An Interview with Paul Cousineau, TAGA President
Below is an interview with Paul Cousineau, TAGA President. In this Q&A session, Paul explains the hidden benefits of the 65th Annual Technical Conference, what to expect of this year’s keynote presentations, and much more.
Q: What level of understanding of the industry’s technological developments is required to benefit from the 65th Annual Technical Conference?
A: The TAGA Conference content appeals to a broad base of academics, technologists, manufacturers, and managers of technology. Some level of understanding of graphics and related industries is helpful, but I never fail to be amazed at the nuggets of information I walk away with every year at this conference—topics I don’t know enough about or should know more about, several of which ultimately benefit my company. The great thing about the conference is the experts are present and attendees are encouraged to network and have discussions with the speakers.
Q: A new addition to the conference this year is the addition of Technical Innovation Papers to the Scientific Papers. What can we look forward to from the addition of the Technical Innovation Papers?
A: Technical Innovation papers were added as a category by the TAGA Board to recognize unique applications and integrations of existing technologies that in and of themselves are innovative. It provides a forum for going beyond research or the invention of technologies to provide a forum for how technology can be applied and successful in a manufacturing setting.
Q: One of the major agenda topics of this year’s conference is inkjet technology. What are some of the exciting applications and changes in the inkjet industry?
A: There is a lot of activity and investment in inkjet technologies and consumables. Between workflows, print engines, and finishing, it was clear at DRUPA 2012 this process has the potential to become the next “major” printing process. The most exciting is the bumper crop of new ways to integrate these devices into manufacturing systems capable of producing a wide variety of products. Several inkjet technology leaders will be present at this year’s TAGA—come meet them, ask questions.
Q: How will understanding the new developments in technology impact an attendee’s day-to-day work performance?
A: Two words: understanding and networking.
Understanding. Each attendee has a different experience at the conference. They can participate as much or as little as they want. But it is the only conference I attend that has near full participation in every session. The content is that compelling—it leads to better understanding of what is behind the processes we use, and it helps the attendee to identify ways to apply this knowledge in their work careers.
Networking. Meet the experts, talk with them, engage them. Attendees can learn from others and take advantage of the informal sessions at the conference—there are several opportunities to network. In addition to experts from industry, TAGA has the highest concentration of professors, academics, and undergraduate and graduate students from top universities and colleges worldwide all in one event. The great part of establishing a relationship is the attendees build a network of experts they can tap throughout the year.
Q: What can you tell us about this year’s keynote speaker Lineup? (Bill Ray, Heidelberg and Fritz Bircher, Printing Competence Center, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)
A: The keynote speakers are the leaders in their fields. TAGA stretches the boundaries of what is related to graphics, so you never know what to expect, whether it’s a discussion of synthetic photography or inkjet imaging of skin cells in a medical application. We have exciting keynotes this year, and the topics will span from looking at the technology horizon for printed electronics to the latest developments in inkjet technologies.
Q: This conference is now in its 65th year. What is TAGA’s role in technical innovation, and what technology do you think has revolutionized the industry?
A: TAGA’s role in technology innovation is in bringing about the forum and rigor to apply scientific methods to development of new ideas. If you go back in time, the seminal work to define new technologies in our industry started with TAGA and its members. This said, I think the technology that has influenced the industry the most is the micro-processor. This was an enabler to do more calculations than was previously possible and led to the development of the sophisticated process controls we use today to control the quality of the products we produce.
Q: What will attendees ultimately take away from this conference?
A: Attendees will come away from the conference with at least a half dozen new ideas and new contacts that will help them in their work over the next year.
The 65th Annual Technical Conference will be held February 3–6, 2013, in Portland, Oregon. Take this opportunity to explore emerging technology that will determine the industry’s future! Visit taga.org/atc for more information or to register.