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RTA top secret: Implements security for currency printing

The bucks start here! The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is the largest producer of security documents in the United States. The BEP prints billions of Federal Reserve Notes for delivery to the Federal Reserve System each year. These notes are produced at the facilities in Washington, D.C. and Ft. Worth, Texas. The Bureau designs, prints, and furnishes a large variety of security products, including Federal Reserve notes, most U.S. postage stamps, Treasury securities, identification cards, naturalization certificates, and other special security documents. All products are designed and manufactured with advanced counterfeit deterrence features to ensure product integrity, and the Bureau advises other Federal agencies on document security matters.



The company was founded 1947, more than a half century ago, by Mr. Gualtiero Giori. His countless inventions, which included multicolor intaglio gravure and simultaneous perfecting, (waterless offset blanket-to-blanket) soon gained him a reputation for quality and performance among banknote and security printers worldwide. In 1952 a collaborative agreement was signed between Koenig & Bauer Würzburg/Germany and the Giori organization. This highly successful alliance between the German press manufacturer and Swiss banknote specialist, an alliance that endured almost half a century, made sure that the Giori organization has consistently been at the forefront of development in security printing.

Today KBA GIORI SA Lausanne/Switzerland is the provider for almost all security printing presses worldwide. 90% of all banknotes in the world are printed and finished on their printing presses.

But what has this to do with RTA ?



Well. First it was The Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1989 as they specified for new security printing presses that all occurancies on the presses has to be logged in a computer system. And with all occurancies the BEP required all process data like quality data - values, conditions and set-points (historical time driven and real-time event driven), or quantity data like all counters including life-time counters, or security data (like login - logoff by users, different authorizations to run the press), or performance monitoring data and last but not least logbook data of all and everything what happens on the press. Further that the system shall provide the Bureau with the infrastructure necessary for interconnecting the press control system to the Bureau's ORACLE database.

The system had to be redundant and the data should not be just collected at one point and then appear sometime later in the relational database. No - the data had to be in the ORACLE database in real-time.

Pretty amazing these requirements at this time - looking ahead way into the future. A milestone setup a decade ago, and everything based on Industrial standards. And the Giori organization, which has been always at the forefront of developments in security printing, took the ball and started the development of a well-known product today - called FLOWSYS.


The RTA configuration for FLOWSYS

FLOWSYS™ is the solution to all of these requirements. FLOWSYS™ integrates all that high tech equipment with the goal to

  • Provide a uniform interface for press operators. Printers can concentrate on the printing process again, no hassles for the printer anymore to deal with different user interfaces or even operating system functions using a variety of consoles.
  • Provide a uniform data access interface for IT personal. All available data is automatically collected in real-time from all different pieces of equipment connected to FLOWSYS™. This data is instantly transferred to a central ORACLE database where it is stored in a standardized format, allowing IT personal (if authorized) to access every bit of information.
  • Provide historical and real-time production data. This allows for instant quality control and accountability checking, eliminating the need of conventional counting operations and increasing liability of this critical information.
  • Provide historical and real-time equipment data. Press conditions, error messages, measurements (just to name a few) are very important pieces of information when you want to improve the overall efficiency of your equipment and keep production time up. This crucial information is collected automatically from the presses in real-time, providing a reliable source of information for production management.

And FLOWSYS™ is based on the RTA. No other tool could possibly meet better the demands of clients that ask for state-of-the-art software equipment in security printing environments. However this requires that the presses provide certain functionality in order to allow RTA to maintain the following features, which are essential for our customers:

  • Operating systems Windows (95 / 98 / NT / 2000) and Unix (Solaris / Dec-Unix / AIX / Linux in the future)
  • Database interface subsystem (Oracle 8 DB with SQL*Net and ORACLE Pro*C Pre-compiler interface etc.)
  • Data logging subsystem (historical time driven and real-time event driven - RTA can handle 100.000 events / sec on standard Intel based HW)
  • Open architecture for interfacing to Management Information Systems (TCP/IP, SQL*NET, ODBC, ActiveX, Intranet ready)
  • Redundancy management - RTA based clients (e.g. press consoles) can keep running without interruption and data loss even if the connection to a server (e.g. line or section server) is lost

And The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has been just the first to require these high security standards - several other National Banks followed by using FLOWSYS, or made a system like this to a central part of their specifications for new security presses. And that's how the RTA secures the money production worldwide.



FLOWSYS is a registered trademark of Real Time Solutions of America Inc. All other products mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies. Questions or comments regarding this web site should be directed to Copyright © 2005 Real Time Solutions of America Inc. All rights reserved. Last modified: December 9, 2005