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Mühlbauer’s MB Alfresco® Protec – Liquid Coating wins the 2020 Elan Award

Mühlbauer’s MB Alfresco® Protec – Liquid Coating wins the 2020 Elan Award

The International Card Manufacturing Association (ICMA) announced Mühlbauer as the winner of the 2020 Elan Awards in the category “Best Supplier / Vendor New Product, Service or Innovation”.

The category allowed the associated members to enter their product, service or innovation which was utilized in the card and/or personalization & fulfillment industry. This could include items such as materials, equipment or services. Mühlbauer took part with the sophisticated “MB Alfresco® Protec – Liquid Coating” and is very proud about the recognition in the industry worldwide.


More about MB Alfresco® Protec – Liquid Coating Applied on MB Concept Card “ID Card”

The MB ALFRESCO® PICTURE technology smartly combines color picture personalization with laser engraving. To achieve the high-secure personalization result, the image of the holder is split into two parts by means of special image processing algorithms. The converting process transfers all picture information, which describe the details (forensic information), into a greyscale and a color image (without picture’s black component). During the pre-personalization process, the greyscale information which contains all of the picture’s contrast information is laser-engraved in the polycarbonate card body’s inner layer with a resolution of up to 1.200 dpi. The picture’s remaining color parts are converted to a separate color image and inkjet-printed on the blank document’s surface. Due to the special characteristics of the ink, the colors penetrate the card surface, thus thwarting counterfeiting attempts of scratching off the ID document’s surface.

The final result is a high-resolution color picture, which shows utmost details and has the same long-lasting durability characteristics (10+ years) as a pure laser-engraved picture. Since the color part of the photo is printed on the document surface, it has to be additionally protected by an adhesive layer due to durability reasons. Attempts to remove the photo are securely protected as the greyscale information always remains on an inside layer within the document body. The greyscale picture can additionally be verified under IR light. Due to MB ALFRESCO® PICTURE’s special color properties, optical variable features (e.g. holograms) shine through the color picture and protect it thereby against replication by photo copying. Furthermore, according to ICAO recommendations, the background printing still remains visible through the color picture – a special feature which increases the document’s security even more. The highest level of security is reached by laser engraving the biographical data and a secondary holder’s portrait into the document material.

Since the color part of the photo is inkjet-printed on the document surface, the document holder’s picture has to be secured by an additional protective layer. MB ALFRESCO® received an additional security feature; a special protective varnish called “Liquid Coating” (LQC). The Liquid Coating also can be used as a customized feature for looks and extra security 



Press Contact:

Louisa Stumbeck

Phone: +49 9461 952 – 2444

Email: Louisa.petra.stumbeck@muehlbauer.de