Forum Sessions in Detail

April 27-30 | Hilton Baltimore | Baltimore, MD

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

FQC Meeting/Projects Updates – All Are Welcome

Featured is a presentation by Matthew Furr of Clemson University and Mark Samworth of Esko. The presentation offers timely research focusing on color variation in 4-color and expanded gamut printing. Matt’s master’s research will give the mechanics and benefits of using GCR separation techniques and the impact on producing stable predictable color. Additionally, FQC research teams will spend a significant time meeting to discuss current projects and next steps to be taken. Current projects include: Near Neutral Dataset Assessment: Post Print Gamut Alignment (Steve Smiley); High Resolution Printing A: Print Output Metrics & B: Performance Comparison (Ann Michaud and Alex James); Expanded Gamut II Project (Sean Teufler); Open Structure Anilox Roller Volume Measurement Gauge R&R (Dan Reilly); Standards Working Group (Danny Rich). Your continued participation is vital and much appreciated.

12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Welcome to Forum 2014



12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Expanded Gamut Printing, The Customer and You!

Headlining this session is a representative from one of the world’s most prominent Consumer Product Companies (CPCs) who will discuss the technology behind Expanded Gamut (EG) printing, from concept to completion. Rick Pollard of the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), a multinational CPC with a recorded $83 billion in sales and ranked in the top 15 of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune Magazine, will share how P&G is currently utilizing EG and the strategies behind its choices. The session also features EG experts in the design, prepress and print segments who will discuss how EG technology affects their workflows. Finally, the session will conclude with a panel discussion of additional experts that will field questions from an audience eager to get answers to their real-life Expanded Gamut questions.
Chairs: Robb Frimming, Schawk!; Kevin Bourquin, Cyber Graphics LLC

Holistic Approach to Utilization of Expanded Color Gamut

Rick Pollard, The Procter & Gamble Company

Join us as we take a look at the challenges of executing Expanded Gamut (EG) printing and how, when properly implemented, it can deliver time and cost savings to your business. We’ll cover how EG requires engagement from ideation of the artwork to distribution of the finished product and everything in between. You learn that using EG is easy, but making it work for you and your business requires a complete and thorough understanding, from artwork design to production scheduling to the ensuing print results on press.

Expanded Gamut: A Designers Perspective

David Franklin, David Franklin Design

Get an insider perspective of what Expanded Gamut (EG) means to the designer, from its advantages in reproducing vibrant color to how the color space compares to traditional flexo. On the agenda: insight into special considerations and best practices for producing successful design communications utilizing this emerging technology. The presentation will conclude with a “designers wish-list” for how to make the process even better.

Expanded Gamut – A Color Geek’s View

Steve Upton, CHROMiX Inc.

During this presentation we’ll be pulling the veil off ICC profiles and color gamuts to demystify and explain using visual tools. There is an abundance of information available inside ICC profiles. Attend and see interesting tricks and techniques to gain a better understanding of what’s going on “inside the black box.”

Additional Q&A Panelists

Johnny Dye, Accredo Packaging, Inc.; Mark Samworth, Esko

Tap into the combined wealth of knowledge of our expert panelists and have your most pressing questions about expanded gamut answered. We’ll address some common questions that plague us in our everyday work and field inquiries from the audience. This in-depth and informative Q&A panel will leave you well prepared and ready to successfully implement an expanded gamut workflow.

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Managing Your Pressroom Efficiencies

When manufacturing companies run up against capacity problems today, they immediately look to increase overtime, add shifts or purchase new equipment. Instead, they should look to optimize the performance of their existing machinery to increase equipment reliability, minimize changeover times, improve operator performance and lower overall downtime. All these investments can be made to increase capacity. They will pay greater dividends by allowing a manufacturing plant to spend its valuable time and money on the manufacturing process. The question is “How can a manufacturing company optimize the performance of its existing equipment?” The answer is Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). OEE is a powerful tool to benchmark, analyze and improve your production process. The OEE tool gives you the ability to measure your machines for productivity improvements. A truly comprehensive OEE solution will provide operators and production managers with continual line notification and control so that actions can be taken to prevent events that can result in downtime, slower cycle speeds and poor product quality. The ultimate goal…Managing Your Pressroom Efficiencies!
Chairs: Ron Henderson, Clopay Plastic Products; Randy Green, Printpack

Increasing Productivity with OEE

Adrian Pask, Vorne Industries

How do you increase output without increasing cost? This presentation looks at the role of OEE in production improvement and how to use it at multiple levels of the business to consistently drive sustainable improvement. We’ll examine the three components of performance improvement that are essential for driving growth: Information, Focus and Actions. In the end, attendees will learn of a practical yet simple approach for assessing the sustainability of the improvement process and leave with three accompanying audits to test on their existing process.

Launching Through Variables

Hank Welter, Coveris

The objective of this presentation is to provide attendees with a look at one potential process and one tool and how they, in conjunction with a multitude of other tools, can help you improve your output.

Beyond OEE – World-class Manufacturing as a Program for Excellence

Galen Croxton and James Seals, Tetra Pak Inc.

OEE measurement is only the start of an operator-led improvement program. A comprehensive system of loss intelligence, operator engagement, maintenance integration and daily management is essential to avoiding unnecessary cost. Representatives from Tetra Pak will show their application of a world-class manufacturing program (Total Productive Maintenance), which includes OEE as a foundational concept.

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Flexography 101

Are you a newcomer to our flexographic family? Would you like an overview of things you should know? If so, this session is for you! In Flexography 101, we’ll cover the fundamentals of the process, from aniloxes to ink to photopolymer, and how they all work together.
Chairs: Alexander James, Harper Corporation of America; Andrew Knapp, Flint Group Flexographic Products

Anilox Basics and Their Relationship to the Flexo Process

Tony Donato, Harper Corporation of America

In 1997, Hall of Fame member Joe Trungale wrote a book titled The Anilox Roll: Heart of the Flexo Process. In this presentation, we will explain in basic terms how the anilox roll lives up to Joe’s description. Then, live demonstrations will be performed, using hand proofers to show how changing the anilox volume changes color saturation of a given ink. The session will review the common geometries of the anilox, and how the line screen and volume affect print quality and consistency.

Ink Basics: An Overview of Water Based and UV Inks

Keith Nagle, Actega WIT

If the anilox roll is the heart of the flexo process, ink would certainly be the blood. In this presentation, we will look at the common components of water based and UV ink systems, ink properties, and how to properly control them. Visual examples and live demonstrations will be performed as well.

Plate Basics: The What, Why and How of Photopolymer

PJ Fronczkiewicz, Flint Group Flexographic Products

If you have ever lain awake in bed pondering the mysteries of flexo plates, then this session is for you (and so is a good hobby and maybe medication!) Or, if you simply want to expand your knowledge of plates on a casual level, you are also welcome! So please join us for a behind the scenes look from the manufacturer’s perspective and learn the challenges and limitations of how plates are formulated, what they are composed of, how they are manufactured, and how their desired processing and print properties are figured into these steps.




10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Flexography 102

Are you a newcomer to our flexographic family? Would you like an overview of things you should know? If so, this session is for you! In Flexography 102, we take it to the next level, applying FIRST methodology, and explaining the basics of optimization, process control and process improvement.
Chairs: Alexander James, Harper Corporation of America; Andrew Knapp, Flint Group Flexographic Products

5 Star Optimization

Bart Wright, InterFlex Group

The goal of optimization is to assemble the best combination of print variables. What are the variables? How do you test them? What do we measure? How do we do this? This session will walk through all these questions as all these variables have measurable influence on print results and image quality.

Fingerprints and Characterizations

Steve Balschi, Printpack

Whether you are the customer, the separator or the printer you all play a part. Are all characterizations the same? Do all printers and separators do things the same way? What questions should you consider before the characterization? We will walk through the many aspects of characterizing the printing process. Which instrumentation should you use, and how do you communicate expectations and results? This session is a great introduction to the “nuts & bolts” of color management.

Process Improvement and Control of Press Optimization & Characterization

Brad Gasque, Clemson University

Once you have invested the time required for Optimization and Characterization, then come the next phases of Process Improvement and controlling the variables that affect the Fingerprint. This presentation will define the steps required to assure the proper maintenance of your print procedures and tolerances.




10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Emerging Flexo Markets: Is Your Business Positioned for Future Growth?

In this session we will explore new opportunities for flexo printers to consider as they seek to diversify their offerings, expand their capabilities and increase their revenue. By discussing topics such as the drivers of packaging design, new customer applications, and future developments in the market, audience members will learn about areas of growth, both regionally and globally, for their business that they can pursue today, tomorrow and in the future.
Chairs: Mark Mazur, DuPont Packaging Graphics; Penny Holland, Sun Chemical Corporation

Groundbreaking Design: What’s Next for Packaging?

Lynn Dornblaser, Mintel

How will consumer demand drive design changes in packaging – and what does that mean for a flexo printer? Lead by a packaging industry expert, you will learn about the changing requirements of consumers and brand owners and how the changes will affect the packages you print. By understanding the requirements of brand owners, you will be better able to position your pressroom to exceed expectations. And by learning now what consumers will want in the upcoming years, you can better work with your customers to get in front of the trends.

Protecting Brand Integrity

Jim Reiman, Sun Chemical Corporation

Anti-counterfeiting and brand protection is top of mind for many brand owners. In the global economy, protecting consumers from counterfeit goods and protecting Consumer Packaged Goods companies from the risk of liabilities is required. Various technologies in Brand Protection will be discussed as well as strategies for flexo printers to employ these solutions to help protect their customers.

Breakthrough Process Efficiencies in Laser Marking

Chuck Pemble, Datalase

Variable data printing on packaging has long been done by inkjet systems. However, new advancements in laser marking technologies make it faster, more sustainable and cost effective than ever to change the workflow and drive process efficiencies. Learn the processes and benefits moving from an inkjet-based process to a more sustainable, efficient laser-based process. And learn how you can work with your customers to implement a win-win solution.

Printed Electronics – Tomorrow’s Packaging, Today

James Lee, Jones Packaging

There has been much hype recently around the groundbreaking developments in printed electronics. Printers, brand owners and consumers all wonder where the technology will take us and how we can use it to improve our lives. Lead by a flexo printer who is researching solutions for his company, this discussion will reveal what you need to know about offering printed electronics solutions to your customer and how this emerging technology can impact your business.


8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Flexo Mythbusters

WARNING: Do not come to this session if you are not prepared to hear data that refutes your most closely held beliefs! It’s amazing how many myths and misconceptions have sprung up and persisted over the years when it comes to flexography. In this session, Pepper, Jessica and our team of experts will debunk some of those flexo fables, notions and old-printer tales by putting them to the test with research, experimentation and a little horse-sense. We’ll shed light on what is FACT and what is FICTION. We’ll tackle everything from anilox rolls to what some consider “taboo” processes to imbalanced stigmas related to UV inks and food packaging. This 120-minutes of myth debunking promises to enlighten, enliven and educate us all. Find a seat up-front and plan to attend with an open mind and a willingness to look at things in a different way. Challenge yourself and see how many myths YOU can debunk! *Special guest appearances by ‘Buster’ and other flexo industry friends.
Chairs: Pepper Stokes, Robbie Fantastic Flexibles; Jessica Harkins Harrell, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.



10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Refining the Flexo Process: FQC In Action

This session will be focused on presentations that provide data and concepts that will continue to refine flexographic technology. Be prepared to take documented learnings back to your operations and implement them for process improvement. Whether you are a brand owner, prepress provider or printer, the information presented in this session will be actionable and valuable as you communicate with your internal and external customers. The session will also include the final reports of completed Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC) projects. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how flexo is evolving!
Chairs: Jean Engelke; Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies

Anilox Open Cell Measurement Gauge Study

Dan Reilly, Plastic Packaging Inc.

The scope of this study was to determine the repeatability and reliability of current anilox measurement devices (both digital and manual) on commercial open cell structures. Since there is no ANSI standard for these devices, an experiment was designed to determine if there is deviation between instruments and consider a possible calibration mythology. The findings and recommendations of the project team will be presented.

The Efficacy of Conventional Mercury Vapor UV Curing and LED UV Curing Inks for Flexo

Natalee Consulo and Lena Haider, California Polytechnic State University

With the introduction of UV LED curing systems into the flexographic industry, many companies would like to know about the impacts of this new technology. Students at California Polytechnic State University conducted an experiment to objectively provide the industry with this necessary information. This presentation will give insight into the differences between conventional mercury vapor UV flexo curing and LED UV flexo curing. Some aspects covered include: substrate temperature under lamp, ink color gamut (impacted by ink opacity), curing effectiveness at different speeds, ink cure durability, ink composition distinctions and economies of the process and total cost of ownership. This study examines the economics, sustainability, and workflow influences of conventional UV flexo and LED UV flexo printing.

ANSI CGATS 21 – Reference Print Conditions, G7 and YOU!

Steve Smiley, SmileyColor & Associates

ANSI CGATS is a new ANSI standard. With a series of dataset used for communication tools for Designers, Reprographic and Printers. These tools allow a press calibrated to ANSI TR015 to align with the aims of the designer. Two of these dataset are recommended for flexo printing in wide web and narrow web. Learn how to use these tools in your workflow to improve quality and match customer’s aims, all the while increasing your ROI.


8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Corrugated – Graphic Demands and Decision Points

With the increased demand for retail-ready packaging in the corrugated market and the continued focus of CPCs utilizing the packaging graphic to sell products on the shelf, this session will focus on new ink technology, the latest screening software and whether flat top dots will increase solid ink density and print quality respectively. Also, some printers will offer insight on what drives a CPC decision, whether to print a design direct print flexo or litho, etc. This session will consist of two technical presentations along with a three-member printer panel discussion that will be informative and spark ideas that will help our industry convert jobs now printed by a competitive process to flexo.
Chairs: David Nunez, International Paper; Robert Hannum, DuPont Packaging Graphics

Results of Micro Cell Plate Cell Patterning When Applied to Enhanced Corrugated Printing

Daniel Martinez, Mark Andy Inc.

What works and what doesn’t work in successful enhanced corrugated printing? Pre-engineering the job for the process leads to a successful result, not necessarily defaulting to the latest technology. Test results will be presented on micro cell plate cell patterning technology to determine if there are benefits when this technology is applied to combo plates for enhanced corrugated printing in the following areas: increased solid coverage; cleaner screen tones; potential for higher line screens; more consistent print; reduced plate wear; faster make-readies; and reduced fluting.

More Than Just Beer and Pizza

James Ford, Color Resolutions International

This presentation will investigate the past and future of Corrugated Packaging, especially how well the print quality has improved. We’ll explore developments in paper, ink, plates, presses and aniloxes to increases in design complexity and brand image.

Panel Discussion

Rick Pomerenka, Printron; Geoff Roznak, Great Northern Corporation; Jeff Dumbach, Corrugated Synergies International LLC.


Flexible Packaging – Discover Something New

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Join us for an exciting 90 minutes as we explore the latest and greatest ideas from the world of flexible packaging. Never before has such a distinguished panel of experts come together to educate and engage you. Attend and discover what’s over the horizon in this thriving market as we introduce new approaches to meet your customers’ demands for greater shelf appeal. Experts from the realm of flexible packaging will share their vision of current trends and future possibilities. You’ll learn how to communicate with your customers about metallic inks using a quantitative language to describe visual effects and define obscure terms such as “brilliance” and “shiny.” You’ll learn how to make white ink look almost as smooth and opaque as white poly – within ONE PASS! Don’t miss the dynamic session that will have everyone talking about the amazing future of flexible packaging.
Chairs: John Paine, C-P Flexible Packaging; Tom Jacques, Bobst North America Inc.

Current Trends in Flexible Packaging

Ram Singhal, Flexible Packaging Association

Flexible Packaging, a $27.7 Billion industry in the U.S. has evolved into packaging of choice. Each package is specifically designed to meet the varying needs of the product it holds while providing consumer conveniences, shelf appeal, extended shelf life resulting in less food waste and overall less environmental impact. The growth of flexible packaging is mainly driven by innovation and technology. The presentation will provide insights into the current trends in flexible packaging.

Visual Quantification Scale for Metallic Inks in Packaging

Veronika Lovell, Sun Chemical Corporation

Brand owners want packages that will grab the customer’s attention and separate their products from those of their competitors. Inks that contain metallic pigments enhance a package’s appearance by the striking visual effects that they produce. As a manufacturer of specialty pigments and inks, Sun Chemical recognized the need for a process to quantitatively describe the visual effect of metallic inks often referred to as brilliance. Metallic inks were created using three types of metallic pigments and then proofed on various substrates. Samples were selected from the proofs that spanned the range of low brilliance to high brilliance. This presentation describes the development of the visual scale of brilliance, some preliminary results on correlating that scale with instrumental measurements and future work to develop an equation that accurately relates instrumental measurements and the visual judgments.

The White Plate Matrix

David Recchia, MacDermid Printing Solutions; Marek Skrzynski, CSW

The one demand that reverse printers have is always the same “I need whiter White!” What they really mean is higher opacity, reduced mottle and pin holing. And this means absolutely smooth coverage of the white ink. Many things have been tried, most commonly a double bump of white. But a recent increase in the main component of this ink doubles the cost, to the dismay of the printers. To get the images to jump off the package the over print colors must have a smooth background which is only achieved by the white ink. Poor coverage equals poor reflectivity, and this degrades high end graphics. We seek to find a plate “Matrix”, which can be done with a single pass to achieve higher quality results. We will study all of the interactions of plate durometer, surface textures and screening patterns, stickybacks, and anilox. The quantifiable data will include opacity numbers, mottle readings, and the effects on the SID of the overprint colors.

What Does the Future Hold for Flexible Packaging: Sustainability, Speed & Efficiency

Grant Shouldice, Flint Group

The current trends in the converted flexible packaging segment, which may include but are not limited to changes in consumer behavior, increased demand for recyclability, compostability, bio renewable content, reduction in materials and efficiency while maintaining high performance, suggests that real, tangible, product driven, sustainability solutions will be available to the flexible packaging value chain in the near future. At the same time, new developments in high-speed package printing as well as the concomitant opportunities and challenges that potentially face the players in the value added flexible packaging value chain will be discussed. Moreover, chasing sustainability and/or efficiency stories necessarily happens against a backdrop of near insatiable demand for impressive, eye catching, brand connecting graphics in this segment. A view of how to answer the question “What does the future hold for players in the value added flexible packaging value chain?” is given.


8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Tags & Labels – Add SWAG to Your Label & Tag

This session will cover recent methods for pre-qualifying the viability of special effects. Are you looking for dramatic impact and appeal for brands by enhancing the tactile features as well as the visual aspects of your products? Representatives from Harper Corporation of America, Eckart America Corporation and Anderson & Vreeland will present ideas from the comp stages to press achieved ideas. Learn a systematized approach, using different anilox engraving specifications, to demonstrate the most cost effective method of finding the right ingredients prior to going to press.
Chairs: Kim Madigan, Smyth Companies; Kevin Schilling, The Outlook Group

Differentiating Your Products Using Special Effect Inks & Coatings

Scott Schultz, Eckart America Corporation; Alexander James, Harper Corporation of America

Special effects are typically shied away from in flexo printing due to transfer difficulties brought about by coarse particle sizes. New anilox technology, coupled with unique pigment sizes and shapes, now allow printers to create effects that were previously off-limits. This presentation will uncover recent discoveries in more cost-effective methods for pre-qualifying the viability of special effect inks and coatings. Knowing these applications can have a dramatic impact on appeal for brands by enhancing the tactile feature as well as the visual aspect of your products, we’ll present a systemized approach using different anilox engraving specifications to demonstrate the most cost-effective method of finding the right ingredients prior to going to press.

Proofing Specialty Inks

Alix Guyot, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.

Proofing has come a long way in terms of matching color on bright white proofing paper. Three dimensional software now allows graphics to be virtually placed on boxes, bottles, pouches and more, without ever having to print anything. But there is still a “wow” factor to holding a tangible, working mockup. It’s even more impressive if it is a close match to the press. Solvent, UV-LED and new aqueous inkjet printers are being used more and more as proofing devices with a twist. These machines can have white, clear and/or silver ink and can print on a wider range of stock than a traditional inkjet printer. Mockups are now faster and easier to make and potentially more accurate. No more laminating one substrate to another or making two proofs. Many of these printers can be directly driven by proofing software, allowing for color accurate prototypes printed directly onto press stock. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a color accurate, working prototype worth?

FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances)

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

As the flexographic world continues to advance and change, so do the standards. Come join us Wednesday morning to hear from experts in the flexographic industry who will discuss the current changes in the FIRST 4.1 addendum from Implementation, Design, Prepress and Print sections. They will also give you a sneak peek at what is in store for the next update of FIRST which will be coming out in the near future. You will then learn how these changes are affected by the ISO requirements and how they will enhance your process. Hope to see you there!
Chairs: Jennye Scott, Berry Plastics Corporation

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