Canada’s new polymer bank
notes are an impressive feat – integrating state-of-the-art
security features, Canadian culture
and aesthetics. They stand among some of the
most technologically advanced bank notes in the world. But it’s only through the
Bank of Canada’s extensive research, development and
design work that the new notes get off the drawing board
… and into production. Today, surprisingly, with more
and more alternatives to cash, the demand for bank notes
continues to increase. It’s this demand for cash and
other factors that impact the volume of new notes needed. “We are always analyzing
demand and determining what volume of bank notes
we need to produce. Economic growth certainly
affects the demand for bank notes, but the real
year-to-year driver is their replacement. Replacing worn bank notes
is the single biggest factor in determining how many notes
are produced each year.” OK, so what goes
into the production of the new polymer notes? Well as it turns out
for the most part, the printing process
is essentially the same as it has been for decades. But today, the base
material isn’t paper – it’s a polymer substrate. “We begin the process by
acquiring polymer substrate that is specifically
designed for our bank notes. The substrate already includes
security features and other design elements when it is
shipped out to the printers.” Once the sheets are at
the printing company, layers of ink are applied to
reveal the bank note elements that provide relief and
texture to the note, reflecting the detailed work
of the engraver’s design. Serial numbers are also
printed on the notes and a varnish is applied. Finally, the notes are
cut, packaged and shipped to the Bank of Canada. With polymer bank notes
lasting at least 2.5 times longer than paper notes,
the Bank of Canada is raising the bar on production quality. Every new batch of notes
is examined to ensure machine-readable features
work and all visible features meet specifications. “Quality control is
a fundamental value at the Bank of Canada. Since the new notes will be
in circulation for a longer period of time, our
investment in quality can easily be
recovered over time. Ensuring integrity and
consistency from one note to another is not only important
for security and functionality reasons, it reflects the
pride we have in our work.” Security, quality
and availability. These are key requirements
when it comes to producing Canada’s advanced bank notes. So the next time you go
to your bank, or ATM, you can be sure you’re
getting the best bank note that Canada has to offer. Canada’s new polymer notes. Secure. Durable. Innovative.