Dai Nippon Printing Develops Transparent Hologram Ribbon to Protect ID Card Surfaces, for Use in Card Printers

Ribbon offers wear resistance for printed surfaces five times better than current ribbons; prevents ID photo fading and aids anti-counterfeiting

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed a transparent hologram ribbon that offers wear resistance five times better than existing products to protect ID photos and numbers printed on card surfaces and will introduce into the market in April 2015.

[Background of the Development]

On the surface of ID cards such as employee ID cards, membership cards, and other identification documents, information including card holder’s photos and ID numbers are printed. The printed surfaces of ID cards are normally covered with a protective layer to protect against daily wear and tear, including abrasion against wallet or card cases or contact with card readers/writers and discoloration in sunlight. Conventional protective layers typically demonstrate wear resistance of 500 cycles or less in the Taber abrasion test.* Wear resistance at this unsatisfactory level results in depressed visibility of ID photos and numbers by abrasion, in turn requiring ID cards to be reissued on a regular basis. The conventional strategy for protecting the surfaces of ID cards that require high durability involves lamination with an additional protective film, and there was interest in eliminating the extra cost and labor associated with this additional lamination. In order to respond to those needs, DNP has developed a transparent hologram ribbon for card printer that allows a higher wear resistance.

[Features of the Product]

The new ribbon developed by DNP, has a surface protective layer that offers wear resistance capable of withstanding 2,500 or more cycles, or five times better than existing products, based on the Taber abrasion test. This allows users to simply print ID photos and numbers on card surfaces without the need for protective lamination film, while achieving wear resistance equivalent to cards laminated with conventional protective films (According to DNP study).  In addition to superior wear resistance, the strong anti-counterfeiting properties can be obtained by applying the transparent hologram at the same time as card printing.

[Looking Ahead]

DNP plans to market the new transparent hologram ribbons for applications ranging from credit cards to ATM cards and cards for transportation systems, as well as domestic and international ID cards, and to launch promotional activities targeting card printer manufacturers, companies and organizations that issue cards. DNP aims for total sales of 3 billion yen for the three year period until March 31, 2018.

DNP will also continue applying this newly developed technology, seeking to expand the lineup to include transparent ribbons, ribbons for large card printers for mass production, and so forth.

* Taber abrasion test: Test method adopted by the Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM); entails the measurement and evaluation of changes in the thickness, weight, and optical dispersion of a specimen placed in contact with a rotating abrading wheel for the specified number of rotations.
* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.