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Raising the Standard: Best Practices in Flexographic Printing

By AICC Staff

July 30, 2018


Attendees produce a perfect print with tools and practices taught in the Best Practices in Flexographic Printing course.

In May, AICC held its Best Practices in Flexographic Printing seminar. So, you might be wondering what happens when 25 men and women gather in a classroom and on a machine to learn about flexographic printing. This is AICC’s third year offering this customized class for members. The course, taught at Clemson University’s Printcon facility, gives attendees the opportunity to learn in the classroom and on the machine. This course breaks down into special class sessions, with six to eight people giving each group their own time on the machine, and time to create procedures and processes that they can take back and implement immediately when they return to their respective plants.


Working in small groups, attendees test their new skills on machines and learn the best way to run a press.

This course helps production personnel develop skills that raise the standards of flexographic printing. With lessons on pressmanship, inks, anilox rolls, print plates, cutting dies, color management, machine adjustment, press setup, fingerprinting, and print evaluation, it’s clear that attendees learn a great deal during this two-day course.

Always impressive is the level of dedication and interest this group brings, class after class. And while the interest may vary with each person coming with their own expectations of what they want to learn, it always comes down to one thing: They want to find ways to create the best print job possible for their company. Each class brings attendees from all levels on the production floor, from press operators to production managers, and not one person ever leaves without noting how valuable this course is to their company.

Kern Cox, lecturer at Clemson, gives them the tools, and Scott Ellis of Working Well helps them put what they have learned into standard operating procedures (SOPs) that they can then apply when they get back, and can use to educate their teammates on what was learned.

By understanding all of the components of printing, they are able to treat print jobs with a lighter hand, more science, and less guesswork.


Kern Cox instructs attendees on proper flexo setup.

It will also come as no surprise that, often, developing targets, measuring, and adjusting all create almost a different language that wakes attendees up and shows them the why and how behind the process. They get on the machine to practice these new processes, test the changes, and learn the right way to run a press. Then they create an SOP that will work on their machines back home.

Flexographic Printing: Raising the Standard will be offered again January 23–24, 2019. To learn more about how to get involved in AICC educational offerings, visit

TarynTaryn Pyle is director of education and leadership development at AICC. She can be reached at 703-836-2422 or

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