The importance of banknote destruction

In the same way that “what goes up must come down,” banknotes that are securely produced must also be securely destroyed. Banknote destruction is a crucial element of the cash cycle, because it ensures that banknotes that are no longer fit for circulation are removed from the cash cycle – for good.

Banknotes that are designated for destruction can be shredded on a high-speed processing system, for example on a BPS® M7 (called “online” destruction), or by using a high-security shredder and related components (”offline” destruction). To eliminate unfit banknotes from the cash cycle using offline shredding, central banks can choose between compact standard systems and fully tailored systems. These systems are used to shred and compact a large number of banknotes, up to more than one ton per hour. The BDS® product family comprises innovative solutions for banknote destruction and offers a modular portfolio, covering software, conveyors, shredders, piping and fans, silo/filter systems, presses, bagging units, and a compacting container.  

We see better data linkage and higher automation as the cornerstones of the future.

Ferdinand Storek, Head of Banknote Destruction Systems at G+D

All systems have strict mechanisms in place to ensure that only authorized staff can access the banknotes and operate the machines. Automated and digitalized solutions help to streamline such complex processes and ensure that maximum security and efficiency are always upheld.

The impact of automation and digitalization

According to Ferdinand Storek, Head of Banknote Destruction Systems at G+D, automation is an extremely important factor in the destruction of banknotes. “We already have a high level of automation: once the banknotes are on the conveyor and doors are locked, the system runs completely independently. This means that from the loading of the unfit banknotes to the briquette, we don’t have to integrate any manual intervention into the process. However, we are constantly striving to develop solutions that exceed current levels of automation. Cutting-edge automatic guided vehicles or robotics, for example, enhance efficiency across previously separate processes, even before destruction takes place.”

Software products, such as BDS® Control, are similarly crucial, as they provide greater visibility and enhance collaboration between processes. By documenting which individuals are involved in each step and controlling access to systems, BDS® Control makes reporting and management more streamlined. More importantly, central banks can more easily maintain stringent security levels. Data intelligence from this software layer is also beneficial and, together with automation, it will play a decisive role in further strengthening security and efficiency in banknote destruction in the coming years.

“We see better data linkage and higher automation in the cash center as the cornerstones of the future,” says Storek. “The big goal is to further increase the security and usefulness of data in order to carry out further and more in-depth analyses. This, for example, could allow central banks to gain visibility over the entire cash cycle and see, on a national scale, if shipped banknotes have already been securely processed, thereby cutting out double handling and maximizing efficiency.”

Coming full circle

While security and efficiency must be balanced against each other, sustainability is also a key consideration in banknote destruction. From making systems that consume less energy, to reducing consumables and spare parts, to facilitating more compact briquettes, which reduces the number of transport runs – G+D is committed to continuously finding innovative ways to increase sustainability. Inventive methods of banknote recycling or reuse are also becoming increasingly popular.
However, as with every aspect of banknote destruction, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The cash cycle is viewed as a circle for a reason. Banknotes are produced as a secure and inclusive means of payment to be used by people all over the world. When each banknote reaches the end of its life, central banks have the responsibility of determining not only whether a banknote is truly unfit, but also exactly how it will be securely destroyed. To counterbalance banknote destruction, the amount of destroyed banknotes must be reprinted in order to guarantee sufficient availability of banknotes in the cash cycle. We at G+D are proud to simplify the entire cycle of processes with our innovative solutions.

 

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