International projects - SAFEMETAL

FP7 SAFEMETAL project is dedicated to the development of coin-validation system. It includes advanced signal processing and data fusion techniques, development of planar electro-magnetic sensors and pulse eddy-current measurement techniques with increased field sensitivity.

Counterfeit of euro coins is increasing steadily. There are about 14 illegal mints discovered and over 80 classes of counterfeit coins and corresponding tooling and working methods are identified. Obvious that a lot of counterfeit manufacturing facilities still remain in operation. In order to increase the security recent European standards reduce the spread of parameter values. This represents a great problem for manufacturers of coin validators used in vending machines and bank coin sorting machines.

The developing in SAFEMETAL project metal validation technology is based on conductivity measurement techniques. It allows to distinguish increasingly sophisticated counterfeit and the tightly specified genuine coins and to characterize the metal quality.

The project is lead by Ardoran (Estonia), technical management is provided by Technical University of Crete (Greece).

The results of this work and all rights will belong to Ardoran, EDIS (Slovakia), Dunvengan (UK).

The end-user is represented by Algosystems S.A. (Greece.

The research and development is fulfilled by Electronics Design Ltd. (Estonia), Riga Technical University Department of Engineering Mathematics (Latvia), Telecommunications Systems Institute, University of Cyprus, A.S. Metrosert (Estonia), Tallinn University of Technology, Thomas Johann Seebeck Department of Electronics (Estonia).

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What we developed due SafeMetal project

The basic scientific and technical objectives of the project are:

  • Development of techniques for measurement of electrical conductivity of coin sized copper-alloy specimens.
  • Development of mathematical models and numerical techniques to define the interaction of broad-band electromagnetic fields with objects of finite size, such as coins, and of bi-metallic/ layered construction.
  • Detailed characterization of the electromagnetic properties for euro coins of all denominations.
  • Investigation of eddy current signal interaction with bi-metallic, layered construction of euro coins.
  • Investigation of the effect of surface finish, plating, tarnishing/ oxidation and embossing patterns (for both the common and country-specific sides of a coin) on conductivity across the range of frequencies.
  • Development of theory to model electro-magnetic planar sensors, enabling use as improved alternative to conventional coil sensors.
  • Development of the theory for pulse-based/ broad-band eddy-current conductivity measurements.
  • Development and application of novel signal processing techniques to extract useful information from the complex electromagnetic signals using low-cost and low-power hardware.
  • Development and optimization of sensors to measure other parameters of coins — diameter, thickness, weight, etc. as well as development of data fusion methodologies to process data from sensors
  • Design, realization and evaluation of validator prototypes based on the innovations applicable to: Vending, service automation and amusement machines. Banks Mints Coin blank suppliers