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Sonoco Institute schedules industry courses, seminars

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Printing and packaging industry professionals will have an opportunity this fall to learn new skills and techniques through seminars and courses at the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University.

Courses include an Introduction to Flexography Workshop, Proofing and Visualization Seminar, Paperboard Packaging Seminar, Corrugated Packaging Seminar, Process Color Management Seminar and Flexo Foundations Seminar. Seminars will blend classroom learning with hands-on experience in a large group setting, while workshops, limited to nine participants per event, provide more intense hands-on learning in a smaller class size, according to a news release. All courses will take place on Clemson University’s campus at the Sonoco Institute’s Harris A. Smith Building.

Hartsville-based Sonoco is a leading global manufacturer of diversified packing materials.

Robert Congdon is assistant director of Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics.

Course participants can get hands-on experience with the flexographic press at the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University. (Photo/Provided)“We're always adapting our courses to keep up with industry trends and needs,” Congdon told GSA Business Report. “For instance, our new Proofing and Visualization Seminar this September will examine recent trends in 3D and virtual reality technology as a means to visualize the final product to the customer before production, as well as making samples and prototypes with complex substrates and inks.”

The new seminar Congdon mentioned will explore the current state of proofing and prototyping capabilities. Seminar speakers include representative from the Kraft Heinz Co., Creative Edge Software, Esko and Epson, according to the release.

“Aside from the general knowledge conveyed with each seminar topic, we leverage our state-of-the-art labs here at the Sonoco Institute to provide a strong hands-on aspect to every course,” Congdon said. “Everyone learns in different ways, and we find that with the printing and packaging topics we cover, a hands-on approach works well and delivers experiential learning that online classes or classroom-only instruction cannot.

“Perhaps just as important are the groups of people these seminars bring together. Attendees not only interact with industry experts, but with fellow attendees from different backgrounds and experiences,” he said.

Another benefit of the institute’s industry courses is the opportunity for students and professionals to interact. This “ultimately produces a higher quality workforce based on industry needs,” Congdon said.

“Our seminars are really just the first line of collaboration with industry,” Congdon said of the institute’s work. “Many of our partners donate equipment, software and time to the institute to allow attendees and students access to the technology. We also serve as a resource for testing and research for these companies, who might come use our facility to test the printability of a new ink or substrate, or iterate through some new packaging prototypes.”

The institute’s schedule is:

Aug. 13-16: Introduction to Flexography Workshop. This class is geared toward individuals in need of a fundamental knowledge of the flexographic printing process. Those new to the industry or needing a refresher in flexographic concepts will benefit from this course.

Sept. 12-13: Proofing and Visualization Seminar. This seminar will explore the current state of proofing and prototyping capabilities.

Oct. 3-4 and Nov. 7-8: Paperboard Packaging and Corrugated Packaging seminars. Participants will experience a comprehensive, hands-on immersion into either paperboard or corrugated packaging technologies.

Nov. 13-15: Process Color Management Seminar. In this seminar participants will gain insights into methods that incorporate current trends and processes for CMYK color reproduction, as well as learn about the workflow of process color printing for flexography, from creative design through press quality process control.

And on Dec. 5-6, participants will experience a comprehensive exploration into the flexographic printing industry. This course is suitable for anyone involved the industry, including sales, customer service, administration, marketing staff and others, according to the release. At the end of this course, participants can take a test to receive FTA FIRST Individual Certification — Level I Certificate of Completion.

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 864-720-1223.

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