NPIRI Conference Review

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 10.24.05

This year's NPIRI Technical Conference blended technology and manufacturing perspectives.

Michael Gerkin Sr., left, president of the Kustom Group, and Saul Edlein, former director of R&D at Wikoff Color, received NAPIM’s Technical Associate Member Service Award and Technical Achievement Award, respectively.
The worlds of R&D and manufacturing are very much intertwined. While R&D creates new possibilities, production ultimately manufacturers these products.

This year, the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) combined the National Printing Ink Research Institute’s (NPIRI) 48th Annual Technical Conference with NAPIM’s manufacturing Symposium, with an eye toward exploring synergies between the two disciplines. In addition, NAPIM held the conference at Pheasant Run Resort & Spa in St. Charles, IL, less than an hour outside of Chicago and close to a large number of ink companies.

The results were successful, as the NPIRI Technical Conference drew more than 270 attendees to discuss new developments.

First Day
The conference opened Oct. 13 with a trio of short courses. These included “Inkjet – Wide Format,” conducted by James Balcerski of Sartomer, Paul Edwards of Jetrion and Walt Taplin of Ciba, which covered trends and developments in wide format ink jet printing. “Nanotechnology,” led by Ray Fernando, Cal Poly, Harry Way of Netzsch and Phillip Jones of Imerys, examined several approaches to nanotechnolgy. “Optimization of Pigment Dispersion,” led by Gene Franklin of BYK-Chemie; Kurt Scott of Sun Chemical, Mike Hackett of Flint Ink, Mike Loncar of INX International Ink and James Goodrich of Sartomer, provided an in-depth discussion of the theoretical concepts necessary to understand rheology and pigment dispersion and applications of these concepts.

Joining Michael Gerkin Sr. of Kustom Group, fifth from left, and Saul Edlein of Wikoff Color, sixth from left, this year’s recipients of the Technical Associate Member Service Award and Technical Achievement Award (TAA), respectively, were past TAA recipients, from left, Bob Peters of Kohl & Madden, Sal Moscuzza of Superior Printing Ink, Larry Lepore of US Ink, Lisa Hahn of Flexo Tech, Mr. Gerkin, Mr. Edlein, Dr. Rich Podhajny of Colorcon, Byron Hahn of Braden Sutphin Ink and Joseph Cichon of INX International Ink Co.

After lunch, the opening session featured three speakers: Margaret Motamed of EFI, who spoke on “Supply Chain Integration in the Graphic Arts,” focusing on JDF; Daniel Gomota of Motorola, whose topic was “Printing Electronic Products with Electronically Functional Inks,” who detailed the recent advances in materials science that have led to the development of a novel class of electrically functional inks, from which several printing industry executives have predicted that large revenue streams will be captured with the introduction of printed electronic products in the marketplace; and Martha Marrapese of Keller & Heckman, who discussed “The Regulation of Food Packaging Materials: What Every Small and Medium-sized Ink Manufacturer Needs to Know.”

They were followed by James Taylor of Johnson Polymer, who presented “Factors that Control the Wet Property Development of Waterborne Inks,” the first place winner of the NPIRI Lecture Competition sponsored by Lawter International. Richard Czarnecki of Sun Chemical earned second place for “Measurement of Relative Ammonia Levels in Flexible Packaging,” while Dr. Klaus-Christian Ullman of Merck KGaA received third place honors for “New Pearlescent Special Effect Pigments for Security Printing.”

Second Day
On Oct. 14, the conference offered three concurrent sessions. On the fluid ink side, moderated by Holly Anderson of Rohm & Haas, featured five presentations. The first, “Shrink Sleeve” by Rob Strickland of LabelFlex and Roger Brown of Plastic Suppliers, focused on the growth and advantages of shrink sleeves. The second, “New Barrier Films for Food Packaging,” by Sherman Rounsville of Mitsubishi Plastics, discussed how shelf stable foods in flexible pouches are finding their way into American supermarkets following trends started in Japan and Europe. While most of these are aluminum foil-based laminations, there is a growing need for clear, non-foil laminations for product presentation and microwave convenience. “Rheological Measurement of Fluid Ink” by Patrick Sneary of Flint Ink, focused on the significant benefits for understanding ink performance to be achieved through the use of improved rheological measurement as compared to the use of the E-Flux cup. “Ink and Laminating Adhesives Interactions: The Good, the Bad and the Not So Good” by Larry Jopko of Rohm & Haas, focused on the reactions and interactions that take place between the adhesive and the inks. “Titanate & Zirconate Adhesion Promoters in Printing Ink Applications,” by Jerry St. Clair of DuPont, discussed the importance of adhesion promoters in many printing ink applications.

Ink Systems was represented by, from left, Carl Hirsch, Mike Houtsager, Jim Shields, Pete Notti and Masood Solaimani. On hand for Color Resolutions International were, from left, John Edelbrock, Wally Whalen and James Ford.

“The session went very well,” Ms. Anderson said. “We addressed growing markets such as shrink sleeves and retort, and there was a lot of interest.”

The paste ink session, moderated by Bob Chase of Kramer Ink, featured a panel on Paste Inks and Plastic Substrates, led by Ros Waldo of Surface Specialties, Jim Volz, Kustom Group, Greg Kestler of GPA and Dave Dorgan, which focused on current issues related to energy curable, paste inks and plastic substrates.

The panel was followed by “Stochastic Screening, The Reality vs. The Ideal,” an overview presented by Dave Maestas of KPG; and “Nanotechnology; A New Way of Looking at Paper Coating Pigments”, presented by Dr. Tony Lyons and Mr. Jones of Imerys, examined how nanotechnology is being used in paper coatings and how this influences optics, coverage and ink lay.

The manufacturing session was moderated by Craig Tompkins of Sun Chemical, and began with “Particle Sizing for the Printing Ink Industry,” by Dr. Mike Pohl, Horiba, discussing the new laser methods from both ASTM and ISO. “Dispersion Processing of Nanoparticles,” by Rick Kierstead of Dispersion Services, discussed how dispersion is accomplished using the bead mill as the central process component. “Aspects of Producing Nano Dispersions by Top Down Approach,” presented by Kerstin Grosse of Buhler, discussed how nanotechnology is rapidly gaining significant importance in a variety of industries, and focused on the “top down” approach to the production of nano dispersions – scattering and stabilization of solid particles suspended in a liquid formulation.

Flint Ink was represented by, from left, Dr. InHwan Oh, Rodney Balmer, Dennis Cavner, Dr. Joseph Raksis, Diane Parisi and Mike Hackett. On hand for INX International Ink Co. were, from left, Russ Szadowski, Rick Clendenning, Al Baird, and Joe Cichon.

“Choosing the Right Grinding Media,” by Daniyel Firestone of Norstone, covered the various aspects of grinding media that need to be considered. The session closed with “Gauge Repeatability & Reproducibility,” by Jeff Gilbert of Flint Ink, which focused on measurement and the measurement process.

“I thought it went very well,” Mr. Tompkins said. “It was a great idea to put this together because it offered the opportunity for our technical people to sit in, and as a result, there was a lot of crossover. The speakers were very good, and they worked hard to put together a cohesive group that fit well with each other.”

After the afternoon golf tournament and the Chicago River architectural cruise, the annual banquet was held, highlighted by a presentation Dr. Richard Podhajny of Colorcon, last year’s Technical Achievement Award (TA) recipient, who discussed the need to hire the best talent and provide the necessary resources to create revolutionary products.

His talk was followed by the presentation of the Carroll Scientific honorariums for the top three poster boards, which were presented to Dr. InHwan Oh of Flint Ink, Theresa Ruehle and Mr. Taylor of Johnson Polymer and Dr. Ullman of Merck KGaA.

Carroll Scientific’s Steve Okunevich, right, presented the Carroll Scientific honorariums for the top poster boards to, from left, Dr. InHwan Oh of Flint Ink, Dr. Klaus-Christian Ullman of Merck KGaA, and Theresa Ruehle and James Taylor of Johnson Polymer.

This was followed by the Technical Associate Member (TAM) Service Award and the TAA. Michael Gerkin Sr., president of the Kustom Group, received the TAM Award, while Saul Edlein, former R&D director of Wikoff Color, received the TAA.

“I want to thank the board for this prestigious award,” Mr. Edlein said. “I’ll always treasure this.”

Third Day
The closing session, moderated by Rod Balmer of Flint Ink, featured a joint research and manufacturing session led off by Ron Zager of Chemsultants,whose topic was “Concepts for Designing a Successful Product.” He was followed by the closing presentations by Dr. Joseph Raksis of Flint Ink, Al Baird of INX International Ink Company and Tom Butera and Jeff Jones of Sun Chemical, whose talks centered on “Creating a Smooth Transition from the Lab to the Shop Floor.”

Participating in the manufacturing session were Kerstin Grosse of Buhler, Jeff Gilbert of Flint Ink, moderator Craig Tompkins of Sun Chemical, Rick Kierstead of Dispersion Services, Daniyel Firestone of Norstone, and Dr. Mike Pohl of Horiba. Participating in the fluid ink session were Patrick Sneary of Flint Ink, Larry Jopko of Rohm & Haas, Sherman Rounsville of Mitsubishi Plastics, Rob Strickland of LabelFlex, Roger Brown of Plastic Suppliers and Jerry St. Clair of DuPont.

Conference organizers were happy with the turnout and the presentations.

Participating in the closing session were moderator Rodney Balmer of Flint Ink, Tom Butera of Sun Chemical, Jeff Jones of Sun Chemical, Al Baird of INX International and Dr. Joseph Raksis of Flint Ink.

“Based on the feedback we received, people were very satisfied with the technical content,” said Jeannette Truncellito, Sun Chemical’s director of packaging ink development and NPIRI conference chair. “I was very pleased with our attendance. It worked out very well having our manufacturing symposium here.”

“The conference went very well,” said James Coleman, NAPIM’s executive director. “Combining manufacturing and technical worked out very well, and Chicago offers us a to o flexibility, as people can come in for a day.”

Next year’s NPIRI Technical Conference will be held at the Alexis Park Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, NV from Oct. 19-21. For more information, contact NAPIM at (732) 855-1525 or its web site at ww.napim.org.


Jack Baarends of Lawter International presented the NPIRI Lecture Competition awards to, left, James Taylor of Johnson Polymer, who received the first-place honorarium; Richard Czarnecki of Sun Chemical, below, who earned second place, and to Dr. Klaus-Christian Ullman of Merck KGaA, right, who received third place honors.

Shichiu Kwan and Joon Choo of Shamrock Technologies. Craig Baudendistel and Sel Avci of Elementis Specialties.
Jack Baarends, Chris Halvorsen and Guy Trerotola of Lawter International. Apollo Colors’ Matt McClure, Bhupi Patel, Mike Hulbert, Mohit Kadakia and Dave Klebine.

Evan Weissglass of Magruder Color, Lisa Hahn of Flexo Tech, Dave Peterson of Eiger Machinery and Chuck Rybny of Penn Color. Johnson Polymer’s Rick Krause, Dave Tappa, Jim Taylor, Steve Fischer and Rich Grandke.
Jim Boyajean and Dean Kershaw of Kershaw Instrumentation. Bill Teto of Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Chris Verillo of Var-Chem Products, George Varughese of Superior Printing Ink, Joe Mele of Var-Chem Products and Rick Kistler of Ciba Specialty Chemicals.