Heidelberg’s Security Printing Day

Heidelberg’s Security Printing Day
Around 120 customers from all over the world as well as representatives from government agencies attended the second Security Printing Day held by Heidelberg at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site.

What state-of-the-art technologies are available for adding security features to ID documents to make them counterfeit-proof? This question was the focus of the second Security Printing Day held by Heidelberg at its Wiesloch-Walldorf site. It was attended by around 120 customers from all over the world as well as representatives from government agencies like the German Federal Criminal Police Office. “If public officials want to recognize counterfeits, they need to know what is and isn’t technically possible today,” explains Joachim Hüber, product manager Security Printing Applications at Heidelberg. The visitors learned about the latest trends and the best current methods in workshops, seminars, and directly at a 6-color Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 designed specifically for security printing.

Security printing with growth potential
The risk of counterfeits of all kinds is growing in the age of the Internet and the resulting easier access to technologies. Government agencies and manufacturers of sensitive documents therefore place great value on maximum security for unequivocal identification of the holders of these documents. ID documents like identity cards, passports, or drivers’ licenses as well as staff badges and admission tickets for sporting events and concerts are therefore becoming more and more complex in their structure and design. While security printing may be a niche for the print media industry, these signs point to it offering good potential and substantial growth rates.

Cooperation with partner companies is important
Not only banknotes and securities, but also identity cards, drivers’ licenses, and the like feature numerous and very different security features today. Most of these documents are based on plastic cards consisting of several components in the check card format of 86 x 54 millimeters. Adding security features like holograms, very fine lines and writing, or imprints requires a wide variety of competencies from a range of different specialists. ‘Printing competency’ is just one of these. Heidelberg as one of the leading providers of systems and components for security printing therefore traditionally works very closely with highly specialized partner companies. Around a dozen of them were involved in the Security Day with their own presentations. These partners offer technology for all stages of the value chain, from prepress to press to postpress.

“Not just the technologies themselves, but also the counterfeiters are always improving,” says Hüber. “That’s why we and our partners always need to be one step ahead of them with our ideas, competencies, technologies, and solutions.” 

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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