Giesecke & Devrient has unveiled a new passport data page material that is flexible and long-lasting, providing an alternative to the polycarbonate materials currently in use. The laser-engravable material is not only capable of carrying the security features already established, but it also opens up new doors for protecting passports. For example, laser engraving can be used to apply individual information that can be verified when viewed from the proper angle even without the aid of special equipment.
Laser-engravable PECSEC makes new security features possible
Munich/Rhodes–The latest generation of identification documents places tough demands on the security and durability of the materials used to make them. ID document and systems expert Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) has developed a passport data page material called PECSEC that is extremely flexible and long-lasting, thus making it an attractive alternative to the polycarbonate currently in use. At this year’s International Security Printers’ Conference (INTERGRAF) in Rhodes, Greece, G&D will be unveiling its new material.
What makes PECSEC so special is the composition of the materials used to make it. A process of hot lamination is used to combine polycarbonate and flexible PETG plastic, resulting in an elastic and extremely durable material that meets the ISO 10373 standards for identity documents. “Testing has proved PECSEC to be more robust than data pages currently in use and purely made of polycarbonate,” explains Bernd Kümmerle, Head of Sales and Marketing at Giesecke & Devrient. In a patented production process, the data page is assembled from several different layers, which are then melted together. This process guarantees that the pages meet the requirement of a 10-year lifespan stipulated by most customers. The material is also ideal for personalization by means of laser engraving.
In addition to its extreme durability, PECSEC is highly cost-effective. The laser-engravable material is not only capable of carrying the numerous security features already established on the market, but it also opens up possibilities for new methods of protecting passports. For example, laser engraving can be used to apply individual information that can be easily verified when viewed from the proper angle even without the aid of special equipment.
Giesecke & Devrient has years of experience in printing travel documents and is also a proven expert in the field of smart cards. Through the combination of both fields of expertise, G&D is in an excellent position to meet the requirements being placed on modern identification systems. PETG, one of the components of PECSEC, was originally developed by G&D for use in Taiwan’s electronic health care card. “The 24 million health care cards being used in Taiwan since 2001 are made of PETG. Austria’s e-card was also produced using the material. While we were developing PECSEC, we fell back on the positive experience gained from both card projects in order to come up with the best possible material for a passport’s data page,” says Kümmerle.
The Republic of Macedonia has already opted to use PECSEC for its data pages. Over the next few years, G&D will supply the nation with roughly 1.5 million electronic passport documents, each with a PECSEC data page. The application in a number of other countries is being planned.