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Heidelberg is a reliable partner to the document and plastic card industry


  • First Security Day shows the possibilities of security printing
  • Strong protection against counterfeiting for documents through a variety of applications in the Speedmaster XL 75 with UV technology
  • Cost-effective production of short runs of plastic cards with the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2
  • Suprasetter CtP platesetter and Diana Eye offline inspection system round off high-quality and zero defect production in prepress and press

Over 120 attendees from all over the world came to the Security Day hosted by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) for the first time in Wiesloch in mid-July. Using identification document printing (ID printing) and meaningful examples from the plastic card industry, the company showed that it has been the reliable partner for these applications for many years. The guests included a number of representatives from well-known security printing companies and state printing offices as well as government organizations and their supplier industries, with whom Heidelberg has collaborated for many years. The visitors got an overview of the latest technologies and solutions for their individual needs and availed of the opportunity to speak to and get advice from the Heidelberg experts. Live demonstrations on two differently equipped Speedmaster XL 75 presses – one Anicolor press printing simulated bank cards and a second machine impressing visitors with its range of application modules for ID printing – generated interesting impressions. The importance of the prepress and postpress processes for high-quality and zero defect production was illustrated by the Suprasetter A75 CtP platesetter, which is perfect for applications on ID cards, for example, as well as being fully integrated and offering a high resolution of 5080 dpi, and the Diana Eye offline inspection system.

The visitors attended presentations about the Primefire 106, the new industrial inkjet digital print solution in B1 format from Heidelberg, as well as the varied applications of the successful Versafire series, which are opening up entirely new applications in security printing through personalization and customization.

ID printing puts protection against counterfeiting first

“The demand for tamper-proof documents like passports, driver licenses, official badges, and tax stamps is growing worldwide,” confirms Joachim Hüber. “The precision and versatility of the Speedmaster XL 75 and its ability to handle the complex production methods and strict specifications of customers make it the press of choice for most providers.” Visitors to the Security Day experienced a six-color Speedmaster XL 75 perfecting press with UV technology equipped with printing units for letterset, rainbow printing, waterless offset, flexo printing, and the inkjet system. It can be used for printing invisible colors and unusual effects, among other things. UV fluorescing inks, which are only visible under black light, are applied in the letterset. The more sophisticated printing image virtually rules out defects like smudging and scumming during the run. Rainbow printing produces multi-colored effect sequences through the simultaneous application of two or more inks in the printing unit’s ink fountain. To provide protection against copying, the inks are merged in a controlled process across the entire run for sheets that are absolutely identical. A thermal inkjet system is used for the following applications among others: for serialization and personalization, for tracking products, or for quality assurance using an inline inspection system in order to eject defective sheets using a number. All of these special applications make the Speedmaster XL 75 ideal for high-security printing, but also make it interesting for providers of more unusual printed products.

Heidelberg also supplies these customized presses for security printing in the small format with the Speedmaster SX 52 and in the 70 x 100 format with the Speedmaster XL 106. For example, a Speedmaster 106 with double-coating technology is used in banknote printing for coating both sides of banknotes.

Plastic and bank cards, where costs and looks count

While cash use is falling worldwide, plastic card use is on the up. The industry analysts from the Nilson Report expect that the number of prepaid, debit, and credit cards alone will increase to 22 billion by 2020. “When producing cards like these, every cent, an attractive appearance for marketing purposes, and, to a lesser extent, the security aspects count,” explains Joachim Hüber, Product Manager Security Printing at Heidelberg. The Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2, which demonstrated cost-effective printing of high-quality plastic cards with finishing effects using eight inking units and double coating at the Security Day, meets all of these requirements. The Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2 offers fast inking thanks to the zoneless short inking unit and also reduces paper waste by 90 percent and makeready times by 50 percent. The Anicolor Booster makes it possible to produce a thicker ink layer, for example for a gold- and silver-colored background on plastic cards.

Both the prepress stage and the press are integrated via the Prinect print shop workflow, while Heidelberg’s innovative Push to Stop concept delivers high productivity and therefore highly cost-effective production.

Prinect Multicolor provides coverage for around 95 percent of the Pantone color space in seven-color printing so that spot colors – as widely used in logos by credit card manufacturers – can be printed without the need for additional color changes. The Cristala TASTE (Tilt Angle Sensitive Texture Element) design elements permit extremely interesting optical effects. These are based on the design concept of Cristala and the established drip-off effect. Attractive textures that change depending on the viewing angle can be achieved by using specially formulated Saphira coatings. This can be used to visually accentuate company logos, for example, and also produces a visually sculptural effect.

Visualization of extremely fine lines and dots and complex checking of security elements

High-quality security elements with extremely fine lines and dots are specifically needed for ID security printing. The prepress stage with the Suprasetter CtP platesetter plays an important role here. For example, the visitors to the Security Day saw the Suprasetter A75, which reproduced even guilloches and micro texts with precision and reliability with an optional resolution of 5080 dpi. The highlight here is that the Suprasetter permits on-the-fly changes between print jobs with 2540 dpi and 5080 dpi so that customers can produce a mix of standard and security jobs.

It is also important to check the security elements before the jobs are shipped out. The Diana Eye offline inspection system checks even highly reflective substrates or high-quality finishings such as embossing, hot and cold foiling, holograms, and bar codes. The Diana Eye range, available in 42 cm and 55 cm widths, combines unique LED lighting technology and a cutting-edge camera system with high-performance image analysis software. The system is the result of the partnership with MK Masterwork, and is sold by Heidelberg. The Diana Eye can check features of the printed surface using up to four cameras, as well as verify the backside of the carton using a further, optional camera. Each individual folding carton blank is checked and compared against a reference image. Appropriate tolerances can be set and deviating results are automatically removed. This protects the brand quality and minimizes paper waste.


Hilde Weisser
Public Relations Officer, Trade Press Tel.: +49 (0)6221 92 50 66
Fax.: +49 (0)6221 92 99 50 66

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