Forum Sessions in Detail

May 3-6 | Omni Nashville | Nashville, TN

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Free Pre-Conference: FQC – Eye on Research

Last year’s meeting was a major contributor for progress in Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC) research projects. Learn the results of such research, including a focused look at emerging plate technology presented by Jason Palmer, Clemson University and Steve Smiley, SmileyColor & Associates, LLC. Also on the agenda, a panel of research teams from the “academy” will discuss research roadmaps, and time will be provided to identify and discuss potential future FQC projects. Bring your ideas to this lively and interactive session. Your continued participation is vital and much appreciated.

Chair: Sam Ingram, Clemson University


12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Welcome to Forum 2015


 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Upside Down or Inside Out: What’s Next in Packaging?

What are the hot new trends in packaging that flexo printers need to know? Design and production experts who have incorporated these new concepts into their businesses, will discuss new options to consider for future revenue growth. Exciting technologies from digital to smart packaging to brand protection are all on this highly informative agenda.

Chairs: Penny Holland, Sun Chemical Corp.; Galen Croxton, Tetra Pak

How Technology and Consumer Trends Affect Packaging’s Future: Authenticity, Risk And Experimentation Lead The Way
Industry players must understand the issues influencing packaging trends in order to successfully navigate them and uncover white space not yet explored. Influencers including consumer trends and economic forces will be discussed as they pertain to the shaping of marketplace trends and their impact on the creation of new products. Packaging technology too must not only be out in front of consumer desire, but must align with it so it translates well but also inspires consumers. Technologies affecting packaging also lend a measure of safety and sustainability so these advancements will also be explored. Attendees will be able to better recognize and predict the opportunities and pathways for making products successful in the marketplace. Additionally, they will leave with the ability to recognize and adapt to upcoming changes in trend direction and to differentiate between long and short-lived movements.
Suzy Badaracco, Culinary Tides, Inc.

Brand Protection Solutions: Developing & Selling the Value
Whether protecting products from counterfeiting or enhancing supply chain visibility, investigating today’s technologies to find a solution can be overwhelming for brand owners. Hear how packaging converters are uniquely positioned to help brand owners navigate these waters through an unbiased and practical approach.
Lori Campbell, The Label Printers

Interactive Packaging Trends
Consumer Product Companies (CPCs) are constantly seeking opportunities to increase brand engagement with their consumers. Competitive pressures such as private label brands, “showrooming” (when consumers come to a store and end up purchasing a product online), and changing demographics can cause market share reduction price erosion. The packaging industry continues to grow globally, and continues to be shaped by changing trends. Technology, design and function of packaging all play an important role in attracting the consumer to purchase a product. This presentation will cover current packaging trends that affect graphics, structure/materials and interactivity with the consumer.
Colleen Larkin Twomey, Cal Poly State University


3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

From Tribal Knowledge to Technology: How to Understand the Needs of Your Workforce 

Change… an intimidating word to some, ignites excitement in others. As the flexo world continues to advance, it’s more important than ever to provide your staff with the proper tools and training to achieve their goals, as well as those of the company. This can be challenging. Today’s workforce easily spans 4-5 generations. This session will help you understand who your employees are, so that you can effectively train them at their individual level.

Chairs: Jennye Scott, Berry Plastics Corp.; Shelley Rubin, FTA

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

De-Geek the Geeks: From Cloudy to Clear

If you’ve ever attended a session that covers industry standards or highly technical information and felt as though presenters were speaking another language, you’re not alone! International standards terminology can often be very difficult to comprehend but its importance is invaluable to the flexographic industry. Join us for a lively, insightful session where we will have multi-departmental translators on hand to “De-Geek the Geeks” and help you hit the perfect harmony throughout every flexographic workflow.

Chairs: Malcolm Keif, California Polytechnic State University; Joe Tuccitto, FTA


10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Research that Resonates

Presenting exciting new information from its many ongoing projects, the Flexographic Quality Consortium (FQC) will highlight the findings of industry initiatives in Expanded Gamut Printing, G7 for Corrugated and High Resolution Printing. The session will also showcase funded student research scholarship projects in printed electronics and plate recycling technology. This is an outstanding opportunity to learn the very latest in practical flexographic research from both industry and educational circles.

Chairs: Jean Engelke; Sam Ingram, Clemson University

Toolbox Tuesday

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Part I: Optimizing Flexo: The Decoders Guide to Process Control

Get out your decoder rings and unlock the secrets of process control! Join us as we examine the practices and tools required to optimize your flexographic print process. Get a prepress perspective with tips and tricks on platemaking optimization and process control requirements to assure repeatability when making flexo plates. This is followed by enhanced process control tips for optimizing flat top dot printing plates. Next up, hear from a world-class management expert on process control in the pressroom and, more importantly, what needs to be controlled to ensure a positive impact on both results and the bottom line. And then, as you leave, toss those decoder rings in the trash!

Chairs: Alexander James, Harper Corporation of America;
Bob Hannum, DuPont Packaging Graphics


9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Part II: KISS My Anilox! Making the RIGHT Impression

A KISS impression is one of the most essential process control practices a printer can establish. It is also one of the most challenging. Join us as we go deep into the world of anilox specifications and applications…and do so in a fun and entertaining way. Go in-depth and discover the science behind the anilox roll specifications and the many items influencing your KISS impression, such as mounting tape and press pressures to name a few. We’ll also discuss how to identify if you are achieving and maintaining optimal KISS impression—and what steps to take if you are not. Expert-led presentations will provide information that participants will find educational and useful as part of the ongoing challenges of process control.

Chairs: Alexander James, Harper Corporation of America;
Bob Hannum, DuPont Packaging Graphics


10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Part III: From Color Mayhem to Color Control

Having color out of whack can wreak havoc on any manufacturing supply chain. This session will look at color management from every angle of the supply chain to ensure proper communication drives out unnecessary costs and improves workflow efficiencies, product consistency and predictability; while helping to increase speed to market. We’ll address color communication from a Consumer Product Company through the design and manufacturing of packaging. Next, we’ll dive deeper into newest measurement conditions and how they impact the color reported by a spectrophotometer. Then take a look at the best practices in smoothing and averaging Committee for Graphic Arts Technology Standards (CGATS) data sets to ensure color profiles accurately predict color. Thorough analysis of the information collected, you will understand the benefits, differences and applications of Device Link or International Color Consortium (ICC) profiles. Finally we can talk about the importance of measuring data at each point along the supply chain to verify the color is correct, process conditions are being met and the products are consistent.

Chairs: Kevin Bourquin, Cyber Graphics; Bjorn Knutson, FTA


 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Part IV: It’s Manufacturing NOT Magic!

Most times it’s the little things that help your manufacturing process to be most productive. This session will touch on some key principles and practices that have made consistent manufacturing possible. You’ll learn how printers have implemented training in their plants to improve printing and how process management programs have helped them thrive in the manufacturing environment. You’ll also learn about plate life and performance and how that knowledge can drastically reduce press downtime and on-press issues. Then we will turn to the analytical side of manufacturing by finding out which technology is the correct fit for your plant. Finally, we’ll discuss defect detection and waste control and how they work hand-in-hand in helping to control your overall manufacturing costs.

Chairs: Kevin Bourquin, Cyber Graphics; Bjorn Knutson, FTA

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Gauging Your Flexo Vital Signs: A Basics Reality Check

Taking your flexo pulse–old dog, new tricks—right? WRONG! In an ever-changing technological environment, it can be easy to lose sight of tried-and-true methodologies. This session will provide a refresher for how to maintain the highest level of quality in all aspects of the printing process. We’ll also look at ways to apply “old school” thinking to cutting edge printing techniques. Finally, a panel of FTA Hall of Famers and industry professionals will answer your questions regarding all aspects of flexographic print quality. Join us for this 90-minute session and see how many old tricks a new dog can learn!

Chairs: Andy Knapp, Flint Group; Kevin Schilling, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.


10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Multi-Market Commonalities – Alike but Different 

As flexographic printers, we are increasingly called upon to match work that other printers have provided, or have already run for shared customers. Even amongst flexo printers, there is potential to have a wide range of substrates, press capabilities and color gamuts that can make matching customer expectations a daunting task. Add in other print processes and the challenges become greater. This session features speakers from different segments of the industry who will discuss their individual considerations, plans and execution steps to achieve the highest degree of commonality across different printing methods and markets. Similarities, differences and the pros and cons between print processes will be highlighted. Finally, learn what you can do to ask the right questions and make the right decisions to achieve optimal results for your customer.

Chairs: Geoff Roznak, Great Northern Corporation; Rose McKernon, FTA

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