02. Tech components

Currency technology primarily consists of the following key components:

  • Substrates (paper/ plastic)
  • Inks/coatings (Offset/ Intaglio/ Letterpress / Varnish)
  • Security features and authentication

Security features and authentication:

Priorities for India:

  • Reduced lifetime cost: (1) reduce manufacturing cost, (2) increase durability and lifetime in use
  • Unique-to-India security features
  • New and better security features
  • Indigenous manufacturers and suppliers so as to encourage “Make in India” and improve reliability

Cost reduction priorities for sourced materials:

  • Of sourced materials, security paper (~70%), Ink (~30%).
  • In paper, high value security thread and watermark paper are largest cost items.
  • In ink, OVI (15-20%) and intaglio ink are largest cost items.
  • Most important targets: security thread, OVI, watermark paper

Cost reduction by increased durability and life:

  • Key priorities are reduced soiling and increased tear resistance 

Security features:

  • Overt or Covert
  • Embedded (means embedded in paper) or thread based or ink based
  • Needs to have freedom-to-operate; preferably inventive
  • Components: 1) The signalling entity (taggants, chromaphores, stimuli sensitive materials etc), and 2) The detection mechanisms (authentication technologies)

How can India acquire these technologies? 

  • Licensing for manufacturing
  • Acquisitions, tech absorption/ adaptations
  • Technology development and R&D

Reference: Premnath V, “Security features and durability: Building capabilities for inventive technologies”, Conference “Make in India – Indigenisation of currency” at Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi, India on 2 June 2015.

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