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Note Printing Australia Initiates a New Era of Passport Printing Capability

Monday, October 21, 2019

Press release from the issuing company

  • Rapida 76 for security printing

    Comprehensive features for security printing
  • Photorealistic print
  • Colour control and sheet inspection guarantee high quality

For 20 years now, Note Printing Australia (NPA), as a close partner of KBA-NotaSys, has been using one of its security presses to produce not only banknotes, but also the inner pages of passports. To date, they have been printed in a combination of conventional and waterless offset. With the desire for greater design freedom and the ability to test new ideas on short-turnaround times, the company has switched to an exclusively wet offset process with a half-format sheetfed offset press. The project was completed right on schedule and to the full satisfaction of the customer.

A Rapida 76 went into production at Note Printing Australia at the beginning of the year.

A Rapida 76 with four printing units, a drying tower, a perfecting unit and four further printing units went into production in Craigieburn in April. This modern, high-performance sheetfed offset press enables NPA to introduce numerous innovative technologies. Numbering, rainbow printing and many other applications which are today standard in security printing can all be realised on the B2 press, thanks to the incorporation of a whole raft of special and newly developed features. Special accessories for the handling of lightweight substrates and plastic films round off the configuration.

Technological sophistication

The Rapida 76 lays the foundations for even better exploitation of the manifold design and pre-press possibilities which today exist in document printing. NPA is now able to print photorealistic images, for example. In other words, the illustration quality is comparable to that of real photographs. To achieve this, parts of the image are printed in their full photographic resolution, while others are “softened”.

In addition, the press allows mixed UV operation, which means that certain security features can be incorporated into conventionally printed documents via a UV process. These features remain invisible under normal light. If the image is held under a UV lamp, on the other hand, the security feature is revealed – for example, native fauna might appear in the depicted landscape. Such effects represent significant improvements in the security standards for documents.
High quality and fast makeready

The Rapida 76 with perfecting unit for 4/4 production offers NPA all these possibilities. At the same time, a broad spectrum of automation functions serves quality monitoring and makeready savings. These functions include a facility to disengage unused inking units, fully automatic FAPC plate changers, CleanTronic Synchro for parallel washing of the blankets, impression cylinders and rollers in production with conventional and UV inks, non-stop pile changing at the feeder and delivery, and colour control on both sides of the sheet.

The Rapida 76 is an ideal solution for demanding projects in security printing.

Neil Taylor, NPA’s Capital Engineering Manager, puts it this way: “We’ve only had the press for a short time, but it’s clear the Rapida is providing NPA with a printing capability where there's a lot more control in colour management and visual inspection.”

NPA is thus well equipped to tackle passport projects in which it can empower customer decision-making as it enables the examination of initial print quality with trial material.

 

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