Image Verification: Solutions for Passport and ID Card Personalisation

Security documents, such as Passports and ID cards, will normally include a photograph of the holder. Typically this photograph will be produced using inkjet or laser engraving at the time the document is produced. In high volume production environments, it is not possible to rely on the machine operator to verify each document for QA purposes.

During production, things can go wrong: The printer or laser engraver may not work correctly, or there could be a mix up in the data stream causing the wrong picture to be produced. To overcome these challenges, Inspectron has developed an automated image verification solution, which can make sure that the picture on the document is not only correct, but of an acceptable quality as well.

How it Works

Typically, documents are produced in batches from a data stream, which contains the bitmap and reference data for that image. After the image has been printed, it should be a perfect representation of the original bitmap. For normal practical reasons, the image will be slightly different, due to print quality, laser intensity etc. If the quality is too poor, or the wrong image has been printed, it is necessary to identify the error, cause a reject, and instruct the machine to repeat that document at a later stage.

Inspectron has developed a camera-based system, which automatically compares the image of the printed document with the original source bitmap. Inspectron's Image Verification software performs analysis of the target to produce a set of parameters, which are unique to that image. A quality count value and a ‘closeness to the original’ value allow the software to determine if the image is of a high enough quality and if it belongs to the correct original.

Typical Application

A laser engraving machine takes ID cards, feeds them into an engraving section, and burns the image. An Inspectron camera is mounted just after the engraver, to view the recently prepared image.

Inspectron's Image Verification software automatically stores all the source images for the production batch, and prepares a list of reference features. As each new image is engraved, its camera result is compared with the reference list, and will confirm its association with printed data or chip data also taken from the card. If there is a poor match or mismatch, the software causes a reject of that card, remembers its identity for future remake, and alerts the operator. If, say three bad cards are located in succession, the engraver is stopped, as this is a likely indication of a serious problem, where it would be wasteful and expensive to continue.

The Inspectron system can be built in to a variety of personalization machines, and integrated to allow operator security access and provide a production audit trail.

For more information about Image Verification, download the brochure or contact one of our specialists today.

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