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An ongoing battle exists between governments and crooks over counterfeit currency. And due to advancements in digital printing technology over the last several years, that battle has only intensified. Keeping ahead of the criminal element is the goal in printing banknotes, which is why so many methods of banknote security and counterfeit detection have developed in recent years. Of these methods, infra-red or IR cash scanning has proven to be one of the most effective.
What is IR Cash Scanning?
Actually, IR cash scanning refers to a number of scanning methods, two involving the detection of infra-red inks and another involving infra-red sensing of banknote thickness.
IR Light Reflection
IR light reflection involves the use of infra-red light-reflecting inks in the note printing process. Scanners are then employed to detect the presence of these inks to confirm a banknote’s genuineness. Specifically, bills are exposed to light in the IR spectrum, resulting in those areas of the bill printed in IR reflective ink glowing under the light.
IR Light Absorption
Conversely, IR light absorption involves the use of inks that absorb light from the infra-red spectrum. When exposed to an IR light source, those areas printed with IR light absorption inks will appear black.
IR Bill Thickness Detection
Paper money outside of the United States, comes in a vast array of different shapes and sizes. As another defense against counterfeiters, bills are also produced in a variety of unique thicknesses. The difference in thickness between notes is minute, making it difficult for counterfeiters to replicate. Some IR cash scanning devices, however, are capable of accurately measuring the unique thicknesses of individual bill denominations through the use of infra-red light.
IR Cash Scanning MachinesThere are a variety of IR cash scanning devices on the market today, including manual detectors that let the user visually inspect a bill for infra-red features, and fully automated money counting machines that automatically identify IR patterns. The technology for IR cash scanning is relatively sophisticated and typically more expensive than for other ink detection methods like ultraviolet (UV) and magnetic (MAG). Presently, however, beating IR cash scanning detection is next to impossible, making it likely the single most reliable counterfeit detection method currently available.