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Training 101

In an era of evolving technology, converters are discovering the never-ending need for training. Whether you (or your employees) are first-time students or seasoned professionals, if you're looking for the skills, there is someone out there waiting to teach them. And it's not all chalkboards and tiny desks!

The following are just a few of the many training opportunities available to converters. For specific courses and conference dates, visit or contact the organization directly.

Workshops and Technical Conferences
American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM), West Conshohocken, PA; 610/832-9585;

Association sponsors one- to three-day intensive seminars for several industries, including packaging.

Assn. of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL), Fort Mill, SC; 803/802-7820;

Conferences and workshops are offered throughout the year on a variety of topics dealing with coating, metallizing, and laminating.

Assn. of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA), Cary, NC; 919/233-1210;

Association offers workshops, including in-company nonwovens training courses (presented at client's company) and a three-day intensive course entitled “The ABC's of Nonwovens.”

Chemsultants Intl., Mentor, OH; 440/352-0218;

Company specializing in contract research, laboratory testing, pilot coating, consulting, and training seminars offers courses throughout the year on coating and pressure-sensitive technology.

Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, WI; 920/735-5600;

Technical college hosts flexographic seminars throughout the year on such topics as narrow and wide web press operation, corrugated presses, and basic flexography.

Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), Sewickley, PA; 412/741-6860;

Programs include introductory workshops for newcomers to the industry, prepress workshops on color reproduction, and workshops focusing on offset press training and production operations.

Inst. of Packaging (IOP), Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, U.K.; +44 1664 500055;

Organization sponsors short courses and in-company training. Also offers a diploma in Packaging Technology.

Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC); Albuquerque, NM; 505/856-7188;

Conferences, short courses, on-site education programs (at client's company), and educational manuals.

TAPPI, Atlanta, GA; 800/332-8686;

Organization sponsors conferences throughout the year for the pulp, paper, and converting industries.

Books and Manuals

Flexible Packaging Assn. (FPA); Linthicum, MD;

Selling “affordably priced” technical manuals and other industry publications via Web site.

National Assn. for Printing Leadership (NAPL), Paramus, NJ; 210/634-9600; 800/642-6275;

Organization offers a number of training publications via its Web site, including the “Pocket University Series” and “Benchmarking the Web Pressroom.”

Distance Education/Web-Based Training

Agfa Corp., Wilmington, MA; 978/658-0200;

“Agfa Webinars” are Web-based conferences conducted on-line featuring industry experts discussing new digital technologies as well as non-technical business courses.

Creo, Burnaby, B.C., Canada; 604/451-2700;

Provides Web-based training on some of today's most cutting-edge digital printing technologies. Classroom training also is available.


European Flexographic Technical Assn., +44 (0) 1458 241455;

Provides CD-ROM courses delivered in modules of about 30 minutes, each on a separate CD. Includes module summary, short quiz, and an easy-to-use glossary. Also offers several flexography training courses throughout the year.

Flexographic Technical Assn., Ronkonkoma, NY; 631/737-6020;

Interactive training CD-ROMs are available at Titles include “The Exciting World of Flexography,” “Press Characterization,” and “Flexo Print Station Operations and Functionality.” Training publications are available for purchase on the Web site.

Internet Resources for Training


Web site devoted to providing information on the flexo industry includes a section specifically devoted to training.

National Training Information Service;

Australian site offers an extensive database for regional training opportunities in various industries, with an impressive listing, by subject, of training resources for converting.


National Paperbox Assn. (NPA), Alexandria, VA; 703/684-2212;

Association offers several videos on packaging used by a number of schools and for special events.

Colleges and Universities

Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, SC; 704/330-2722;

College is home to the Harper National Flexographic Center located at its Southwest campus. The Harper Center is dedicated to flexography, offering day and night classes, hands-on training, and job placement. Students can work toward certification or an A.S. degree. Scholarships are available.

Clemson Univ., Clemson, SC; 864/656-6897;

B.S. degree in Packaging Science is available. Also sponsors training programs throughout the year including the Winter Intensive Packaging Program and offers Industry Connections, a Web site created and maintained by students and faculty of the Dept. of Graphic Communications providing resources for industry training.

Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA; 714/992-7568;

Printing and Technology Div. offers courses in sheet-fed offset presswork, flexography, and electronic prepress. Certification is available.

Rochester Inst. of Technology, Rochester, NY; 585/475-6631;

University offers undergraduate and graduate program in Packaging Science.

Harper Holds Anilox Roll Seminars in Mexico
CHARLOTTE, NC -- Harper Corp. of America recently hosted international training seminars in Mexico. The complimentary seminars are designed to provide printers with advice on the care and maintenance of the anilox roll in the flexographic process.

Harper reports the one-day seminars, offered in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey, were attended by more than 100 flexographers and co-suppliers. Visit Harper on the web at

NEW Rollem InsigniaX3 machine cutting 30mil thick laminated materials

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