PPC Boot Camp Educates Industry Freshmen

SPRINGFIELD, MA | The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) held its Folding Carton Boot Camp (http://paperbox.org/bootcamp) on May 23–24, 2017, educating a group of industry newcomers on the entire folding carton converting process. Among other insights, students received an introduction to the inks used for package printing. 

Beau Snider, director of corporate technical services at Wikoff Color Corporation, taught students how inks are made and then explained the difference between process and spot color inks.

Since inks can be manufactured for various purposes, Snider recommended that paperboard packaging manufacturers carefully consider the design at hand when choosing their inks. He covered several common issues that carton converters should keep in mind. For example, oil-based inks take about three days to dry completely. Although coatings can allow for quicker use, this drying time must be taken into consideration. Another important factor is tack, or the stickiness of ink. When wet trapping multiple inks, the tackier ink must applied first. Otherwise, the inks will not adhere to one another. Coatings can also be a potential complication, as the same ink can look very different depending on the coating used. Other considerations include viscosity, color strength, transparency, fade resistance, coatability, and scratch resistance.

“Choosing inks isn’t as simple as it might seem,” Snider said. “But if converters gather all of the facts, understand their own design objectives, and rely on their ink supplier where necessary, they will choose the best ink and coating combination for the best folding cartons.”

“Inks 101” was just one of many technical presentations offered at Folding Carton Boot Camp. Other topics included papermaking, recycling, sheeting, prepress and color management, traditional and digital printing, die-cutting, folding and gluing, widowing, and rigid box production.

The next Folding Carton Boot Camp will take place December 12-13, 2017, and is open to both PPC members and non-members.

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