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Topic: Skip-200 printing: are insert notes coming to an end?  (Read 12577 times)
mmars
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« on: January 11, 2014, 12:20:17 am »

Very recently, I looked at the data in the SNDB for polymer "Frontier" series $5 and $10 notes.  Both of these denominations are being printed exclusively by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN).  I determined that both of these denominations are being printed with the same position number layout as all the other denominations issued by CBN (see the layout at the beginning of an earlier discussion ).  The skip interval, however, is just 200, and the chronology of notes is column-based, meaning that the serial numbers increase by 200 down a column instead of across a row.  So it takes just 200 polymer sheets to create a range of sequentially-numbered notes, and at 45 notes per sheet, reams are 9,000 notes.

Here is the chronology of position numbers: 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 ,36, 37, 38 ,39, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09.

With the $5 and $10 denominations being in circulation just 2 months to this point, it would seem like much more data is needed to confirm the skip-200 printing format's systematic use.  However, it was simple for me to determine that this format is being used for all notes of these smallest denominations because of patterns in numbering.  It takes 5 positions of the layout to print 1,000 notes.  After a ream of 200 sheets is produced, the serial numbers jump ahead by 9,000 to start the next ream.  Here is a hypothetical example of notes that could be printed at one particular position:
0010000 to 0010199
0019000 to 0019199
0028000 to 0028199
0037000 to 0037199
0045000 to 0045199
Notice that the fifth digit (or third digit from the right) is always a 0 or a 1.  For the given position, this NEVER changes.  For the next position in the layout, a similar observation is made:
0010200 to 0010399
0019200 to 0019399
0028200 to 0028399
0037200 to 0037399
0045200 to 0045399
In this case, the fifth digit in the serial number is always a 2 or a 3.  Every note printed at that position will have the fifth digit as a 2 or a 3.

I was able to sort the data based on the value of the fifth digit of serial numbers and found that position numbers were grouped accordingly.  Here is the summary:
- If the fifth digit in the serial # is 0 or 1, the position numbers are 05, 14, 19, 23, 28, 32, 37, 41, 46.
- If the fifth digit in the serial # is 2 or 3, the position numbers are 01, 06, 15, 24, 29, 33, 38, 42, 47.
- If the fifth digit in the serial # is 4 or 5, the position numbers are 02, 07, 11, 16, 25, 34, 39, 43, 48.
- If the fifth digit in the serial # is 6 or 7, the position numbers are 03, 08, 12, 17, 21, 26, 35, 44, 49.
- If the fifth digit in the serial # is 8 or 9, the position numbers are 04, 09, 13, 18, 22, 27, 31, 36, 45.

So, the logical question to ask is... WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS?  And are the printers literally making only 200 sheets at a time before they have to stop the numbering machine and reset the numbers?

In a recent discussion, it was mentioned that new technologies are available that would allow computerized control of numbering so that the machines would not have to be stopped and numbers would change as needed on the fly. Of course, it can't be proven or disproven whether these technologies are, in fact, in current use by CBN.  Just because a technology exists, that doesn't mean it is in widespread use.  Think of it this way... just because the iPhone 5 exists, that does not mean everyone has one.

I believe that CBN can apply serial numbers to more than 200 sheets at a time, but I don't think a computerized system of controlling the numbering reels is necessary.  In fact, I think the decision to use a skip interval of 200 was not at all arbitrary.  The reels in the numbering machine are very much like the odometer in your car.  In a system where a base of 10 is used, there are 10 digits on every reel, from 0 to 9.  When a 9 flips over to a 0, the reel to the left also moves ahead by 1.  That one reel can affect the reel immediately to the left of it is achieved simply by physical means, and this is something anyone can learn about by researching mechanical odometers on the Internet.

In the hypothetical example I gave earlier, you will notice that the fourth digit in the serial number does not increase with every group of 200 notes printed.  It decreases by 1.  So, instead of having conventional reels all numbered 0 through 9 in ascending order, it's possible to put in a reel numbered in reverse order, from 9 though 0, and it behaves exactly the way a normal reel would.

But what about the reel controlling the fifth digit?  It has only two values.  To function purely by physical controls, it would need to be built in such a way that it has either only two positions that change over rapidly, or it has the two values repeated five times and a different set of gear teeth that make the reel to the left roll over five times as frequently.  Here is a schematic diagram of what the numbering reels could look like:

0 0 0 0 x 0 0
1 1 1 9 y 1 1
2 2 2 8 x 2 2
3 3 3 7 y 3 3
4 4 4 6 x 4 4
5 5 5 5 y 5 5
6 6 6 4 x 6 6
7 7 7 3 y 7 7
8 8 8 2 x 8 8
9 9 9 1 y 9 9

In the above diagram, x= 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8, and y = x + 1.

I'm not a mechanic, so I don't know if "special reels" would be easy to install.  I do believe, however, that computerizing a numbering machine with 90 sets of mechanical reels would be very difficult.  It would be easier for someone to design a new machine than to adapt technology to an older mechanical machine.  Even if you could adapt an old machine and design software that controls it and train CBN workers to use the software, you still have to tell the machine exactly what to do, and with 45 positions in the layout and a numbering scheme that jumps every 200 sheets... it could be an absolute nightmare.  And I actually have experience using old scientific equipment where you could analyze 20 separate samples from 20 separate manifolds, but the software interface required you to enter the analysis type, the sample identity, the output file format, etc,  for every single sample without any shortcuts.

Anyhow, it should be remembered that putting serial numbers on bank notes is an old-fashioned physical process.  By tweaking a numbering machine so that it needs a minimal amount of human input before and during runs makes a heck of a lot more sense than trying to use technology when there is no guarantee that the new technology will help to make the job faster and/or easier.

Regardless of the technology in use, what is very clear is that the concept of "reams" has changed.  We used to think the ream size was matched to the skip-interval of the numbering pattern.  With a skip-200 numbering system and machines that don't need to be reset, reams essentially don't exist.  This fact appears to be supported by the prevalence of mixed bricks and mixed bundles.  There are clearly no attempts by CBN printers to maintain order after serial numbers are printed on sheets.  Moreover, insert notes seem to be lacking.  From what is being reported, many bundles of notes will have two or more serial number ranges, and even within the different ranges, not all the notes are consecutive.  Runs of notes will have gaps in the numbers without inserts in the place of the missing notes or added to the ends of the bundle.  With two or more position numbers inside bundles, it is clear that bundles are being made out of loose and seemingly random notes.  The days when we thought they would cut up 100 sheets and then bundle all the stacks of 100 notes appear to be over.

There is no explanation I can think of why using insert notes in the current printing process makes any sense.  I think skip-200 printing, whether it is here to stay or not, is the beginning of the end of insert notes.  Even if the Bank of Canada still opens bricks and bundles and puts in SNRs here and there, they will be very scarce, and scarcity actually discourages brick hunters from trying to find them.  And how would you even define the boundaries of insert note ranges given the chaotic nature of the distribution system?  A brick of notes set aside by the Bank of Canada for use as SNRs is bound to be just as scrambled as the bricks into which they will be putting SNRs.

I think if skip-200 printing is applied to all denominations in the future, insert note collecting will die.  There might be some interest in older issue inserts and replacements, creating a sort of "renaissance market", but I think many collectors will just drop out and take the market down with them.

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t-spoon64
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 10:55:03 am »

Very interesting read.  Thank you very much for all your work on the subject.  I look forward to the day knowing why it is hard to get sequencial bundles these days.
Rupiah
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 07:28:04 pm »

How does Single Note Inspection Process that is evidently been adopted by the Bank of Canada factor into all these things.

I wonder if any of the researchers know what it means and if they have any thoughts?


Wonder what paper money would say if it could talk?
Rupiah
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 07:29:27 pm »

Very interesting read.  Thank you very much for all your work on the subject.  I look forward to the day knowing why it is hard to get sequencial bundles these days.

IMHO the mystery lies in the Single Note Inspection Process that is adopted by the Bank of Canada. I have asked in a previous post if any of the researchers can throw some light into what it means and its implications.

Wonder what paper money would say if it could talk?
Rupiah
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 07:37:59 pm »

Quote
The skip interval, however, is just 200, and the chronology of notes is column-based, meaning that the serial numbers increase by 200 down a column instead of across a row.

I am believe that the article in the last issue of CPMS journal indicates "The newly-released $5 (HBG-HBR) and $10 (FEW-FEZ, FTA-FTE) polymer notes also seem to have been printed using the 200-skip numbering and CBN Layout 7."

The CBN layout 7 as shown in the Wiki and in the article in the journal has a row based chronology.

I am wondering if I am reading these two research reports wrong  ???

Wonder what paper money would say if it could talk?
copperpete
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2014, 10:58:02 pm »

About the numbering devices, I would think that the reels are electromechanical and probably informatized.  I would think that the reels, instead being linked as in an odometer (once a reel reaches the number 9, the reel at its left tuns by one when this reel turns to 0), each reel is independent and can be individually commanded at will via a software included in the computer wich runs the printing machine.  It would eliminate the need to adjust manually each printing device after a run of 200 sheets, which would be way too much time-comsuming.  For me, its not insurmountable problem to built a numbering device which could be computerized. And I don't believe the printers can modify this by themselves.  Its probably the manufacturer of the printing machine which can make the modifications, or built a special model of the numbering devices. One can imagine that the entire numbering sequence can be programmed in advance and adjust the reels as the notes are printed and numbered. 

mmars
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 01:35:19 am »

I am believe that the article in the last issue of CPMS journal indicates "The newly-released $5 (HBG-HBR) and $10 (FEW-FEZ, FTA-FTE) polymer notes also seem to have been printed using the 200-skip numbering and CBN Layout 7."

The CBN layout 7 as shown in the Wiki and in the article in the journal has a row based chronology.

I am wondering if I am reading these two research reports wrong  ???

I have deliberately taken a hands-off approach to layouts that appear in the Wiki.  The problem with row-based layout of position numbers (at least as far as I see it) is that it is illogical.  However, actual physical evidence of layouts is very scarce, so the row-based layout cannot be tossed out with 100% certainty.  So if I was to go into the Wiki and delete the row-based layout, someone will just reverse the changes I've made.  I wrote an article years ago that brought together all the bits of evidence of column-based layouts for both printing companies, but I could not get the article published because I could not get permission to use the images of error notes used as my evidence.  I had the article on my website before I shut the site down last year.  It has always been my contention that the printers use one physical layout of position numbers and simply alter the numbering layouts.  Despite my efforts, it's impossible to convince all people that the physical layout is column-based, and having two or more different physical layouts is illogical.  Once collectors get an idea in their heads, it's hard to change no matter how much evidence is piled up and put before them.  I think part of the problem is that people don't understand the difference between a physical layout and a numbering layout.  I have entered both of these in the Wiki for upgraded series of Journey notes.  Another part of the problem is the fact that no sheets of notes have been offered to the public since the Birds series, so these older sheets with outdated layouts no longer in use continue to resonate with collectors.  The Birds series was printed in row-based layouts and a skip interval of 500.  Though we know skip-500 has not been used regularly for many years, and despite years of research and published articles, I'm sure you can find hoards of people who think currency is still printed the same way it was during the Birds series.  Face it, if it's not in the Charlton Bible, it's heresy.

About the numbering devices, I would think that the reels are electromechanical and probably informatized.  I would think that the reels, instead being linked as in an odometer (once a reel reaches the number 9, the reel at its left tuns by one when this reel turns to 0), each reel is independent and can be individually commanded at will via a software included in the computer wich runs the printing machine.  It would eliminate the need to adjust manually each printing device after a run of 200 sheets, which would be way too much time-comsuming.  For me, its not insurmountable problem to built a numbering device which could be computerized. And I don't believe the printers can modify this by themselves.  Its probably the manufacturer of the printing machine which can make the modifications, or built a special model of the numbering devices. One can imagine that the entire numbering sequence can be programmed in advance and adjust the reels as the notes are printed and numbered. 

I have no doubt that it is the purported goal of every business to bring aboard new technology eventually.  The problem I have with a software-driven interface for controlling the reels on the numbering machine is that it does not make the job any easier or faster.  Especially with a small skip interval like 200.  Suppose the CBN printers want to create a run of 8,000 sheets using a skip-200 numbering format.  Each and every of the 45 positions on the sheet will have 40 different serial number ranges for that run.  That's 1,800 ranges.  If that software doesn't have good shortcuts for writing up those ranges that will become the instructions for how the computerized system controls the reels, then you're not making the job any easier than if you manually set the reels after every 200 sheets.  In fact, the mechanical solution I offered would be better.  You set the reels once, and then let the machine crank out 8,000 sheets.  After the 8,000 sheets are done, you check the reels to see that they're not screwed up, and you're already set for another run.  No need to write up another batch of 1,800 ranges.

Having said all that I have to this point, I have no doubt it's very possible that CBN would still go ahead and implement new technology.  After all, computers are here to make our lives easier.  That's both the truth and the biggest freakin' lie made up in the history of humanity.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 01:38:01 am by mmars »

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t-spoon64
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 09:54:48 am »

Where can I get more information of what you speak?
mmars
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 06:03:38 pm »

Where can I get more information of what you speak?

Could you be more specific about the kind information to which you are referring?

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t-spoon64
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 10:11:00 pm »

Thank you.  I was hoping to get more information about the whole process of making a bill from start to delivery.
mmars
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2014, 01:42:38 am »

Thank you.  I was hoping to get more information about the whole process of making a bill from start to delivery.

Without trying to sound sarcastic, that's something many people would like to know, and the vast majority of those people are not collectors.  What do you suppose would happen if that kind of information was available to the public?

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BWJM
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2014, 07:59:29 am »

Without trying to sound sarcastic, that's something many people would like to know, and the vast majority of those people are not collectors.  What do you suppose would happen if that kind of information was available to the public?
I think what mmars is trying to say is that this sort of information is available should you look for it, but like instructions for making incendiary devices or how to hack into the Pentagon, we're not going to be your source.

BWJM
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t-spoon64
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2014, 10:34:24 am »

Thank you BWJM.  I guess there is such a thing as asking a stupid question.  I wasn't looking for Cnl.  Saunders to give up his secret recipe.  Just curious on how BPN and FPN work.  I may not be asking the question right as I am very new to the collecting of bills.  Take care.
bricker
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2014, 10:45:21 am »



Quote
Even if the Bank of Canada still opens bricks and bundles and puts in SNRs here and there, they will be very scarce

going back to the OP, when I joined this site and started bricking way back in Nov 2013, I got this polymer brick from the bank without realizing it might be my first and last brick straight from CBN:

{http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/9131/m9x7.jpg:http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/9131/m9x7.th.jpg}

As I went through it I found SNRs in five of the ten bundles (implying that 50% of bundles are manually inspected?):

{http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/8883/zc79.jpg:http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/8883/zc79.th.jpg}

I suspect these inserts were not pulled randomly from the bundles as I found them ALL positioned at "100 intervals". I kept track of the numbers as I went through. Here is the exact location of each SNR:

HBP 1027799, insert HBP 0784682, HBP 1026601
HBP 1029399, insert HBP 0786282, HBP 1029400
HBP 1030399, insert HBP 0787282, HBP 1030401
HBP 1030599, insert HBP 0787482, HBP 1032000
HBP 1031399, insert HBP 0788282, HBP 1029200

Hope this helps in some way.

Dean
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2014, 04:48:54 pm »


As I went through it I found SNRs in five of the ten bundles (implying that 50% of bundles are manually inspected?):

I suspect these inserts were not pulled randomly from the bundles as I found them ALL positioned at "100 intervals". I kept track of the numbers as I went through. Here is the exact location of each SNR:

HBP 1027799, insert HBP 0784682, HBP 1026601
HBP 1029399, insert HBP 0786282, HBP 1029400
HBP 1030399, insert HBP 0787282, HBP 1030401
HBP 1030599, insert HBP 0787482, HBP 1032000
HBP 1031399, insert HBP 0788282, HBP 1029200

Hope this helps in some way.

It looks as though these insert notes have different position numbers.  Does this mean that the printer just takes random regular notes from pile "A" to fill an order for pile "B"?

 

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