Where do we learn more?
What do you think?
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By Sophie Matthews-Paul
17 May 2012
Learning more about our industry can be hugely beneficial, and very interesting
All this digital technology can be baffling, depending on our interest and the amount of knowledge generated as processes have progressed through the years. Experience in running printing machines is one thing, but finding out more about what makes the whole process tick from start to finish is something which might seem harder to achieve or, indeed, to quantify.
But my inborn curiosity is endless (even as a child I would take apart clocks and vacuum cleaners because I wanted to know how they worked) and, in the ink-jet arena, there are infinite elements I want to learn about. Some of these might be basic, such as the best way to calibrate a computer screen, while others are necessarily more complex. The great thing now is that there's a choice of level into which people can dive for more detail. Technology needn’t be scary and surely it's a good idea to know what you’re working with in terms of how your printing machines and software tick.
The internet has become an established resource for digging out bits of information. But sometimes it's not so easy to differentiate biased market speak from impartial detail. To make it more difficult, sometimes the latter involves complex papers and unfathomable charts as scientists and developers have made available data primarily for their counterparts and not for the Man on the Clapham Omnibus. So where can we go to learn more?
There are surprisingly few external resources for learning about digital technology and its ins and outs. Today we can find courses that cover vast swathes of information and, although manufacturers in our sector are eager and happy to train their customers, for those wanting a more unbiased approach to learning there's the need for specialist courses that are levelled at the various different calibre of user who wants to know more.
Enter IMI Europe whose conferences and courses have been running for several years with topics that cater for pretty much every level of knowledge requirement. I’m already booked into the Ink Jet Printing Summer School 2012 which takes place in Antwerp during June. There are some good topics. Anyone getting up close and personal to a wide-format digital printing machine will surely benefit from signing up to the 'Theory of Ink Jet Technology'. The ever curious, like me, are certain to glean valuable information from 'Colour and Colour Management' and those with more advanced requirements can also find out in depth more about UV-curable chemistry and its applications.
Part of what makes life interesting is the ability to continue to learn. In our industry it's good to know that the path to greater knowledge has been simplified and made available to everyone.
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