A tour of The M&R Companies facility in Roselle, Illinois, capped off three days of networking, innovation and education at FP3: Functional Printing, Process and Products (June 4–6, Itasca, Illinois), a new conference from the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA). M&R was FP3’s Diamond Sponsor, and 135 attendees were on hand for the event.
“The launch of FP3 reflects SGIA’s efforts to improve and foster knowledge in the industrial printing field,” said SGIA Chairman Ed Cook, ECI Screen Print. “But it’s more than that. This is one of three new conferences SGIA has launched in 2018. We’re making positive investments in the printing industry, opening lines of communication and laying groundwork for members to achieve new levels of success.”
The tour of The M&R Companies was the high point of the conference, said Joyia Marshall, Community Development Manager, SGIA.
“M&R really rolled out the red carpet for FP3, showing their production process from the point where raw materials come in the door all the way through quality assurance and shipping,” Marshall said. “Our attendees enjoyed the opportunity to learn from an industry leader.”
The conference featured a lineup of innovative speakers, including keynoter David M. Hogue, Ph.D. Hogue is a UX design leader, product strategist and applied psychologist who uses design, research and psychology to deepen insight into user behavior, guide product strategy and service design systems and solve challenging UX problems. He’s currently with Google, working on the Android ecosystem.
“FP3 was a very informative conference as well as an atmosphere that allowed more openness to networking. The conference not only covered trends in the functional printing industry but also trends on how to hire, retain and create good teams for your workplace. It also covered new marketing trends and how to establish them,” said attendee Aaron Maldonado, Technician, The Boeing Company.
Sessions fell into three primary subject areas — business, printed electronics and industrial printing. Highlights included “Additive Manufacturing — Driving a New Wave of Design Freedom for Electronics,” from Tim Fahey, Nexus Consulting LLC, which examined the drivers for additive manufacturing for electronic devices and assemblies. “Collaboration Leads to Innovation” addressed the multi-company collaboration that enabled the manufacturing of the Ralph Lauren heated parka the US Winter Olympics athletes wore in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
And, just as important, closing keynote speaker Shawn Kent Hayashi discussed creating a culture of innovation — a critical component of any company that wants to flourish in the industrial printing arena.
“In my more than 30 years in industrial printing, I’ve watched as each passing year has brought developments and materials advancing the industry in ways I never would have dreamed of,” Cook added. “Screen printing and digital printing are growing our industry and stretching its boundaries. FP3 is about pushing those boundaries even farther.”
It wasn’t only the speakers who communicated about innovation, however. Sponsors showed off some of their best ideas in the Sponsor Showcase.
“Many attend conferences and symposiums in an effort to enhance existing revenue streams. The FP3 conference certainly provided value from that perspective. However, the return on my investment from this conference was the knowledge that I gained by better understanding innovative industrial technologies that I was not aware of. That’s learning!” said attendee Chris Eckhart, President, Eckhart & Co. Inc.
FP3 was supported by 18 sponsors: The M&R Companies (Diamond Sponsor), Elantas, Fujifilm, Memcon, Norcote International, Proell Inc. (Platinum Sponsors), Engineered Materials Systems Inc., Fimor North America, Kiwo Inc., Natgraph Ltd., Nazdar, NBC Meshtec Americas Inc., Nicomatic North America, Polymershapes, RH Solutions LLC, SAATI, Sakurai USA Inc. and Schilling Graphics (Supporting Sponsors).