IDs and passports, stamps or lottery tickets, and any document regardless of the security features
Security printing is a specialized industry segment comprising of security document issuers, such as government organizations, banks, state printshops, but also commercial printers involved in printing identification documents, lottery tickets, scratch cards, excise tax stamps, tamper-evident labels, and a recently fast-growing sector on brand protection on packaging materials (as seen in the pharmaceutical market).
This segment is characterized by complex production environments and dedicated workflows, a factor that diversifies it from other print industry segments. Printers need to combine multiple techniques (intaglio, microprinting, binding, embedding holograms) and a multitude of elements (special inks, security threads, software and hardware to produce overt and covert design features, etc.) to create a single secure document. Every process needs to be tailored to perfection during production, and with top importance, it should be optimized for quality and security.
In such a complex production environment, containing a multitude of processes and diverse methods, there are several control points and systems to ensure the security characteristics of the printed documents. Managing so many systems eventually becomes a gigantic effort. Gathering and optimizing the control of the production processes and workflows within one Management Information System is of great importance.
There are only a few MIS systems whose architecture can allow such complexity and that can provide additional benefits to the security printers. Overprint MIS is built with innate agility and extensive data handling possibilities. In conjunction with bel’s experience, both in different printing processes and in complex production environments, it makes a unique solution offering.
We put great importance on the management of master data and provide the possibility to the user to log raw materials according to the desired amount of detail. Overprint uses distinct views for each material type allowing the logging of different details in each section. The raw materials specialized to the security printing segment (such as inlays, chips, threads, wires, tapes, etc.) are logged with the respective required fields.
In addition to the default views, the user can populate custom fields of raw materials, when required. An admin user can define the fields to be used for each custom material type and the type of information (e.g. text, numerical value, date, etc.). Furthermore, an admin user can designate whether the custom fields will be transferred to the ERP system through an existing integration.
Having all the raw materials information, specialized products like e-passports, card IDs, and e-covers, can be described with a full list of technical characteristics. Other than finished products, semi-finished goods can also be described in full technical details – this is beneficial when separate production processes take place, sometimes in secondary production plants. This includes logging the different specialized production processes, e.g. wire embedding, intaglio, cards lamination, etc.
The detailed logging of materials (especially logging the semi-finished products) provides the agility needed for data handling and extensive materials management. An extraordinary requirement of the security printing segment is the balance of material quantities (raw and semi-finished), and their full traceability during production and beyond. This can be done for all the materials the user defines in between production phases, via the use of barcodes and batches creation, and can even be extended to the packing materials. Materials balance is tracked via reports that can be parameterized in each production phase. As required, barcode labels for traceability of raw and semi-finished materials are added to every production phase.
Data Collection related to materials consumption is ensured via Control Center, either manually or through automatic shop floor data collection terminals. Through the interface of the Production and Warehouse modules, waste reduction and materials balance are optimized. To assure this, extended logistics are usually required, by issuing documents for internal use, e.g. for returning/moving raw materials not used or waste materials following production phases – these are already set up within Overprint MIS.
As the core business is on producing security features on printed documents, one should expect that the core management system should be optimized for security. There are several security controls and approval flows in Overprint MIS, which are assigned per user and with corresponding access rights at a module or functionality level.
Moreover, there are validations and restrictions which are configured as per the users’ requirements on the optimum use of control points. Digital signatures are also possible and can be set up in the cases of maintaining security protocols i.e. during inventory counting of semi-finished batches.
Within the scope of ensuring that the products and services meet the customers’ expectations, there are functions in QA/QC that need to be managed within the MIS. These involve quality control tests and protocols measuring quantitative and qualitative features, as well as processes that facilitate the QA/QC functions such as making material reservations in warehouse stock, managing approval flows, and meeting security controls.
Overprint MIS handles all critical challenges of the security printing segment, enables the smooth operation of the print production phases, and allows the security printer to place the focus on developing innovative security features.