The Banknote Printing Process
1. Banknote Design
The banknote design typically starts with the compiling and reviewing of historical information, images, Thai patterns, and other elements realated to the main theme to be depicted on a banknote. In early days, due to the limited availability of equipment and tools, each new banknote design was to be hand - drawn elaborately in color. To thisday, banknote designers still need to possess both artistic skillfulness and computer expertise to create the best design and origination for a banknote. In designing banknote, factors to be considered are :
Having obtained the design, hand engraving of metallic plates and drawing of design of the original plate is performed by highly skilled and experienced specialists so as to achieve the high degree of precision, tonal variation and perspective requirements for banknotes. The background patterns, formerly etched by machine, are now created by computer programs.
3. Printing Process
3.1) Offset Printing
The background design is printed first by dry offset on a specially designed printing press that is able to print high-precision color patterns on both sides of the sheets simultaneously. This makes it possible to produce perfect front and back registered designs or see through designs when viewed against transmitted light, one of efficient techniques to discourage counterfeiting.
3.2) Intaglio Printing
This process is used to add the portrait of H.M. the King and other raised prints on the front of the note. The image to be printed is inscribed into the plates. The inscriptions are filled with ink, and excess ink is wiped from the plates. Heavy pressure is applied to transfer the ink from the plates to the pager, leaving the surface slightly raised. This process gives banknotes a tactile feel to the touch, proven to be very effective in counterfeit deterrence.
3.3) Letterpress Printing
Every printed sheet is carefully inspected. The good sheets are sent to printed serial number and signature by letterpress method, while imperfect or bad sheets are taken out of the system to be duly destroyed. The printing machine also has electronic numbering control to protect from miss - printing the numbering. This type of control helps prevent the repeat of numbering printed on each banknote of the same category.
The signatures signed on every banknote are reproductions of the signature of the present Minister of Finance and the Governor ot the Bank of Thailand.
Offset Printing Machine
Offset - printed Sheet
Intaglio Printing Machine
Number Printing Machine
Number - printed Sheets
4. Printed Sheet Inspection
The bank sheet then passes through a quality inspection and verification process that is one of the most important steps of the entire banknote production process. The inspection process is a process that screens good quality, partially damaged and mis-printed bank sheets from each other. Also, the quantity of sheets produced is assured by counting and verifying after finishing the inspection process.
The inspection and verification process is a process of screening the bank sheets into 3 categories;
1. Good quality sheet are those where every individual banknote has met the quality standard, which are then separated into the "good numbering" printing category.
2. Partially damaged sheets are those that most parts pass the quality standard. This set will be separated into the "partial numbering" printing category.
3. Bad sheets are those that do not pass the quality standard. This set of banknotes is sent to be destroyed and the number of replacement sheet is carefully matched to the number destroyed.
5. Finished Banknote Sorting and Packaging
After serial numbering, the 100 % good sheets move on to cutting and packaging. Partially good sheets are cut, and defective notes are sorted out and replaced by special notes before being shrink - wrapped for delivery.