels the paper will tear off.  Some others are also colour changing destructible labels which is available both in clear and opaque formats using aggressive pressure sensitive adhesives. The labels can be automatically dispensed on automatic label dispensers and when some one  attempt to remove them they colour change and get cut to different shape making it difficult to replace the same label or put even a new label in the same place.

Some of the labels which too can be automatically dispensed on automatic label dispensers or manually pasted when attempted to remove them they break-up into very small fragmented pieces. 

They have metallic threads interwoven in the base material so that when tampered, only the top layer of the label will break but the metallic strings inside will remain struck to the surface of the material on which they have been pasted. Unless deeply scrubbed they cannot be removed. Scrubbing will immediately show the act of tampering.

The purpose of a covert feature is only to enable the brand manufacturers to identify counterfeited product. The general public will not be aware of its presence nor have the means to verify it. A covert feature cannot be easily  detected or to copied without specialist knowledge on the inbuilt feature. Some of the labels when attempted to peel off will leave any one of their layer which also changes colour.  If the fresh label is pasted in the same place, the  general appearance will be different than the original thus revealing tampering.  

Overt features are intended to enable end users to verify the authenticity of a pack. Such features will normally be prominently visible, at the same time difficult or too expensive to reproduce. They are designed to be applied in such a way that they cannot be reused or removed without being defaced or causing damage to the pack.