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Meet the team Monday: David Smith and Cris Apley, FTA Forum 2016 Speakers

FTA Forum and Info*Flex is next week!

Cyber Graphics will be exhibiting at Info*Flex (Booth #414), but you'll also see us participating in two sessions at the Forum this year.

Cyber Graphics is proud to support Cris Apley (Business Development Manager) and David Smith (Manufacturing Projects Manager) as they participate in two exciting FTA sessions this year! David will be leading the Game Changing Technologies in Platemaking & Media portion of the 2016 Flexo Game Changers session, and Cris is participating in the Direct Engraving: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow session. Before they head up to Fort Worth, we wanted to make sure you have a chance to hear about their plans for the forum this year.

Tell me about your role at Cyber.
CA: I’m the Business Development Manager at the Neenah branch of Cyber Graphics. I manage the facility, where we do direct laser engraving of round and flat elastomer componds as well as processing of photopolymer plates. I also support our customers in the Fox River Valley area. I’ve been with Cyber for two years, but I’ve been working with flexo for thirty years!
DS: I’m Cyber’s Manufacturing Projects Manager, which means that I manage technology projects relating to new plate technologies and equipment. This includes flat top dots, HD imaging, and laser engraving. I also manage our Engineering Co Op Program and am the direct mentor of the Manufacturing Co Op, who gets into process engineering in our manufacturing space. I’ve been at Cyber for almost six years.

What's your favorite part of your job?
CA: It’s hard to choose. I like dealing with customers. I find helping them solve their problems is rewarding but sometimes working on production floor is nice.
DS: I love that I get to see new technologies as they emerge. I enjoy working with our suppliers, giving feedback on the up and coming tech, and so much more. I guess you could say that I enjoy that my days are never the same and that I’m always working on different things. There’s always something new to investigate both in our company and in the industry, so I enjoy that adventure.

Tell me about your plans for FTA.
CA: There’s a recently developed group of direct laser engravers (something that the FTA has never had before) and I’m a member of the group that acts as the “voice” for direct laser engraving. It’s very similar to the group of photopolymer folks. We’re aiming to make direct engraving more prominent because its capabilities and the improvements that have been made over the years are truly valuable. At FTA's Annual Forum we’re aiming to introduce everyone to direct engraving and then follow up with an open discussion/question-and-answer session that will help to further acclimate people. Each person participating has five minutes to focus on their history and where they think direct laser engraving is going. I look forward to representing Cyber Graphics, our customers and this segment of our industry.
DS: I’m no stranger to FTA- I went to a few forums while I was a grad student at Clemson and even competed in the Phoenix Challenge. I’ve attended FTA many times outside of that, but this is the first time I’m presenting, and I’m really excited. My presentation is going to be within a session that focuses on “game changing” technologies in flexo. The session will be split among several speakers- one for platemaking (me), and then one for each type of printing, like wide web, narrow web, and corrugated. We’ll each be sharing some of the revolutionary technologies we’ve seen over the past five or six years. It’s really a big celebration of the advances we’ve seen in the industry and where we’re going next. We want to make sure people at the forum are aware of these technologies and understand the benefits they can offer.

Give me a quick run down of your presentation.
CA: Throughout the years, we’ve seen steady improvements of engraved media. Everything from the quality of surface finishes to consistency of final product has increased. Direct engraving is unique because it can meet practically every printers needs, no matter how specialized it is. The advantages are numerous- without spoiling anything, I can say with confidence that in the future, direct laser engraving will be attractive to all printers, not just for continuous print.
DS: My presentation will specifically focus on polymer platemaking. Cyber has had the opportunity to work with many emerging technologies, both before they came to market and as new adopters. We’ve tested a lot of different plates and equipment, and I’ll be heavily drawing from our experiences here to talk about what the most game changing technologies are and how they make a difference for the end customer, the printer, or the trade shop.

Give me a fun fact about yourself.
CA: I have no fun at all. There is no fun. [laughs]
DS: I love music! I was a member of Clemson’s a cappella group, Tigeroar, and am now one of the worship leaders at my church.

How do you take your coffee in the morning?
Both: Black.

Cyber Graphics is no stranger to the FTA forum. Over the years, many of our employees have participated in sessions, Info*Flex, Phoenix Challenge, and more. This year, David and Cris will be joined by Kevin Bourquin, Rick Parker, Craig Hatfield, and Jim Koppes. Be sure to stop by booth #414, and to see David on Monday at 8:00am and Cris on Tuesday at 10:30am.

Posted by Nicholas Barron at 10:01 AM