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

Nutrition Facts Label Update – Why Now, What’s the Impact, How to be Prepared!?!
Presenter: Kevin Bourquin, Cyber Graphics 

The FDA, after more than two decades, has announced a redesign to the Nutrition Facts Label that is more in line with recent food science research and consumer behavior. At an estimated cost of nearly 2.5 billion dollars, the packaging supply chain must be prepared to be meet the 2-3 year time frame associated with consumer product company compliance. This session will review the need for the change, the significant adjustments in design and labeling requirements, as well as industry efforts to help ensure compliance

TBD
Presenter: Dan Muenzer, Constantia/Spear

TBD
Presenter: Rick Rosenberger, Hart Industries

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 

The New Wave of Recruiting. How do we connect with the newest generation of skilled labor?
Presenter: James Stone, Co-founder, GoGetter

Do you fear not being able to grow your business due to the shortage of skilled labor? For the last six years, the hardest segment of the workforce for employers to staff with skilled talent globally hasn’t been registered nurses or engineers or even web developers – it has been the skilled trades – the press operators, welders, electricians, machinists, etc. We will review the past and present of recruiting specific to the print industry.  What has worked? What hasn’t worked? How do we capture the attention of the future generation?

Workforce Alert: The Numbers Behind the Crisis
Presenter: Brendan Kinzie, Co-founder GoGetter

Employment statics can enlighten us or just as equally mystify us. Government figures, “boomer” retirement projections, shifting educational trends… Where do these figures come from? How do we best interrupt them and how do we bring meaning to them in our daily operations as employers and managers? Let’s take a little “different dive” into what is driving our staffing shortages across the width of manufacturing and in particular flexographic printing.

TBD
Presenter: Elsie Genova, Poly Print. Inc.

Is Your Workforce Changing?
Presenter: Dr. Nona Woolbright, Clemson University

Over the past 10 years, the Graphic Communications program at Clemson University has made a shift from a male dominate program to a female dominate one. If this trend is reflected at other like schools, there should be a growing number of young females in this industry. Yet casual observations at graphic industry events, plant tours and even suppliers to the industry seem to show that same ratio of male to females are not reflected in these physical locations. Nor do the ages of these “faces” seem to becoming proportional younger either. I have examined this trend throughout our technical education system, including 2 and 4-year colleges and high schools with technical graphics programs, to better determine what is happening to young graduates once they venture out into the industry: Are they actually entering the field? Are they staying within printing or are they opting out and pursuing careers in non-related industries? And are we loosing females at a higher rate than males from this group? If so, why? Are there consistent factors causing young professional to leave the industry?  Are there changes your flexo plant can make to retain this valuable resource once you bring them into your business? Can we make graphics and particularly flexo a place where young people, specifically females, want to not just stay, but thrive?

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 CPCs. Topics will include: Printed electronics, smart and 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

Leading Edge Tech:  Printed Electronics, Smart & Interactive Packaging
Presenter: Dr. Malcolm Keif, Cal Poly State University

The future for packaging involves increased functionality and intelligence. This presentation will touch on markets and processes needed for printed electronics and functional applications, as well as a case study on a printed capacitive sensing smart label. The primary objective is to educate attendees on printed electronics and to demonstrate how these applications can be achieved in production environments.

How to Calibrate Your Digital Press to Your Flexo Press
Presenter: Ken Pavett, Flexografix Incorporated

You can do it too! This is a how-to presentation detailing the steps and technology used to achieve a visually-acceptable “match” between a Digital and a Flexo press. The objective of this presentation is to educate attendees on how we did it, so they know that they too can calibrate their Digital presses to visually “match” their Flexo presses. Additionally, find out how to make the color match between digital and flexo press platforms.

The Challenges and Opportunities of Transitioning Between Analog and Digital Printing
Presenters: Kyle Desautel, Heritage Paper

Digital printing on corrugated is a rapidly growing market that is impacting the corrugated manufacturing industry as a whole. Digital printing’s ability to produce consistent quality at any volume with little to no variance has driven it’s success into the market.  Many companies are struggling to adapt and find the correct method to implement this technology into their existing product mix or use it to grow into new markets. This presentation will explore one company’s operational experience of breaking into digital print in 2008 and growing that business exponentially to the point of millions of contribution dollars per year over the course of just a few years. As growth continued, it generated the need to develop a similarly stable print process for higher volume printing. This need led the company to invest in high end flexographic printing directly onto corrugated board. Installing new technology in registration controls, ink controls, camera inspection systems, and vendor management supplied the ability to run consistent high quality print at any volume for virtually any application. This presentation will outline and address details of the decisions and methods used to accomplish this success in both digital and flexographic printing on corrugated board.

Read a Q&A with FLEXOgrafix’s Ken Pavett that previews his presentation, “How to Calibrate Your Digital Press to Your Flexo Press” in this session.


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

Different is as Different Does
Presenter: Kurt Hudson, ACTEGA

Differentiation and Value are terms tossed about in most strategy, sales and marketing meetings. But in a maturing market place, a mix of analog and digital equipment, experienced printers and young technicians, and a brand-owner base reluctant to pay for differentiation or value, how do graphic arts professionals drive sales, volume and margin with the tools oh-hand? Being different requires doing different things.  Value is not readily recognized when competitors are providing the same product in the same time frame at the same cost. This presentation will explore market maturation drivers, effective deliverables and cost effective, high impact effects that deliver differentiation and value.

Benefits of Specialty LED Curing Ink
Presenter: Mike Buystedt, Flint Group

This presentation will provide a brief history of LED curing, the differences between UV LED vs. mercury based lamps for specialty inks and cost benefit between UV LED and traditional mercury based UV curing for specialty inks. Learn how LED inks can improve the performance of specialty ink and reduce the overall cost, making specialty inks more affordable for brand owner’s products.

Using Specialty Coatings to Capture the Attention of Shoppers
Presenter: Helen Rallis, Sun Chemical Corp.

Roughly 3 out of 4 shoppers make in-store decisions when purchasing products. Today’s shoppers like to be able to ‘communicate’ with the package.  According to a 2014 study by A.R.E. | POPAI, the New Association, 62 percent of mass merchant shoppers and 55 percent of grocery shoppers have no plan whatsoever for what they will buy at the store and approximately 15-17 percent of others have a general plan of what they will purchase. With consumers spending less time preparing for their shopping trip, brand owners have a prime opportunity to take advantage of those impulse purchases. However, shoppers typically see approximately 1,700 packages while walking through the store aisles. If the packaging fails to pop off the shelf in the 3-7 seconds needed to make an impression, then impulse purchases won’t happen.

To avoid this and differentiate the product, a variety of special effect coatings are being added to the product packaging. These specialty coatings can go far beyond merely providing sensory appeal, they can also help transform the package so it is more personalized or communicates a specific message. This presentation will explore the vast coatings portfolio available for Flexo printers to help transform the packaging experience.  Thinking outside the box (or press) is required during this session to better understand what is achievable on press to truly transform the packaging experience.

The Connected Flexible Package – Understanding and Enabling the Technologies that Digitally Connect Consumers Through the Flexo Packages You Print
Presenter: Derek Awalt, Digimarc

Increasing consumer demand for transparency and product information is driving change. Industry initiatives like FDA Nutritional Labeling and SmartLabel are pushing brand owners to provide consumers with an ever-increasing amount of product information with already limited packaging real estate. The connected flexible package offers the opportunity to drive both consumer engagement and product transparency, while gaining brand loyalty.  CPG’s and retailers are utilizing new and innovative technologies to connect with consumers through mobile and digital devices from the printed package.

Metallic Ink Optimization 2.0
Presenter: Kevin Schilling, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.

At the Spring Forum of 2014 in Baltimore, Scott Shultz of Eckart presented information for optimizing metallic inks with conventionally screened digital plates and anilox rolls as the variables.  The 2.0 version will use this information to create a current baseline and then further explore metallic ink optimization, with brilliance and reflection being the key measurable. This presentation will introduce ITP technology and surface screening to identify the impacts of newer plating technologies to this equation. Sit in on this presentation and understand whether plate surface technologies have a positive or negative impact on the brilliance of metallic inks and what combination of variables provide the best result!

Set, Score, Evaluate Color Results Simplified
Presenter: Brian Ashe, X-Rite Pantone

Are the terms dot gain, density, or delta E mysterious to your customers? As a printer, do you have difficulty explaining your metrics to your customers? It’s not easy to evaluate printing results, but sometimes it easy to just know the color is wrong.

Learn about the finer points of building a score card strategy for color in your brand packaging. Witness step-by-step a streamlined system that takes complex analysis and boils it down to a single number. The best part, it is immediate and actionable, before the moment of truth on the shelf!

Read a Q&A with Digimarc’s Derek Awalt that previews his presentation, “The Connected ‘Flexible’ Package” in this session.

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

Let’s All Get RIPed: Academic
Presenter: Abhay Sharma, Ryerson University

Explore prepress automation while identifying colorimetric conversion practices used throughout the packaging industry. Learn how to create an effective workflow to bring color to the beginning of the process.

Let’s All Get RIPed: The Converter Workflow
Presenter: Brad Turner, Sealed Air

Join in on a discussion about a practical approach to converting color through prepress, and how it relates to color on press. Best practices and real world examples to reduce some of the ambiguity surrounding this topic will be covered. Although the presentation is centered around prepress, spend some time hearing the viewpoint from press as it relates to process control and converting color in prepress.

Let’s All Get RIPed: The Trade Shop Workflow
Presenter: Scott Thompson, Southern Graphic Systems

There are several strategies, workflows and color conversion techniques in the current image and color correction environments. Ensuring the right details are identified and followed is advantageous when communicating intent to the customer and ultimately delivering success on press. The primary objective is color, color management, workflows and automations. Learn about predictive “surprise free” color for the printer and end user.

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.

Anilox Specifications for High Graphic Printing
Presenter: John Rastetter, Pamarco

This technical review will cover the various aspects of anilox specifications necessary to deliver the highest graphic quality and print consistency in corrugated combined board applications. Areas covered will be volume, cell selection and design, transfer efficiency, cleaning and maintenance.

How to Produce Winning Award Work with Old Printing Equipment
Presenter: Tim Esselman, WestRock, CP LLC

Printer’s will be exposed to learnings that can be easily done with minimal costs showing improvements. Discover processes developed to improve output results of the machine as well as delivering expectations to your crews and support teams in a manufacturing environment. The objective of this presentation is to show printers how to improve chances showcasing printing abilities with older equipment by implementing a few things. Learn very simple techniques which can be utilized for better the output.

Old Equipment and New Markets
Presenter: Cordes Porcher, Check Five Productions – Corrugated Synergies International

So, you have old equipment and new markets. This session will examine the existing equipment dilemma box manufacturers face in this ever-changing market. Attend the session that will address using old or “gently used” equipment to meet future needs.

Topics include:

  1. The Questions you need to ask
  2. The Support network you need to create
  3. The Steps you need to take
  4. The Changes you will need to accept

Digital Print Update – How Digital Printing Will Affect Flexo – Are You Ready?
Presenter: Mike Schliesmann, Great Northern Corp.

Digital printing technology has come a long way in the last ten years and appears to be on the cusp of a meaningful launch into the corrugated market. Learn what some of the various equipment manufacturers are doing to bring their technology to market, what this technology is capable of, and what it could mean to future business. Ultimately, find out where digital printing technology is today, and what the future holds for our industry.

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

Get to Know the Inks You Choose
Presenter: Sean Teufler, Siegwerk USA

During this presentation attendees will gain an understanding of three types of ink common to the flexographic industry: solvent, water and UV. Key elements will be touched on for each ink type including drying or curing, optimum viscosity for printability, press environment, measurement factors for controlling the ink, press speed considerations and caring for the inks before, during and after the press run. Also, attain an understanding of how to choose the right ink for the application. Learn an effective strategy for properly managing their chosen inks to avoid variables that will later drastically impact the efforts of optimization. This is a fresh perspective that connects the dots in ink understanding.

Anilox Basics 101
Presenter: Tony Donato, Harper Corporation of America

Flexo Plates 101
Presenter: Jason Cagle, MacDermid Graphics Solutions

In today’s flexo industry, there are many choices a converter can choose from when it comes to plates. This session will help define the key terms as well help you understand the difference between certain processes and techniques to creating a flexo plate.

The primary objective is to obtain a better understanding of the new plate technology in the industry today. This presentation is ideal for those that don’t quite understand all the technology that goes into a plate or the different ways a plate can be created… no worries! This session will break down all the terms one might hear in the world of plates.

Process Improvement with Pressure Sensitive Adhesives
Presenter: Joseph Prunier, tesa tape

Plate mounting tapes have a profound influence on the printing process, not only in print quality but also process efficiency. For those using the wrong plate mounting or not following simple application guidelines, plate mounting tapes could be costing valuable production time and money. By understanding a few simple plate mounting tape concepts and following simple application procedures, improve both products and processes. Gain the understanding needed to select the best plate mounting for printing jobs and a simple way to follow SOP to save time and money.

Read a Q&A with Siegwerk’s Sean Teufler that previews his presentation, “Get to Know the Inks You Choose,” in this session.


Optimizing for 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.

The speakers—Sean Teufler, Siegwerk; Joseph Prunier, tesa tape; Jason Cagle, MacDermid Graphics Solutions; and Tony Donato, Harper Corporation of America—will present the optimization findings from the pressrun at Nilpeter.

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

Read a Q&A with DuPont Advanced Printing’s Brad Gasque that previews Flexography 102.

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