NPA: Working in partnership to innovate for the future

The challenge

Note Printing Australia’s (NPA) focus has always been producing security products of the highest quality. A wholly owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia with its own Board, NPA works closely with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to produce the Australian passports.

For the development of the P Series Australian Passport, NPA collaborated with a local speciality paper supplier (Australian Paper – Shoalhaven Mill). Through the application of a specialised treatment, it was possible to have enhanced resolution inkjet printed images on the datapage paper.

However, when the paper mill ceased operations mid-way through the passport series, NPA faced the challenge of finding a new paper manufacturer who could match the unique requirements of the P Series Passport.

The solution

NPA approached Portals to assist with developing a solution that would meet the customer’s needs.

As with any change in passport paper supplier mid-way through a series, it was important that the paper did not look or feel any different to what was already in circulation. Therefore Portals took the time to first replicate the watermark used in the existing passports, before turning their attention to the print quality.

The passport paper required a pre-print coating suitable for inkjet-printed high quality images. The treatment was not easily available so Portals took on the challenge to formulate an alternative specialist coating that could achieve the desired results for the customer.

The result

Through a close partnership with NPA, Portals was able to utilise its extensive technical skills to innovate and create a specialist additive to match the Australian customer’s exacting requirements.

Through this project, Portals now has a long-standing relationship with both NPA and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and continues to supply paper for approximately 2 million Australian passports today.

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