Optical security printing has reached a high level of sophistication as a result of intense activity in world markets within
which the potential for the crook to make money by counterfeiting has reached astronomical levels. Each commercial
company that involves itself in the security printing business has its own secrets which it must not divulge. A plenary talk
such as this is perforce confined to discuss matters of vision, materials, optical recording and visual psychology which lie
outside the specifics of individual commercial approaches. We look at new optical ideas and especially the influences of
materials developments in this fascinating field of research.
The security of bank notes against counterfeiting can be improved by the incorporation of optically variable
devices (OVDs), which change their appearance when the note is viewed in different directions. Three types of
OVD; holograms, multiple diffraction gratings, and thin film interference filters will be compared in relation to the
special requirements unique to bank notes; security, visibility and durability.
The Bank of Canada has recently issued $50 bank notes bearing a five-layer thin film interference filter. The
tests which led to this particular form of OVD will be described, together with methods of deposition, quality
control, and application to sheets of bank notes.
In January 1988, we at the Note Printing Branch first released to the
Reserve Bank a polymer based banknote containing an Optically Variable
Device (OVD), a diffraction grating. This banknote was the culmination
of many years of Research and Development effort, and represented a
very significant departure from conventional banknote technology in
many ways. It was a test bed. We are very pleased with its
Recently the cashless system has been spread widely in Japan, and now not only the
number ot credit cards but also that of pre-paid cards, such as telephone cards, railroad
cards, is increasing steadily.
Looking at such circumstances, we, one of the biggest card manufacturers in Japan,
are proceeding to develop the technology of anticounterfeit.
The standard structure of the credit card and the pre-paid card in Japan is shown in
Counterfeiting is now a major industry
estimated to be worth in excess of $100 billion -
sales by the legal owners.
This situation has been allowed to occur simply as a result of industries
reactive/passive approach to the problem. The situation has been further
complicated by the:
* rapid development, availabilityofsophisticated machinery in the
manufacturing technology where products can be replicated
easily at a minimal cost
* advances in printing technology allowing for undetectable
duplication of complex printing systems with photocopy ease
and considerable economies.
The combination of these two factors has allowed the rapid growth of this
illegal activity, creating a substantial income with little or not risk. Legal
recourse is generally weak and at best reactive to the existence of the
problem after the damage has been done.
It would appear that industry has still not found an adequate solution to
the problem, with growth in counterfeiting estimated to have increased by
150% in 5 years.
Thi s paper descri bes some appl ications of hologram labels which have been already com
mercialized in Japan for security and anticounterfeiting. These anticounterfeiting labels
are produced by printing computergraphics(CG) image hologram,and have chracteristics that it
is difficult to peel the labels and attach to counterfeit again,therefore, have anticounterfelting
effect higher than that of usual hologram. Moreover synthesized hologram of both
images of CG and video-recording are developed,will be discussed with possible applications.
Embossed holograms have now been used in several areas for security purposes over
the past decade. Three example applications are presented and examined in
detail. The embossed hologram has many device characteristics which are common
to more traditional security measures, such as paper water marks. Various
methods are discussed of enhancing the security performance of embossed holograms
by using them in combination with other techniques, such as, additions to the
physical structure of the holographic device, the substrate on to which it is
printed and the holographic image itself. It is noted that only a complete
integration of all steps of manufacture can provide total security assurance.
Embossed stereograms offer a very wide range of image possibilities,
including portraits, wide or very small subjects, color control, dynamic
effects and computer-generated images. This technique allows the
origination of images that are extremely difficult or impossible to copy.
It is therefore highly suitable for security purposes. Until now, however,
very few stereograms have been put into actual use. This is due to the poor
quality so far achieved in small-sized stereograms and to the reliance on
expensive, cumbersome shooting systems. Technical breakthroughs in these
areas, such as Holoscope®, now make it possible to obtain very high
definition stereograms, creating opportunities for their use in the
With the advent, some years ago, of better and lower priced
colour photocopiers, it was recognized that these machines
presented a potential for unauthorized reproduction of currency
and other paper value.
The optical characteristics of diffractive microstructures designed for zero-order read-out are
discussed. Such devices offer new optical behaviour which can be exploited for applications in the
field of visual and machine readable security features. They can be fabricated by low-cost embossing
and evaporation techniques.
As the title of this paper suggests, there are new optical systems that may be used for security applications.
Several will be discussed here, along with a new selection procedure for consideration by those who search for
utilization of the most effective "security" system to meet their requirements.
The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO is frequently
approached by trade and industry with requests to develop security systems,
automated security inspection machines and to test the resistance of security
documents and security devices against fraud. This article presents various
TNO activities in this field and discusses some ideas developed as a result of
the research involved.
The MAVIS (Machine Automated Vision Inspection System) project for the Reserve Bank ofAustralia (RBA) currently
under development is a high resolution, image capture system with the capability to read bank notes at a rate of 20
notes/second. This paper discusses the requirements and solutions for the primary technical features of the system, and
covers the areas of image resolution, electronics speed, lens and lighting design. Also, their effects on the image
processing software algorithms is discussed.
The counterfeiting of products and financial instruments is a major problem throughout
the world today. The dimensions of the problem are growing, accelerated by the expanding
availability of production technologies to sophisticated counterfeiters and the increasing
capabilities of these technologies. Various optical techniques, including holography, are
beingused in efforts to mark authentic products and to distinguish them from copies. Industry is
recognizing that the effectiveness of these techniques depends on such factors as the economics of
the counterfeiting process and the distribution channels for the products involved, in addition to
the performance of the particular optical security technologies used. This paper surveys the
nature of the growing counterfeit market place and reviews the utility of holographic optical
security systems. In particular, we review the use of holograms on credit cards and other
products; and outline certain steps the holography industry should take to promote these
How many times has a friend-usually recently returned from a trip to the Far East- shown you the fake Rolex or Cartier wrist-watch purchased for little more than the cost of a meal? If honest, I think our usual reaction is one of: "What a bargain, wish you had bought one for me!" Now imagine you are Sitting in the airliner flying at 10,000 metres, and the passenger sitting next to you reveals that he has just sold fake brake pads or fake wing bolts to the purchasing department of that particular airline. Sounds far fetched - doesn't it? However, in this day and age, such a proposition is perfectly feasible and later I will quote examples of fake products which, quite
literally, will make your hair stand on end! Whilst it is always difficult to obtain accurate figures as to the extent of the
global trade in counterfeit products, it is conservatively estimated to account for some 5% of world trade, or around $100 billion U.S. per year. Unfortunately, all the indications are that the problem is growing. Today, with all the advances of modern technology, it is all too easy for the Pirate to copy those goods regarded as the "brand leaders" in any particular industry.
My responsibility in the Kurz Group is a special product group, which
we call hotstamping foils with optical variable effects. In this
collection you will find Holograms, Kinegrams and Diffraction Foils,
but also some products with additional printed effects.