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NPIRI's 2012 Summer Course Helps Attendees Learn More About the Ink Industry

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 08.09.12

Back in 1988, when I had just started as the editor of Ink World, I had the opportunity to attend the National Printing Ink Research Institute’s (NPIRI) Summer Course, which was held at Lehigh University. I learned a lot about the industry, both from the classroom as well as meeting with instructors and students.

In the ensuing years, the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) has moved the NPIRI Summer Course to Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI. Fox Valley has much more of a printing background, which offers attendees an added dimension to the course.

This year’s course was just completed, and was a success, with 44 attendees enjoying an intensive week of expert classroom instruction and hands-on experience in the pressroom. This year’s class came from a wide range of backgrounds, including printing and converting, raw materials suppliers, consumer brand companies and ink manufacturers.

George Fuchs, NAPIM’s director – environmental affairs and technology, said the summer course worked out great, and added that the diversity of attendees is a huge plus for the summer course.

“We are getting a much more varied group of attendees, which works out great, as one of the main benefits of the course is the networking opportunities,” Mr. Fuchs said. “They also add their input from their areas of expertise, which really improves the classes.”

After the course was completed, a few of the attendees offered their thoughts.

Peter Kashulines, R&D process engineer, edible printing Mars Chocolate NA, said he found the course to be excellent.

“I enjoyed the range of presentations. the paper mill tour and the lab demonstrations,” Mr. Kashulines added. “The facilities at Fox Valley for the seminars was top notch. I am recommending it highly to my colleagues. The diversity of attendees allowed for insightful discussions.”

“All in all, this course covered the major areas we have in the printing industry, and I found this to be very beneficial for my continued learning education,” said Rachel Belpedio of Toyo Ink. “The instructors were all very informative, the topics were all relevant, and to be honest, I wish I would have done this course years ago.”

“The presenters at the NPIRI class were very versatile, going from paper suppliers all the way through to press demonstrations,” said Bradley Proper of ALTANA. “The scope of the class has helped to me understand reasons for choosing various resins and pigments that I never considered before.”

“I could sum my experiences and impressions of NAPIM training course in several ways,” said Michael Player of ExxonMobil. “The facilities used to demonstrate the numerous aspects that are critical to the various types of printing techniques, and the media involved was incredibly fascinating.”

Bill Merritt, a development scientist at BASF, noted that he had recently started working in inks after spending more than 20 years in coatings, and the course proved to be beneficial.

“I needed a broad overview of ink technology and usage in today's markets, and that's exactly what I got at the 2012 NPIRI Summer Course,” Mr. Merritt said. “I found each presentation useful, and the speakers intelligent and experienced. This course would be critical for anyone new in the field, and useful for experienced ‘Ink Folk.’ It’s also a great place to make professional connections, and well worth the money and time.”

“I enjoyed the NPIRI Printing Ink Technology Fluid Ink Summer course,” said Deborah Leisey of Clariant. “The most enjoyable part of the training for me was seeing how different process worked like flexo and gravure printing. This was very good training for me.”

Next year’s course will again be held at Fox Valley Technical College on July 14-19, 2013. For more information, contact NAPIM at (732) 855-1525 or visit their website at