2019 NPIRI summer course brings insights to attendees

July 25, 2019

Paste and liquid ink modules held at Clemson’s Sonoco Institute provide attendees with classroom learning and hands on experience.

Printing ink experts gather at the Sonoco Institute

Attendees and instructors for the Liquid Ink module at the 2019 NPIRI Summer Course. (Source: NAPIM)

For more than 60 years, the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) has held its annual National Printing Ink Research Institute (NPIRI) Summer Course. In 2017, the summer course moved to the Sonoco Institute at Clemson University; the 2019 edition of the NPIRI Summer Course was completed recently.

The course is taught over five days, with the first half dedicated to paste inks and the second half covering liquid inks.

Courses offer comprehensive training in a range of area, including inks, raw materials, equipment and printing. The courses are designed to benefit people new to the industry as well as longstanding industry employees.

In addition to a wide range of testing equipment, the Sonoco Institute has flexo, offset, and digital presses, which allows attendees to formulate and test inks and run the inks on presses.

George Fuchs, director, regulatory affairs and technology for NAPIM, said he felt the 2019 summer course went very well.

“The feedback is very positive,” added Fuchs. “The people who attend our course are there to learn about ink formulations. No one is looking to leave early. Clemson’s campus is really nice, the facilities at the Sonoco Institute are really fantastic with flexo, digital and offset capabilities, and the faculty is great.”

Attendees also noted that they benefited from the course.

“I felt the course was very well organized and obviously packed with information,” Dr. Don Herr, R&D manager – core technologies, Sartomer Americas, noted. “Others at Sartomer have attended in the past, and we will continue to send new staff who get involved in our graphics arts program.”

“I would like to thank you and the NPIRI team for organizing this fantastic summer course. Both the lectures and the demo are very helpful for me, plus the summer course provided a good platform for networking,” added Dr. Xiangtao Meng, principal product development chemist, Applied Research & Technology, Inks Americas, Coating Additives/Resource Efficiency at Evonik.

“I really enjoyed the class, and thought it was very insightful and very well laid out,” added Frank Palazzolo, printer technical services, Sappi North America.

One of the keys to the success of the NPIRI Summer Course program is its faculty, which is practically a Who’s Who of the ink industry technical experts over the years.

In addition to Fuchs, this year’s instructors included Jo Ann Arceneaux of Allnex, David Aynessazian of Kustom Group, Cat Bromels of Clemson, Douglas Bugner of Kodak, Brian Chwierut of Sun Chemical, Bobby Congdon of Clemson, Charles Douglas of Lubrizol, John Foster of Cabot Corporation, Brad Gasque of DuPont Cyrel, Charlie Hsu of BASF, Borpit Intawiwat of INX, Dean and Dakota Kershaw of Kershaw Instrumentation, Jim Niemiec of Verso Corporation, Mike Oberski of BASF, Liam O’Hara of Clemson, Frank Pannell of Prisco, Pat Rose of Clemson, Ian Ruff of Clemson, Paul Sopkin of IGT Testing Systems, Dave Tappa of BASF, Shaun Teufler of Harper Scientific,  and Les Watkins.

Watkins said that he enjoys holding his classes on “Lithographic Print Process” and “Forumulating Litho Inks & Vehicles,” the latter of which he taught along with Aynessazian.

“Every year the attendees vary in terms of their backgrounds,” Watkins said. “Some years it is more sales and marketing personnel rather than technical personnel. This year the bias was strongly technical and this presents a challenge to the instructors.

“As a result, we have focused in the past few years on starting the course with an overview that defines where printing ink fits into our modern society,” added Watkins. “To this end, the first session is neither technical nor marketing, but rather provides a framework for the rest of the course. We start with some basic history of ink, but then challenge the attendees to understand how vital printing ink  is to everything that occurs in their lives by asking “what would the world be without ink?

“This start, which leads to the technical aspects of the industry (I believe) helps to provide context for everything that follows in the course,” he concluded. “Certainly, the student response to this approach in terms of questions and interest appears to be strongly in favor. The message is: ink should be invisible to the end user – but you cannot live without it.”

For more information on the Summer Course, please visit or contact Fuchs at 770-209-7291.

Source: David Savastano, Ink World

Related Posts

Sonoco Institute Events