State Printing Works of Securities (STC) Sees Significant Benefits in Waterless Offset and Toray IMPRIMA Partnership

Waterless -the future of security printing for most applications

Toray Graphics in the Czech Republic, a leading manufacturer of waterless offset plate technology, today reported that the State Printing Works of Securities (STC), a Czech government printing operation, is using Toray IMPRIMA waterless offset printing plates and a Toray plate processing system to deliver very high-quality security documents printed on plastics. STC began operating 90 years ago, ten years after the establishment of the independent state of Czechoslovakia, supporting its need for its own currency system and ensuring the high quality and secure production of banknotes. In addition to supporting the Czech government with security documents such as passports, ID cards, resident permit cards, public transportation cards, and driving licenses, STC offers its services to other governmental and commercial customers. STC operates from three locations within the Czech Republic, including Production Plant No. 3 where most of its plastics printing takes place; Production Plant No. 2, the personalization center; and Production Plant No. 1, the only location in the Czech Republic authorized to print currency and tax stamps.


Mr. Ondrej Hyrsl, Production Director at STC, sees significant benefits in waterless offset printing.

“We have been collaborating with Toray since 2013, primarily printing on plastics with our Heidelberg press,” says Ondrej Hyrsl, Production Director. “I believe waterless is the future of security printing for most applications. It enables us to print very high definition products with minimal waste. This is important, since plastic substrates and security inks and pigments are expensive, and waste is costly. Waterless offset is key to remaining competitive in the future, and we hope to be able to leverage that to expand our customer base even more, including shifting other applications to waterless and producing more work for other countries and commercial concerns.”

A banner year for STC with waterless offset printing

Hyrsl states that 2019 is already shaping up to be a banner year for STC and its use of waterless offset printing. “In 2019, we will be using waterless offset to produce the new EU resident permit cards. We are also preparing to print a new tax stamp for tobacco in compliance with European Commission tobacco law, and we will be using conventional offset at this time. We would also like to move forward with updating other documents, including Czech ID cards and passports. The normal life span for these items is between five and seven years, making 2020 the right time to update them. While we have heretofore only been using waterless offset for plastics printing, we will be exploring whether we can also adopt that technology for the production of passports, currency, and other paper-based products.”


Typical IMPRIMA applications at STC are ID cards


High quality credit card with embedded chip

STC is currently producing paper securities using conventional offset technology. “We believe we could easily convert many of those products to waterless offset and benefit from the very high resolution this technology offers, with IMPRIMA SD plates generating a resolution in excess of 10,000 dpi,” Hyrsl adds. “We also produced the new commemorative Czech 100 Crown banknotes. In line with our practice of having Czech artists design the artwork for our banknotes, the author of this banknote is academic painter Ms. Eva Haskova, and we are especially excited about that.”

The collaboration between Toray and STC over the past five years

Hyrsl has been very pleased with the collaboration between Toray and STC over the past five years. “The new SD plates will help us boost our print quality to better address requirements for the new residence permit cards and IDs,” he says. “It’s good to know we have a very strong supplier like Toray on our side. The support has been excellent, and waterless offset printing with Toray plates means high quality and low waste. These are the reasons why we prefer to use Toray plates and waterless offset printing for production of as many applications as possible.”


Portrait of Alois Rašín, the first Minister of Finance of Independent Czechoslovakia and the creator of our currency


Passports are currently produced using conventional offset, but STC is exploring whether this application can be converted to waterless offset.

About STC

STATE PRINTING WORKS OF SECURITIES (STC) was established as state enterprise when the First Czechoslovak Republic was created and the new country needed to have its own currency system and banknote manufacturing. The newly formed National Bank of Czechoslovakia began production of the banknote in the new printing facility in January 1928. STC offers complex services in the field of security and non-security printing, from graphic design, typesetting, prepress, printing, and personalisation to delivery of the order. The company has a long-standing tradition of offering its customers aesthetically designed, high-quality security printing at a facility equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and security systems. It has received ISO 14 298 certification for Management of security printing processes. STC monitors the latest market trends and is intensively engaged in developing new and innovative products. STC aims to be a long-term, strong, and stable partner serving commercial and private customers, not only in the Czech Republic but also in other countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.