“There could be no better proof of Note Printing Australia’s security printing capability than the production and issue of Australia’s NGB series,” says Malcolm McDowell, the organisation’s CEO. “It highlights the expertise of the business in several notable ways including our ability to create complex banknote designs, our ability to industrialise innovative new security technologies, and our ability to optimise high-end security printing technologies for the benefit of the client.”

NPA’s investment in creating one of the world’s leading high security print lines has prepared the company perfectly for the banknote security needs of central banks well into the future.

“In moving to other banknote projects after we conclude Australia’s NGB series, we have certainly demonstrated that we’re a highly competent printer with a high level of technical capability,” says Dean McGrath, Head of Technical Services.

This was a major reason why NPA was keen to participate in the SUSI Optics Specimen Note project with LenSys, KBA NotaSys, SICPA and KURZ. The Simultan IV is an outstanding piece of hardware, but as a security printer NPA wanted to demonstrate that it has the expertise to exploit its capability.

“There’s no point owning a Ferrari if you don’t know how to drive it,” says Dean.

The SUSI Optics Specimen Note represented an opportunity for NPA to explore new ways of printing under a lens that was started when NPA printed the breakthrough Singapore 50 Commemorative note in 2015.

“Singapore was a challenging banknote, but NPA has learned to be courageous about pushing this technology to see what can be achieved.  The Technical Services team is collaborating with the Production team and the Commercial Services group to show the market what we can do,” says Dean. “We live in a technology environment where we need to ask ‘Why can’t we?’ and I think that’s vital because banknotes as a general category of payment method aren’t in the position to be conservative about the level of public engagement or the level of counterfeit-resistance it can offer.”

The SUSI Optics Specimen Note involved NPA printing a complex, fine-lined two-colour pattern on the window on the opposite side from where the lens was incorporated. This resulted in the appearance of depth in the lens area.

Says Dean, “Technically, I was surprised with the ease in which we produced the result.  We were initially pushed to develop a concept incorporating a lenticular technology and incorporating print into that structure. The result was interesting and complex but wasn’t technically easy to achieve.”