FORUM 2021 Session Chairs Offer Perspectives on Day-to-Day Dialogue

Customer Satisfaction Through Partnerships

Session Chairs: Dan Blackburn, Kimberly-Clark Corp; Chris Walker, SGS

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Packaging quality and consistency have an enormous effect on consumer purchasing behavior, as well as cost control implications. With that being said, “Customer Satisfaction Through Partnerships” will focus on how CPCs, design agencies, prepress providers and printers/converters can identify color inconsistencies.

We will identify opportunities for improvement, and focus on establishing achievable and withstanding SOPs. Emphasis will be placed on the use of comprehensive color management systems to produce a consistent, repeatable quality product—one that not only sells the package but also controls costs throughout the entire package product development workflow.

The “Customer Satisfaction Through Partnerships” session will explore this topic with two industry professionals offering viewpoints and sharing stories of success:

  • Kristen Olberding, color solutions manager, Olberding Brand Family/Phototype
  • Angela Clinefelter, Kimberly-Clark NA, brand design and packaging operations/technical operations leader

“Customer Satisfaction Through Partnerships” will highlight the success story and the importance of developing a detailed process map to identify and eliminate waste. We will also cover the positives of establishing a strong RFP to create a collaborative focused supply chain relationship between the customer and supplier, thus eliminating waste throughout the process that highlights the benefits of time and cost savings.

It is challenging for brand owners, or anyone for that matter, to ensure print consistency across supply chains—regional or global. Packaging workflows are often complex, involving many brand owners, agencies, prepress houses and printer/converters. By identifying variables and managing workflows, processes and procedures, we can produce consistent, repeatable packaging, as well as cut costs.

How does this happen? Included in the multi-faceted approach:

  • Perform a landscape assessment
  • Identify opportunities for improvement
  • Review current SOPs and update to new standards
  • Evaluate color management software solutions
  • Utilize SMEs to drive print quality and efficiencies
  • Identify cost savings opportunities
  • Establish real-time print quality scores and review with real-time metrics
  • Establish ongoing evaluations and continuous improvements

This session has been developed to inspire reflection on current processes and follow a path where SOPs and color management principles will lead to print consistency that will protect a brand’s packaging integrity throughout the supply chain, all while effectively cutting cost.

Optimizing Print Quality Through Prepress Technology

Session Chairs: Kariahlyn Lindsey, Accredo Packaging; Laura Wright, CSW Inc


Printers rely heavily on the technology available through partnerships with leading prepress and plate technology companies. Combining specialized technologies that cater to your specific printing process and needs is a critical element in meeting customer expectations and driving overall quality improvements.

As graphic trends and expectations lean toward high detail and definition in imagery, we must find new ways to execute the needs of our customers. Due to continuous advancements, understanding these technologies and how they impact our industry is ever changing.

During our session, “Optimizing Print Quality Through Prepress Technology,” we will discuss a multitude of offerings from leading companies directly shaping the future of prepress for the flexographic industry. To help us determine the best fit for specific applications, we will hear from Mike Bialko (Kodak) and Mark Samworth (Esko). Both will offer specialized knowledge and proven solutions with implementation of workflows, screening applications and plate technologies.

While discussing technology options, we will hear testimonials from printers who utilize these options, further allowing us to understand their real-world applications and optimization methods. Understanding the capabilities of current workflow and screening offerings provides options to improve clean fade-to-zero and highlights. Advancements in solutions like Maxtone and HD screening options provide more control of transition points, dot sizes and advanced surface patterns.

When optimized effectively, the combination of offerings can yield more consistent print results and longer plate life for printers. A common practice of selective screening can become time consuming. With proper workflows and screening solutions, these manual tasks can be automated, in part, to increase efficiencies in prepress houses as well.

Correcting the Defectives, Correct the Defects

Session Chairs: Jason Cagle, MacDermid Graphics Solutions; Haley Hendry, TC Transcontinental

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Dirty print… excessive dot gain… color variations… slurred dots… mottle in solids—five common print defects and their root causes will drive discussion, stimulate action, and launch virtual troubleshooting experiences, as presenters document the corrective actions taken.

Our focus is to utilize virtual reality (VR) technology, in combination with subject matter experts, to demonstrate effective troubleshooting. While we focus on the five print defects, we want the audience to get a better understanding on how to approach problem solving. As we discuss the possible corrective action, we will demonstrate the effects of that action on press by utilizing VR in real time.

Speakers—Bill Poulson; John Kilbo of Siegwerk; Jared Hinkle of OEC Graphics; and Nate Newsome of Clemson University—will provide a breadth and depth of knowledge to the packaging industry and the respective expertise area.

Witness how to fix a defect by watching potential answers tested live on a running press! For each defect, there can be a handful of causes. Going through them can be costly, time consuming and wasteful. With foresight and data, a press operator can quickly pinpoint and remedy a defect.

Experience wide and narrow web VR presses being used to demonstrate five common print defects. Hear the panelists discuss possible causes and suggest corrective actions. Then, based on interactive audience voting, the highest-rated fix will be demonstrated live on stage. Subject matter experts will elaborate on each problem and the results of the demonstrated fix.

At the conclusion of the VR demonstrations, printers should gain new knowledge or reinforce existing expertise regarding troubleshooting options for correcting some our industry’s most common print defects. Converters will receive a clearer visualization of how certain corrective actions actually affect print results. They’ll also acquire a better understanding of how VR technology can be an excellent training tool and obtain an updated troubleshooting guide to bring back to their teams.

Learn more about FORUM 2021.