Raw Materials and Consumables for Banknote Printing

We not only perform printing ourselves in-house, but also supply banknote and security printers worldwide with high-quality raw materials and consumables. Central banks also receive a special service: in the accelerated circulation simulation, we are able to precisely calculate the expected lifecycle of new banknotes.

Banknotes are high-tech products, but their lifecycle is limited. Their durability depends on use and environmental influences. Frequently used denominations are replaced once per year, while others are in use for several years until they are removed from circulation and replaced with new ones. Due to the variability of required quantities, reliable, anticipatory planning is required.

With our tried-and-tested logistics and decades of experience, we can quickly supply banknote and security printers with all the materials they need.. We leave nothing to chance in planning. A modular test series is used, for example, to replicate how banknotes wear in day-to-day use, to test in advance their durability and expected lifecycle in circulation. The results of this “fitness test” enable the required quantities to be planned as precisely as possible.

Achieving Quality through the Interaction of Premium Components

Tested safety.

We only use high-grade raw materials and consumables for our own production processes, meaning that the trade goods we deliver to banknote and security printers are of the same quality. Our suppliers are certified by us.

Everything from a single source.

We organize and manage the entire flow of materials for customers – from the source of supply, all the way to the warehouse. We produce certain goods such as printing plates and screens ourselves in-house.

Lower costs.

We order the raw materials and consumables in large volumes and pass on the economies of scale to our customers.

Short delivery times.

We have worked with our suppliers to trim response times. We also have many goods and materials in storage ourselves. Continuous electronic order processing enables us to significantly reduce delivery times.

All the Materials from a Single Source

  • Printing plates and screens

  • Printing chemicals, inks and paint

  • Lubricating oils, greases and filters

  • Replacement and wear parts

  • Laminating and stamping foils

  • Materials for passports: surface material and threads

Accelerated Circulation Simulation: Banknote Fitness Testing

Damp, contamination, and mechanical or chemical influences put a strain on banknotes – as do extreme climatic conditions. In accelerated circulation simulation, we test how banknotes change during their lifecycle. In this process, we reconstruct a very wide range of environmental influences, and objectively compare wear variants.

The four-hour test puts as much strain on the banknotes as if they had been in circulation in extreme conditions for two years. They then age at an accelerated pace. Only a small number of banknotes is required for this test when compared with field testing under real conditions, and the results can be reproduced at any time.

Accelerated circulation simulation enables central banks and banknote printers to predict how a (new) banknote series will behave in circulation. They know at an early stage whether the banknotes fulfill the relevant requirements, and whether they will in fact reach their target lifespan. As a result, they can plan when the notes should be removed from circulation, and when new banknotes will need to be reprinted. Long-term planning reduces costs.

Banknotes in Endurance Testing: How the Test Devices Work

  • Contamination: in our test, the banknote is exposed to everyday situations, for example falling onto a wet floor or being touched with dirty hands. We use a soiling attachment to pivot the banknote in a solution that contains contaminants.

  • Creasing: In everyday use, banknotes are stuffed loose into a wallet or trouser pocket, causing the initially smooth note to crease. We simulate this experience with the aid of a test device that folds and creases all areas of the banknote.

  • Abrasion: If a banknote is kept in a purse or pocket, its surface is continually rubbing against a rough material. Using fleece and moisture, we imitate this everyday experience in the circulation test.

  • Measuring limpness: Roughening in clothing or a wallet reduces the surface tension of a banknote, making the note limp. We use a device for limpness measurement to investigate how quickly this process occurs.

  • Measuring sound: The distinctive rustling is particularly marked in fresh banknotes, and is caused by the paper’s particular properties. This rustling reduces over time. We investigate the timespan using a sound measuring device

  • Measuring soiling: The level of banknote-soiling during circulation is due to a number of factors including the paper used and how the surface has been treated. After soiling, we analyze the level of soiling, including the infrared range.

Our Test Devices

We offer all test devices for sale, and these can already be found in the test laboratories operated by renowned banknote printers, central banks, and materials-testing institutions. They have developed to become an outstanding test standard due to their high degree of reliability.


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Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology GmbH

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