3M uses a variety of our central issuance production facility in Manchester, UK, uses a variety of printing technologies to print and laser engrave on security ID cards on security ID cards, PC bio-data pages and security paper, including a state-of-the-art printing press, screen printing, hot stamping, milling and chip implanting.
As a result, we offer industry-leading expertise in designing and printing a wide range of security features in complex designs that are tamper and counterfeit resistant.
Designing for Secure ID Cards
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Intaglio printing employs high-security equipment and printing plates. An image is cut into a single print plate, which can then be used repeatedly to apply multiple colors in a crisp image.
Best viewed from an oblique angle, it provides a strong overt anti-counterfeiting feature.
It is very difficult to create clear and consistent microtext in combination with intaglio printing. Therefore, using it provides a strong differentiator from imitative, counterfeit processes.
Guilloche printing, in 2-3 colors
Guilloche design is created with a pattern of continuous fine lines which are generated by a mathematical calculation that cannot easily be duplicated. In many cases, it is combined with rainbow printing, which is impossible to reproduce with other major printing processes or laser/ink jet.
Color-shifting inks change color depending on the angle of the document, behaving in a predictable way, e.g., shifting from green to purple. A covert security feature, the ink is visible only with a UV light.
Fine-Line Design, Sometimes with Microtext
Fine-line design features change in the event of a photocopying attack; e.g., when a forger attempts to copy the page, the design will appear blurred and display obvious pattern spread.
Rainbow printing allows a single unit to print multiple colors simultaneously through controlled merging. Solid lines change color where they intersect with other colors, offering an overt security feature that will erode under attempts to erase the page with water or bleach.
See-through features are images printed to create accurate front-to-back register. Designs or partial motifs seemingly printed at random on the front and back of the substrate match up perfectly to form a complete motif when light is shown through the substrate. Imperfect registers in counterfeits will produce a blurred image when viewed in the light.
A covert, level 2 security feature, UV printing is visible under black light and can be printed in 2 to 3 colors, including Guilloche and rainbow. This type of printing adds complexity, making the document more difficult to counterfeit.
3-Color UV Thread
The passport components are collated and then sewn together using multi-ply, 3-color security thread which fluoresces under 365-nm long wave UV. Viewed under a UV light, 3-color UV thread allows the user to verify the twisting and spacing of the thread.
Multi-color threads are applied using a security stitching process that includes a robust halfway stitch at the beginning and the end. The stitching ends before the edge of the passport, making it difficult to access the knots and disassemble the book. Twisting and spacing of the thread is consistent throughout.