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Arne Müller

Arne Müller

Head of department
ID-cards & Print finishing

transparent 11x15@fogra.org

+49 89. 431 82 - 271

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Current projects (in the field "functional products and ID-cards")

Alternative testing methods for a quick evaluation of smart card functionality

Timescale: 01.04.2017 to 31.03.2019
Programme of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy for the support of “Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung (IGF)” via the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF)

Smart cards have become an essential part of our daily lives: they are used as identification, payment, health insurance, or membership cards to name but a few. Conclusive and accurate test methods are necessary to ensure the quality of such products. However, the current status of functional evaluation is insufficient: tests according to national or international standards are either too complex to be used in monitoring the card manufacturing process or too inconclusive as they fail to adequately address the card's functionality. This highlights the key issue which the current research project aims to address: to develop a quick but conclusive test method for evaluating the card's functionality by looking at the card's physical properties (resonant frequency and Q factor) and addressing the card's different application layers. To this end, it will be necessary to examine and show how the card's physical properties correlate with its functionality. The approach seems promising as resonant frequency and Q factor determine how well energy can be transmitted from the card reader to the smart card which, in turn, is crucial for the card's functionality. Another positive aspect of this approach is the fact that testing devices are now available that quickly and reliably test these physical properties. The project's results should help card manufacturers to show that the card remains functional during service life and under relevant environmental conditions. Not only should this prove beneficial to card manufacturers in their efforts to strengthen their market position but also to companies or service providers that have integrated this technology into their services.

The foundations for graphic standardization in the manufacture of plastic cards

Timescale: 01.04.2015 to 31.03.2017
Programme of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy for the support of "Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung (IGF)" via the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF)

ISO 12647-2 governs the process colour (CMYK) solid colourings, tone value increases and tolerances in offset printing. It is supplemented by ProcessStandard Offset (PSO), which has been developed by the Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V. (German Printing and Media Federation) and Fogra. The latter describes an industrialized and standardized procedure for the production of printed matter in accordance with ISO 12647-2. ProcessStandard Offset allows production quality to be assured from data capture right up to the finished print. Printing processes  are monitored, controlled and checked using suitable means for testing and monitoring methods, such as colour and density measurement devices and appropriate test elements (eg. control strips). However, ISO 12647-2 and ProcessStandard Offset only cover paper as a substrate. For some time, the international standards committee that is responsible for 'plastic cards', ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 17 WG1 ('Cards and Personal Identification') has also been discussing guidelines for colour values and tolerances on plastic cards. However, proposals for further work resulting in definitive data sets have been suspended due to the lack of the basic information required for these discussions. Prior investigations covered offset and screen prints on five different core films (ABS, ABS/PVC, PVC, PC and PET-G). The printed core films were subsequently laminated with various overlay films (PVC, ABS, PC and PET-G). The prints were characterized before and after lamination. Specifically, what this revealed was that in the case of matt core films there were no film-related differences in tone value transfer to the core films but that in the case of glossy core films the tone value increase was about 5 % lower, that the colorimetric loci of the core films had an effect on the colorimetric loci of the prints and that as a result of lamination the tone value increased by up to 10% and there were colour shifts of up to ΔE*ab = 8. Current investigations confirm these basic effects for the laminates and also clearly reveal the influence of the aperture of the colour measurement devices on the colorimetric loci. Colour measurements that were determined using a measurement device with an 11 mm aperture served as the basis for an initial standardization proposal but this is still lacking statistical validation. Initial findings about the colour changes of the laminates uring simulated ageing were also obtained. It should be possible to standardize offset printing on plastic films in just the same way as on paper. So far, it has been possible to establish independence of the printed result in relation to the core films that are typically used for ID cards. In the case of light resistant ink sets it has so far only been possible to consider a sample from one manufacturer. However, here too, manufacturer independence should also be achievable. Colour shifts between prints and laminates turn out to be relatively uniform when colour measurements are made with large apertures and should allow material independent compensation. On the other hand, when colour measurement data are obtained using colour measurement devices that are typical of the printing industry (apertures < 4 mm) there are apparently clear differences in the quantitative colour characterizations for different combinations of core and overlay films. These differing results are probably largely due to differences in the lateral spread of the reflected light within the transparent overlay. In order to render small aperture colour measurement devices, which are already widely distributed in the printing industry, usable for the colour characterization of laminated cards, it would be desirable to be able to simulate the measurements for large apertures from the measurements obtained using small apertures. In order to do so the ways in which such key characteristics of the overlay film as refractive index, absorption behaviour, thickness and roughness, the core film roughness and the roughness of the interface between overlay and core films influence small aperture colour measurements should be determined and then incorporated into a simulation method. A further, more detailed understanding of colour changes with ageing would be very helpful for assessing the usable lifespan of cards.



Introducing the Fogra testing laboratory for ID-cards and passport documents (Size: 855 kB; Downloads: 10112)