As a security printer, ISP produces high caliber print for a large global client base from its UK and France production sites. Its work and expertise, which is at the forefront of print, ink and materials technology, enables the business to create innovative, secure solutions for industries with high monetary or intellectual value products and services. From security printing to advanced track and trace and authentication capabilities, as well as "tailor-made" consultancy services, ISP’s wide-ranging solutions help companies combat fraud to better protect their brands and revenues.
ISP’s investment will enable postal authorities worldwide to add unique barcodes to stamps and, by doing so, be able to offer their customers more convenient, new services in the future such as track and trace to provide protection against counterfeiting and reuse. The barcodes, which can match stamp color, sit alongside the main body of the stamp, separated by a simulated perforation line.
“For postal stamp applications, this is the first time that various key industry parties have joined together to provide hybrid print and finishing solutions,” says Matt Burton, ABG’s global sales director. “All manufacturers have been fully on board throughout the project, wanting to see a successful conclusion. Clearly we are all delighted that both systems are now fit for purpose and we look forward to seeing ISP rolling out the initiative.”
ISP’s hybrid digital print, finishing and inspection systems are based on two types of machine configurations – one producing sheets of stamps and the other booklets. For sheets, the inline system consists of ABG’s non-stop unwinder (NSU) to automate by splicing together two rolls of material on the fly and ensuring a non-stop feed of material in to the engine room of the system, an ABG Omega Converter 430. The powerful, modular and multi-functional converter amongst other things, houses a 4-color Domino N617i UV inkjet digital print module that prints the stamps and barcodes, printing inline and in color. A Lake image inspection system is also integrated and this is surrounded by ABG’s diecut and sheeter modules to cut the web down into final sheets. Any sheets with defects are instantly recognized and diverted into a waste compartment for non-compliances, while good sheets continue and are fed neatly on to a two meter long shingle conveyor.
The hybrid system for booklets of postage stamps is on the same lines as the sheet configuration, except for the inclusion of a Domino K600i printer to print barcodes in monochrome, as well as the color barcodes printed by the N617i. A barcode is also printed on the outside of the booklet to identify the stamp barcodes inside. A second ABG diecut module is also configured as part of this solution for enhanced functionality from this hybrid platform.
Ian Brigham, ISP’s managing director, says, “We are proud to part of a monumental change in the history and fortunes of the postage stamp. The coming together of experienced print and finishing specialists to create these systems has been both unique and impressive. Our thanks to them for a job well done.”