NPIRI Conference Review

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 11.16.05

Attendees gather in Las Vegas to examine 'Future Directions in Printing Ink'

Pete Notti of Ink Systems, third from left, this year’s Technical Achievement Award recipient, is joined by fellow TAA honorees, from left, Lawrence Lepore of US Ink, Joe Cichon of INX International Ink Company, Byron Hahn of Braden Sutphin Ink, Bob Peters of Kohl & Madden and Sal Moscuzza of Superior Printing Ink.
“Future Directions in Printing Ink,” the theme of this year’s National Printing Ink Research Institute (NPIRI) Technical Conference and Manufacturing Symposium led by the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM), offered an ambitious program looking at many of the challenges facing the ink industry and its suppliers.

The technical conference was held Oct. 19-21 at the Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas, NV, and featured sessions ranging from fluid and paste inks, manufacturing processes and raw material pricing.

Rod Balmer of Flint Ink served as the conference chair, with Doug Anderson of Central Ink serving as the co-chair of this program, which featured topics that covered many key issues.

“I continue to be pleased with the program,” said Jim Coleman, executive director of NAPIM. “Our challenge continues to be to fill our program with meaningful topics for all ink companies, small, medium and large alike.”


Short Courses and the Opening Session

In recent years, the short courses opening up the conference have been highly successful, and this year’s expanded schedule of four courses received strong marks from attendees.

“Fundamentals of Adhesion Science,” led by Dr. K.L. Mittal, provided a very interesting look at adhesion. “Lean Manufacturing,” conducted by Joe Costello of Sigma Breakthrough Technologies, walked attendees through projects utilizing Lean techniques.

Russell Schwartz, right, of Sun Chemical Performance Pigments is congratulated by his colleague, Maurice Carruthers, after Mr. Schwartz received the Technical Associate Member Award from NPIRI.
“Specialty Inks,” moderated by Dr. Lothar Schaeffeler of Color Converting, Inc., featured Alberto Argoitia of JDS Uniphase, Rory Wolf of Enercon, Jorg Mannig of Eckart America and Andrew Ainge of MetalFX. This session discussed the growth of specialty inks and looked at some of the new technologies being developed.

The fourth session, “Coatings for the Graphic Arts,” led by Alan Kalmikoff of Keim-Additec Surface USA, LLC, featured Peter Braun of Johnson Polymer, Ingo Powillet of Keim-Additec Surface USA, Joon Choo of Shamrock Technologies, Sobhy El Hefnawi of Cognis, Joel Schwartz of Ultra Additives, Jerry Trauth of Kustom Group and Christopher Travis of KBA North America.

This session featured interesting market data and new resin and additive technologies being developed for coatings, whether it is to improve gloss, slip and resistance properties, improve UV and EB, control foam or develop new products that meet the needs of customers.

After lunch, the opening session opened with the keynote address by W. Rucker Wickline, president of CDR Pigments and Dispersions, who discussed “Leadership in the Printing Ink Industry.”

“Leadership is an art, something to be learned over time,” Mr. Wickline said, differentiating leadership from managing. “We tend to use the word ‘management’ synonymously with ‘leadership.’ However, you manage things and lead people.”

Mr. Wickline, who is retiring at the end of the year, offered some advice to the ink industry.

“I know every decision we made we consider it is in the best interest of our companies, but I wonder if it is always in the best interest of our industry,” he said. “I would suggest we should always ‘think and then act…but first think.’”

Steven Sides of National Paint and Coatings Association followed Mr. Wickline with “Overview of Emerging Global Regulatory Impact,” a look at the rapid emergence of new global regulations. Richard Baker of Fiber Containers followed with “A Packaging Manufacturer’s Lean Manufacturing Program,” on how his company successfully implemented Lean techniques. The opening session concluded with Sunil Jayasuriya of Johnson Polymer, whose paper, “A Structure – Property – Performance Approach to Dispersing Organic Pigments in Water,” received first place in the NPIRI Lecture competition sponsored by Hexion Specialty Chemicals.

After the opening session, attendees checked out the more than 40 tabletop exhibits before heading out into Las Vegas for the evening.


Manufacturing and Liquid Ink Sessions


NPIRI president Dr. Joe Raksis presents Bob Peters of Kohl & Madden with the President’s Award in honor of Mr. Peters’ many years of service to NPIRI and the ink industry.
On Thursday, Oct. 20, concurrent sessions on fluid ink and manufacturing were held. The manufacturing session, moderated by Wayne Bice of Color Converting, Inc., was of great interest, featuring talks on “Filtration Fundamentals in Ink Manufacturing” by Bill Groh of Filter Equipment Co.; “Behavior Based Safety Programs” led by Duane Ness of Flint Ink and Chris Teeley of CDR Pigments & Dispersions; “Color Management for Manufacturing People” by Kelly VandenBosch of X-Rite; “Waste Minimization Strategies for Ink Manufacturers” by Zhaleh Naghibzadeh of Sun Chemical; and “Safety Requirements for Vertical Post Mixers” by Joseph Cichon of INX International Ink Company.

In particular, the discussion by Mr. Ness and Mr. Teeley about behavior-based programs and the impact these have had at CDR was of tremendous interest to attendees, as was Mr. Cichon’s talk on the accidents that have killed and injured ink industry employees, and what can be done to safeguard employees.

In the fluid ink session, moderated by Sunil Shah of Flint Ink, speakers included Mike Trakhtenberg of Northwest Coatings and Grant Kenon of Liofol Division of Henkel Adhesive, who discussed “Future Direction in Non-Solvent Adhesives for Flexible Packaging.” They were followed by Dennis Carespodi of Oracle Packaging,” whose topic was “Understanding the Retort Package,” and Joe Walker of Elcometer Instruments, who concluded with “Adhesion, Abrasion and Bond Strength – How and What Measurement Means.”

After the sessions, attendees were free for the afternoon, selecting from either the golf tournament, a trip to the Hoover Dam or to see the sights in Las Vegas.



Enjoying a conversation before the awards banquet are, from left, Alan Kennebrew of INX International Ink Company, Matt McClure of Apollo Colors, Chris Halvorsen of Hexion Specialty Chemicals and Joe Mele of Var-Chem Products.
Honoring Industry Leaders


On Thursday evening, attendees gathered for the annual Awards Banquet, which followed a reception and Poster Board Competition sponsored by Carroll Scientific. Poster boards from Elementis Specialties, Johnson Polymer and MetalFX were honored for achievement.

At the dinner, NPIRI president Dr. Joseph Raksis, who recently retired as senior vice president, research and new market development at Flint Ink, presented the Technical Associate Member Award and the Technical Achievement Award (TAA). The TAM Award was presented to Russell Schwartz, vice president of technology at Sun Chemical Performance Pigments. Pete Notti, vice president of Ink Systems, received the Technical Achievement Award for his decades of service to Ink Systems and the industry. Dr. Raksis then presented the President’s Award to Bob Peters of Kohl & Madden, former NPIRI president, who is retiring.

Raw Material Prices and Paste Inks


“Global Impacts on Ink Industry Raw Materials,” a panel moderated by John Edelbrock of Color Resolutions International, right, featured, from left,Chris Lambert of Huntsman Tioxide, David Ash of Rohm & Haas, Thomas Stark of Bayer Material Science, Tom Gwizdalski of Magie Bros. Oil Company, Joon Choo of Shamrock Technologies, Fred Dulin of Eastman Chemical and Derek Rawson of ADM.
Raw materials and paste inks were the focus of Friday’s concurrent sessions. Raw material prices and availability remain major issues for the ink industry, and the NPIRI Conference offered “Global Impacts on Ink Industry Raw Materials,” a look at the factors impacting key raw materials, during the closing session.

The panel, moderated by John Edelbrock of Color Resolutions International, featured Joon Choo of Shamrock Technologies, who focused on waxes and PTFE; David Ash of Rohm & Haas, who discussed acrylic acid; Chris Lambert of Huntsman Tioxide, whose topic was titanium dioxide; Tom Gwizdalski of Magie Bros. Oil Company, who discussed petroleum distillates and naphthenic oils; Derek Rawson of ADM, whose focus was on vegetable oils; Thomas Stark of Bayer Material Science, who talked about nitrocellulose; and Fred Dulin of Eastman Chemical, who discussed solvents.

One of the critical points delivered by the speakers is that for many of these essential raw materials, ink companies are a relatively minor user, and ink companies have to pay a price to maintain supply. For example, Mr. Ash noted that gasoline is an alternate use for propylene.

“As feedstock costs rise, finished product prices must keep pace or we will lose supply to alternate markets,” Mr. Gwizdalski said.

The manufacturing session featured, from left, Chris Teeley of CDR Pigments & Dispersions, Duane Ness of Flint Ink, moderator Wayne Bice of Color Converting, Inc., Kelly VandenBosch of X-Rite, Bill Groh of Filter Equipment Co. and Joseph Cichon of INX International Ink Company. Zhaleh Naghibzadeh of Sun Chemical is not pictured.
One of the key messages delivered by the panelists is that they are all facing the same challenges in meeting the needs of ink manufacturers, whether it is the elimination of plants in North America, the effects of recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico or higher prices.

“What was interesting is that each of the panelists talked about being in the same environment as each other,” Mr. Edelbrock said.

The raw material panel was followed by Steven Chan of Air Products & Chemicals, whose presentation, “New Innovative Molecular Defoamers for Graphic Arts Applications,” received second place in the NPIRI Lecture competition; and Dr. Peter Denkinger of Degussa, who received third-place honors for his presentation, “Advancements in Polyketone Resin for Graphic Arts.”

The paste ink session, led by Doug Weisel of Akzo Nobel Ink & Adhesive Resins, featured talks on “Causes Associated with Ink Piling” by Mark Bohan of PIA/GATF; “EuroCommit/GAME and its U.S. Impact” by Bob Cook of Novomatics North America; “Press Consumables for Conventional vs. Energy Curable Ink Systems” by Dave Maestas of Kodak Polychrome Graphic, Joe Byers of Day International, Vic Lewis of Printers’ Service and John Stephens of Kelstar; and “Managing Exposure Variables and Effective Use of UV Lamps in Curing of Inks” by Richard Stowe of Fusion UV Systems.

Mr. Weisel said the speakers did a nice job of making their talks fit in well with each others.’

“Coatings for the Graphic Arts,” one of the four short courses held at the NPIRI Technical Conference, featured, from left, Joel Schwartz of Ultra Additives, Peter Braun of Johnson Polymer, moderator Alan Kalmikoff of Keim-Additec Surface USA, Joon Choo of Shamrock Technologies, Jerry Trauth of Kustom Group, Sobhy El Hefnawi of Cognis, Ingo Powillet of Keim-Additec Surface USA and Christopher Travis of KBA North America.
“We had a pretty good turnout, and our speakers did a very good job,” Mr. Weisel said.

Conference organizers were pleased with the quality of the program.

“I think it went extremely well,” said Mr. Balmer, technical director, global research and product development for sheetfed inks for Flint Ink. “All of our moderators, presenters and the people at NAPIM worked very hard on this conference.”

“The title of our conference was indicative of our the theme,” Dr. Raksis said. “There is a lot of interest and some concerns about globalization, such as with regulations and source of supplies, but you have to think in terms of supply and demand. Inks are part of systems that lead to end products, and are one of many aspects that have to be considered in the printing process. Inks have to be viewed that way.”

“The short courses were extremely popular, receiving almost perfect scores from attendees, and the manufacturing programs have been a success and are going to be held on a permanent basis,” Mr. Coleman said.

Next year’s NPIRI Technical Conference will be held at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort, Ft. Lauderdale, FL from Oct. 10-12. For more information, contact NAPIM at (732) 855-1525 or its web site at ww.napim.org.


NPIRI Lecture Recipients Honored

In honor of the outstanding research showcased at the conference, Jack Baarends of Hexion Specialty Chemicals presented honorariums to the winners of the NPIRI Lecture competition. Clockwise, Mr. Baarends congratulates Sunil Jayasuriya of Johnson Polymer, who received first place honors; Steven Chan of Air Products and Chemicals, who received second place honors; and Dr., Peter Denkinger of Degussa, who received third-place honors, as conference chair Rodney Balmer of Flint Ink looks on.

Scenes from NPIRI


Air Products Buhler
Chemcentral Ciba
Eckart Elementis
Johnson Polymer