Hunkeler Systeme’s secure disposal systems for banknotes

Automated financial documents and currency destruction systems

The high-performance granulator is used in the post-shredding/granulation sector for paper, banknotes and carrier foils in the high-security data protection field. Technological features such as the rotating of the cutting inserts or the device’s longevity are strong indicators of the high quality of this granulator.Photo courtesy Hunkeler System

Stocks, shares, bonds and other financial instruments and documents are increasingly being dematerialized by financial institutions. Just as the Reserve Bank of India did in November 2016, central banks are regularly removing old currency to be replaced by newer denomination bank notes—often with new materials and security features.

Demonetization is not unique to India; in several countries where tax avoidance is endemic, high value bank notes are demonetized and taken out of circulation to be replaced by newer and more secure currencies. However, the challenge for central banks is not only to regulate and produce more secure currencies but also to destroy or securely dispose the old notes using sustainable technologies.

Security printers too face similar challenges so that only the correct quality and number of documents or financial instruments are delivered while all waste is securely and accountably disposed. As the volume and complexity of secure documents increases, central and national banks and security printers are using automated sorting, shredding and waste disposal systems from European companies such as G+D Currency Technology of Germany, Kusters Engineering in The Netherlands and Hunkeler Systeme in Switzerland.

Bank note printing and production is challenging—waste often includes misprints, defective holograms, edge strips and other artifacts and imperfections. For the fastidious production of perfect notes, the accumulated waste needs to be professionally disposed. The requirements for a fully automatic disposal system are many-sided: first of all, every safety aspect must be fulfilled without interference in the production process.

“An industrial security document disposal system must reliably guarantee product quality, production safety and the integration of the different collection points and materials into one central disposal system, as well as continuous transparency during the entire process,” explains Erich Hodel of Hunkeler Systeme. “Every step has to be monitored and managed—it is the overarching management of a systems solution, which is the backbone of every production process.”

Hodel says that several central banks around the world are confident customers of Hunkeler Systeme’s automated disposal solutions systems due to their extreme reliability. A versatile engineering company with specialized secure documents software capability and great experience in automated paper handling operations, Hunkeler has a wide range of solutions for varying demands of complexity and volumes. The company provides systems for various bank note types, which use a highly complex mix of materials as different as cotton and plastics for producing bank notes in many countries.

Ultimately, secure disposal systems require customization for specific needs and custom designed solutions are based on engineering and visualization of the processes with complete software programming and development. “A 100% or totally secure process is the base of every bank note sorting system or waste disposal solution, or both. The solutions can consist of inline or offline components, or a combination of both. Centralized units can have larger waste systems and automation can include robotics. For decentralized systems, secure solutions such as bank note punching devices for local destruction of bank notes can be provided,” adds an industry expert who is familiar with bank note production.

Customization and visualization is the key to security

Thus far, the key to the success of secure waste disposal and logistics solutions for secure documents and bank notes for Hunkeler’s customers has been the guaranteed security with workflow software and visualization of its custom engineered solutions. A profound understanding and visualization of the process is the only way to make possible a secure and reliable waste management and disposal logistics system.

However, the system must also be sustainable—waste must be minimized in the production process, and the collection, sorting and disposal of the waste must be reliable and done with integrity while keeping in mind the recycling options. An automated software-driven systems approach can do this best without compromising the integrity and security of financial documents and bank notes.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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