WMU News

Printing press dedication sets direction for research

Nov. 2, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Industry representatives and Western Michigan University officials will gather Thursday, Nov. 4, at Welborn Hall on the WMU campus to dedicate a new press that will help WMU's Department of Paper and Printing Science and Engineering focus on one of the fastest growing areas of the print industry

A three-color narrow flexographic press made by COMCO International of Milford, Ohio, will be formally dedicated at 1:15 p.m. in Welborn. Acquisition of the press, valued at $345,000, was made possible by a $270,000 commitment by Flint Ink Corp. of Ann Arbor and an additional $50,000 in support from the Flexographic Technical Association. Currently installed in the University's Printing Pilot Plant in Welborn, the press will eventually become part of the new paper and printing science teaching and research center that will be built on the University's Lee Baker Farm engineering campus.

The dedication ceremony, followed by a demonstration of the equipment, will include participation by WMU President Elson S. Floyd; H. Howard Flint II, chairman and chief executive officer of Flint Ink; Mark Cisternino, vice president of the Flexographic Technical Association; Dr. Joseph Raskis, Flint Ink's senior vice president for research and development; Denny McGee, sales manager of COMCO; Homer C. "Scrap" Cox III, vice president for national sales and marketing for INX International Co. of Elk Grove Village, Ill., and a director of the WMU Foundation; Thomas Joyce, chairperson of WMU's Department of Paper and Printing Science and Engineering; Bud Bender, WMU associate vice president for development; and Dr. John A. Ferguson, executive director of WMU's Paper Technology Foundation.

Flexographic printing is an established technology that has become one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the printing industry. The new WMU press is capable of printing on a wide range of products and is the same type that is currently used in the industry to print film, foil, cartons, beverage label wraps and many health care and pharmaceutical products. Having the press on campus is expected to dramatically enhance the printing program's technical capabilities as well as open the door to a wide range of research projects.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu For additional details on the press' capabilities, contact John Serafano, director of WMU's Printing Pilot Plant, at (616) 387-2808.

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