Forum Sessions in Detail

April 30 – May 3, 2017 | Sheraton Grand Phoenix | Phoenix, AZ


Free Pre-Conference Session: #Research

The Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC) Pre-Con, #Research, is filled with real data produced and collected by FQC project teams in support of the FQC’s mission. Begin with an update from the Standards Working Group. Become familiar with all of the new and changing standards that affect our industry. Following will be three FQC Project reports covering high resolution printing, CxF press characterization, and flexo plate and mounting tape optimization. Each one of these projects may affect your pressroom performance. Lastly, we’ll take a look at a two part presentation on expanded gamut printing – ink sequence and EG’s perceived impact on the consumer. This data rich session will start you thinking about applications in your own operations. #DoNotMissThisSession!

Chair: Jean Engelke, RR Donnelley; Co-chair: Pam Dorrough, 3M


Flexo: Legals, Markets and Logistics

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.” – Yogi Berra. Of all of Yogi’s lovable quotes that mostly made no sense, this one in particular hits home for flexo and is the theme of this session. What is the size and scope of the flexo market? What are the trends and forecasts by application – labels, flexible packaging, corrugated and carton? What strategies should you employ as a flexo printer to stay competitive against competitive printing technologies? What impact will the upcoming changes to Federal Nutrition Labeling info and Food Contact Compliance have on your business? All of these questions will be answered by a panel of speakers that include industry analysts, subject matter experts, and those in the trenches on the front line of change and adaptation in our industry. Come and hear what to plan for and how to get there, to be sure you don’t end up “somewhere else.”

Chair: PJ Fronczkiewicz, Flint Group; Co-chair: Shawn Oetjen, Flexo Tech

See the results of a recent FLEXO Flash Poll which found more than half of printer respondents expect sales growth of 5-10 percent in 2017.


The “Press Crew” Crisis: Now Who’s Going to Run My Press?

Are you having difficulty filling your job postings? The flexographic printing process may be steadily growing but it seems the labor pool continues to shrink. Explore new techniques for attracting future employees and providing proper professional development opportunities for those entering our industry. Experts will discuss the current status of the employment situation and explore solutions to begin to combat this looming crisis. The fact is, it will not get better if we stay on our current path.

Chair: Shawn Oetjen, Flexo Tech; Co-chair: PJ Fronczkiewicz, Flint Group 

Read a Q&A with Clemson University’s Dr. Nona Woolbright that previews her presentation, “Is Your Workforce Changing?” in this session.

Disruptive Technologies: Embrace the Possibilities

What new technologies are disrupting the future of flexography & package printing? When will they affect your current business? How can you embrace the inevitable change? Let’s pull back the curtain of the future and give you a “birds eye view” of what’s in store for our industry. Learn about cutting edge technologies and trends that are capturing the attention of the major brands and CPC’s. Topics will include: Printed Electronics, Smart & Interactive Packaging, a converter case study of how adopting newer technology has impacted their business, and how to “bridge the gap” between flexography and digital inkjet. Don’t let your business be disrupted by being caught off guard. See how to “Future Proof” your company today!

ChairChris Baldwin, Nilpeter USA; Co-chair: Paul Lancelle, Kodak


It’s All About Ink!

….And it’s a whole lot more than just laying ink on paper (or film!) New products, evolving trends, technologies and applications….we’re going to “cover the gamut” in delivering meaningful information related to enhancing shelf appeal, developing new market opportunities and creating production efficiencies in today’s flexo marketplace.

From the “what is it?” to the “why?” to the “how to,” we’re going to touch on it all. Our panel of technically focused presenters will deliver fresh perspectives on specialty ink and coating applications, evolving developments tied to ink application and relevant data supporting some of the tried and true practices related to ink utilization, management and measurement.

There will be something to be gained from attending this session for anyone interested in learning more about opportunities to expand the capabilities of the flexographic reproduction process as a whole.

Chair: Paul Lancelle, Kodak; Co-chair: Chris Baldwin, Nilpeter USA

Let’s All Get RIPed: Practical Prepress

Handling files in today’s environment has become a major part of the business. A big part of the make-ready time, color accuracy, waste and customer satisfaction comes from having an effective prepress workflow and color management system. Learn how to create an effective workflow to bring color to the beginning of the process. You will understand the theory of color management and you will learn how this is done in a modern prepress environment from a converter and also a trade shop with multiple different output needs.

Chair: Julian Fernandez, Esko; Co-chair: Greg Horney, Frankston Packaging

Read a Q&A with Ryerson University’s Dr. Abhay Sharma that previews his presentation, “Let’s Get RIPed: Academic,” in this session.


Pressroom Pressures

Efficiency is a level of performance where the least amount of inputs generates the greatest amount of outputs. Continuous evaluation is a key ingredient to improving the efficiency of your production value stream while maintaining profitability. The first critical step to improving your processes is understanding the drivers and cost of poor quality, waste, and lost production time. In this session we take a comprehensive look at the impact of improving efficiencies through prepress, best practices, and continuous improvement. Let the industry professionals share their techniques and perspectives so you can apply at your own facility. Start making the impact you need to stay competitive in a rapidly growing market without wasting capital expenditure!

Chair: Greg Horney, Frankston Packaging; Co-chair: Julian Fernandez, Esko

Read a Q&A with AEP’s Tim Crawford that previews his presentation, “Hal’s Kitchen,” in this session.


Corrugated Direct Print – The Future is Now!

If you’re one of the many converters that has purchased a new graphic press in the past few years and are not achieving the results you are looking for, our session may provide some answers. Learn how high end printers are successfully using new anilox roll technology to provide great results. Hear from a successful printer that is producing award winning work on a 25-year-old flexo press! You can print award winning work too if you use the right processes and procedures. Come and learn how others are doing it! Digital print is becoming a bigger factor in the corrugated market every day. You will hear from a converter that is currently using it and will tell you what you can expect in the future.

ChairJack Fulton, Printron; Co-chair: Geoff Roznak, Great Northern Corp.

Not Only How to Use, But How to Choose: Flexo Consumables 101

In today’s flexo shop there are plenty of decisions to make in order to provide your customer with the absolute best printed piece at a competitive cost. We will help you understand the relationship between anilox, plate & sticky back and how they affect your graphic reproduction capabilities. When it comes to ink, should you choose premium ink chemistry or will your standard off the shelf paper system be sufficient? Does your current plate technology give you the flexibility needed to provide fine highlights or bold solids? Are you choosing the proper tape to compliment your plate and fulfill your graphic needs? Let’s get back to the basics, OPTIMIZE and understand how these critical flexo consumables work for you and select the proper one for your current application.

Chair: Keith Nagle, Nilpeter USA; Co-chair: Brad Gasque, DuPont Advanced Printing


Surveying Production Performance: Flexography 102

Flexography 102 is a continuation of the Flexography 101 session. With the numerous options we have for the components of the plate package and press configuration, it is important we optimize for the best production performance. During this session we will walk through an actual press optimization trial where we analyze, measure, and choose the best combination of print variables for optimal output. Knowing the correct methods and processes for optimizing your flexographic workflow will ensure that you are producing award winning products.

Chair: Brad Gasque, DuPont Advanced Printing; Co-chair: Keith Nagle, Nilpeter USA

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