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The Security Foiling blog - 'Foiling the Forgers' - part four

This is the last in our articles focusing on the many uses of Hot Stamping Foils to assist in counterfeit prevention and detection for security documents

‘Foiling the forgers’ – ‘on demand’ document security

    HSF features can be applied in the centralized format common to most print production facilities or in an ‘on demand’ environment with unique easy to use desktop solutions.

    On Demand security is very effective in situations that require localized issuing of documents such as Tax collection offices, Customs authorities, Banking etc.

    Security Foiling's desktop hologram application system - MicroPOISE is widely used in Government offices around the world

    The ‘On demand’ desktop solutions were first developed almost 30 years ago to address an increasing need for Government departments to issue their own documents and validate the issuing process with the security feature – an evolution of the rubber stamp or wax seal. On Demand application of holograms and other hot stamped security features are there to enhance pre-printed document security features and provide higher levels of control over the document creation and issuing processes.

    The desktop hot stamping unit impresses the hologram or hot foil into the surface of the document and makes removal or change of the feature without detection very difficult – particularly useful for forensic document examination where such fraud attempts would be much easier to detect.

    The desktop solution has security access control and audit trails can be manually or digitally created to record who issues which documents and when. This creates a deterrent for ‘internal’ fraud and allows document issuing responsibilities to be clearly defined.

    There are strong arguments to adopt this approach where security is paramount:

    • · Fully validated documents are not stored in bulk and open to theft or misuse
    • · The security printer does not have to distribute fully validated stock or develop enhanced security in the distribution chain
    • · The customer can control the number of valid documents and when they are issued
    • · Documents without the security feature are invalid
    • · The document creation process can be easily audited (with appropriate controls)

    In many applications customers prefer to add some ‘local content’ to the security document – ensuring that labour is used locally and supports the local economy. ‘On demand’ security gives control over the document issuing process and supports ‘local content’ demands.

    In summary, hot stamping foils provide a visually attractive, tactile enhancement and very effective authentication feature when thoughtfully integrated into the document. They can be combined with emerging electronic document technologies (NFC enabled documents can instruct the user in the correct method of validating the document and hot stamped feature using smartphones and bespoke readers). Holographic foils continue to develop dramatic high-resolution features and colour change authentication. The future of hot stamping foil in the security market looks very ‘bright’ indeed.

    We hope you have enjoyed our blog, if you have any questions or would like further information please contact us using the 'button' below, or click on the links at the top of this blog to go directly to our website information pages.

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    About the Author

    Mark has worked in the security print sector for more than 21 years having previously occupied various roles in pre-press, production, and QA in print finishing, specializing in hot stamping and embossing. 

    He was an active participant in Project Genesius, a partnership between the UK Print industry and the Metropolitan Police to seek law change which resulted in the Security Printing Equipment and Materials (offences) Act 2015. He received a local business award for Community Safety and Crime Prevention in the same year.

    Security Foiling Ltd

    Unit 16, Boss Hall Road, Ipswich
    United Kingdom


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