PARSIPPANY, NJ—Sun Chemical has developed a program designed to help students obtain the tools they need and hands on training required to understand every aspect of the ink business in the flexographic printing process.
The program, Sun Chemical Next Generation Customer (NGC), is designed to help form relationships with future business partners, customers, co suppliers and possibly even employees.
The idea of the program started through a partnership with the Phoenix Challenge Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote the growth of the flexographic printing process in the educational system throughout North America. The Phoenix Challenge was created to develop a competition between flexography students at a variety of different colleges and high schools throughout the U.S. that teach prepress, plate making, printing skills and basic theory.
The college competition begins every year during the Flexographic Technical Association’s (FTA) INFO*FLEX show. Students from each of the schools are given an assignment which includes finding a customer, understanding their marketing/sales goals, developing a package or label to help sell the product, and printing the final package/label.
Sun Chemical’s NGC program helps students in the Phoenix Challenge by sending experts who give advice and teach all aspects of the ink business in the printing process from color matching on different substrates to how to incorporate special effect coatings.
This past school year, Sun Chemical piloted its Next Generation Customer program at Central Piedmont Community College, based in Charlotte, NC. After assessing the needs of the college, Sun Chemical donated its SunMatch computer software to best help the students achieve success in the Phoenix Challenge. SunMatch helps students more accurately achieve the right brand color on a variety of substrates and understand how to achieve colors through scientific numbers.
Throughout the school year, Sun Chemical experts came to the college to teach and give hands on experience to help students understand every aspect of the ink business in the flexographic printing process.
During the 2016 FTA INFO*FLEX show, students from Central Piedmont Community College presented their rebranded labels for the startup Triple Whammy Sauces and won awards for the “best execution” and “best design” categories of the Phoenix Challenge.
“We’re so grateful for all that Sun Chemical has done to help make our students successful in our flexography program,” said Kathy Rummage, executive director of communications at Central Piedmont Community College. “Seeing our students achieve success in the Phoenix Challenge and learning the skills they need to flourish in their future careers has always been our goal.”
“The Phoenix Challenge is a great way for Sun Chemical to help train future customers in the flexo industry with the tools they need to understand the color process and science that goes into ink,” said Charles Murray, president of North American inks, Sun Chemical. “The experience gives students a realistic interaction with professionals in the industry. We’re grateful to Central Piedmont Community College for the opportunity to interact with these students and it is our hope to build on our experience here and expand our Next Generation Customer program to other colleges with flexographic programs.”