BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 37 years December 13, 2021 VOL. 37, NO. 50
Hall Of Famer Mariano Rivera To Keynote At EFI Connect 2022 Fremont, California based Electronics For Imaging, Inc. (EFI) is collab- orating with the Mariano Rivera Foundation to support a substantial printing training program for underserved minority youth. The Foun- dation, led by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, is providing in-depth, hands-on technology training for high-demand graphic arts and imaging technology jobs. EFI is providing financial and
Nashville Box To Invest $3.3M In TN Operation
Lebanon, Tennessee based Nashville Box, LLC reported that it will invest $3.3 million to establish new operations in Wilson County. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Eco- nomic and Community Development Com- missioner Bob Rolfe have confirmed the an- nouncement. According to a press release, “Nashville Box will be utilizing an integrated business and manufacturing approach to service busi- nesses with high volume corrugated pack- aging needs at both a regional and national level.” The corrugated box manufacturer will create 48 new jobs in Lebanon. In recent years, the growth of e-commerce and the Tennessee economy have taken cor- rugated packaging demand to a generational high, and thus, creating a demand surplus. By locating operations just outside of Nashville in Lebanon, Nashville Box will have a strategic advantage to service both Tennessee’s busi- ness growth and many major markets within a day’s drive of Nashville. “Tennessee’s geographic location is a ma- jor advantage when it comes to connecting to customers and suppliers quickly. Nashville
CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
WHAT’S INSIDE 5 Five Lessons Learned For The Post-Pandemic Supply Chain 10 NAM: Mixed Employment News Despite Manufacturing Gains 14 Corrugated Rides E-Commerce Demand To Continued Growth 20 Neuroscience Of Innovation: How Your Brain Limits Creativity
technology training support to the Foundation as it further expands its efforts to provide youth with a path into solid careers. The Foundation’s new graphic arts industry-sponsored activities be- gan earlier this year with a training program in Gainesville, Florida, and will continue its activities through a new Mariano Rivera Foundation center to be built in New Rochelle, New York. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 New York Yankee Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera will make a keynote presentation at EFI Connect 2022, during which he will discuss the drive that led him to becoming MLB’s all-time saves leader, as well as the passion behind his foundation to support underserved youth.
Machinery and Handling for the Corrugated Board Industry
Machinery and Handling for the Corrugated Board Industry
2 December 13, 2021
Nashville Box To Invest (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )
AVERAGE CONTAINERBOARD PRICES The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout the United States the week previous to issue. Prices in some areas of the country may be higher or lower than the tabulated average. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser.
Box’s decision to locate in Lebanon will help the compa- ny serve its regional market, while creating nearly 50 new jobs in Wilson County. I thank the company for choosing our state and look forward to seeing its success in Tennes- see.” said Gov. Bill Lee. “The Nashville Box team is thrilled to put roots down in the Nashville area,” said Scott Lawrence, President and CEO of Nashville Box. “Like most B2B manufacturing companies, we thrive on the health of our given business environment. The healthy, fast-growing business climate that Governor Lee and Commissioner Rolfe are creating is a driver for Nashville Box to immediately thrive. This provides a secure and exciting start for our 48 plus team members and their families.” According to the company’s website at nashvillebox. com and echoed by Scott Lawrence, “We give customers a competitive advantage by customizing solutions that solve real business problems. Whether it’s a better understand- ing of box performance or seeing gains in palletization utilization, the boxes you buy directly affect your supply chain. We have the industry experience you’re looking for in a packaging supplier. We put people first and provide a service they can rely on. Our team produces custom boxes out of our 100,000+ square-foot facility and serves cus- tomers across the nation. Bring your packaging challeng- es, and we will put our experience and know-how to work.”
REGION E. Coast Midwest Southeast Southwest
42# Kraft liner
26# Semi-Chem. Medium
$1005.00-1010.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1050.00-1060.00 $1023.00-1032.00
Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del.
$940.00-990.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $975.00-995.00 $958.00-978.00
West Coast U.S. Average
SHEET PRICES BY REGION (AVERAGE) Per 1MSF, local delivery included, 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. Sheets
E. Coast Midwest South-SW S. CA N.CA/WA-OR US Aver.
OYSTER UP-CHARGE 8.34
275# DBL-WALL 350# DBL-WALL
116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56
CANADIAN SHEET PRICES (AVERAGE) In Canadian Dollars, per 1MSF, local delivery included, under 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. 200# 275# Oyster UC 275#DW 350#DW $78.56 $99.18 $9.00 $96.32 $105.83 CANADIAN LINERBOARD & MEDIUM The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout Canada. Prices may be higher or lower in various areas of the country. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser. Prices are Canadian $ and per metric ton.
42# Kraft Liner 26#
December 13, 2021
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4 December 13, 2021
Five Lessons Learned For The Post-Pandemic Supply Chain BY DALE YOUNG
The current global trade crisis has highlighted weaknesses within the supply chain and forced the industry to assess,
evolve and often transform their operations to meet the needs of today’s marketplace. Many chang- es are here to stay and should be embraced as the industry plans for the supply chain of the future. David Bowie once said: “To- morrow belongs to those who hear it coming,” meaning we need
to listen to the market to anticipate what will come next. While no one can predict or prevent the next global crisis, we can build stronger, less vulnerable supply chains by learning from past mistakes and adding positive changes into day-to-day operations. Following are five real-world examples that show how shippers are relying on flexibility, investment, and alterna- tive solutions to navigate the current supply chain disrup- tion and why these changes are here to stay. 1. Staying open to new and unconventional ways of doing business: Pandemic-related disruption forced stake- holders throughout the supply chain to look at alternative ports, non-traditional routes, and different processes. Be- ing open to new and unconventional ways of doing busi- ness not only served as a solution to an immediate need, but also underscored the importance of having an open mind about alternatives that could potentially save time and money compared to the traditional routes that have been impacted by congestion and capacity constraints. 2. Broadening networks; expanding connections; deep- ening relationships: Using alternative ports and consider- ing new routes forced shippers to expand outside their comfort zones, making new contacts and building new relationships. Port congestion and capacity issues also highlighted just how important it is for shippers to have a diversified vendor base for all the links in their supply chain (ocean, air, warehousing, and trucking). That way, as roadblocks pop up, they have alternative options and additional capacity they can dip into to keep their freight moving. While sticking with “what has always worked” has its benefits, continuing to build strong connections outside of the traditional process is one way for shippers to build resiliency into their supply chains. 3. Allocating resources to equipment and partnering with asset-based providers: No one wants to pay for as- sets that are underutilized, but the weaknesses of the pre- vious model taught us that without building in contingency equipment, capacity, and warehouse space, your supply chain may not be strong enough to withstand adverse conditions, which can result in huge financial implications.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
December 13, 2021
Five Lessons Learned (CONT’D FROM PAGE 5)
Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month September 2021
The pandemic saw many large retailers buying their own equipment to avoid delays and issues caused by con- tainer and chassis shortages. The demand for additional warehousing space to hold buffer stock and delayed sea- sonal merchandise also increased dramatically. Looking ahead, expect logistical planning to include managing equipment (containers, trailers, etc.) as well as warehousing space, and for shippers to select partners who will invest in equipment and space to meet demand. 4. Increasing inventory levels: While the industry knew the “just-in-time” model was getting too lean and too tight to be sustainable, the realization of its fragility was brought to light in a loud and unmistakable way during the pan- demic. This has resulted in what we now consider the “just-in-case” model, whereby shippers build extra inven- tory into their planning so they have goods on hand when they need them. Increasing inventory levels ensures you have contingency goods available to meet unexpected demand or unexpected delays in your supply chain. The last couple years have shown it is too risky to keep in- ventory levels low . You can no longer assume cargo can quickly be delivered from a distribution center hundreds of miles away. To meet customers’ needs, it is necessary to invest in solutions that allow you to have inventory on hand where and when you need it. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change
Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change
Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)
Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change
Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)
Corrugator Plants Only
Percent Change Weeks of Supply
SOURCE: Fibre Box Association
December 13, 2021
40 ft of paper travel from preheater to hot plates 3 seconds of heat, glue and bonding 1 chance to get it right! the ZONE
Design & Production
Chicago Electric offers 10 technology solutions to control ‘the Zone’ CORRUGATOR Sectoral preheating plate
Our sectoral preheating plates provide direct heat by means of a double steam circuit, allowing for efficient heating in hard-to-access locations, as well as to act as a steam shower to open the paper’s fibre, making it receptive to absorbing the heat and the glue.
This translates into increased speed and improved quality of the cardboard sheet finish.
The system’s main advantages are as follows:
• The plate may only be used to heat, only to humidify, or both options at the same time. • The plate is sectored, which allows for applying humidity to the sections. • It provides temperature in previously inaccessible locations and near the location needed. • It compensates the loss of temperature dissipated due to distance, speed or limitations of the exiting preheaters. • Quick transferring of heat to the paper. • The combination of the hot plate and steam shower allows for providing heat even to the hardest papers to heat. • Does not dry out the paper. • Possibility of operating as a humidifier and pre-conditioner. • Maintains and improves the fibre’s elasticity. • Acts according to the operator’s needs. • Facilitates the paper’s hygroscopy to absorb the glue and improve rubberising.
1. Wrap Arm - Position & Temperature 2. Preheater Direct Drive
3. Steam Plate 4. Contact Roll 5. Glue Machine Direct Drive Touch Productivity Issue—Glue Unit Many glue units run with a rider roll or a guiding bar system. The rider roll with paper gap allows a precise glue application, but requires frequent Contact Roll
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calibrations and settings. Bar systems avoid this, but compensate this with the risk of exces- sive glue application. The system contains many wearing parts. Solution The contact roll combines the ad antage of both systems and ensures minimum contact between board and applicator roll. The system uses small pneumatic cylinders in order to achieve a “soft touch.”
6. Gap Control 7. Curved Plate 8. Roller Shoe Press When it comes to a short-term increas of web tension, spring loaded systems with shoes or airpressure activated system have problems in compensating these. The system is lifted for a short time. This may result in de-lamination and in the ‘double kiss’ effect. Solution For a defined and exact bonding point of the web fiv weight rollers will be installed usually over the first flat hotplate of the heating section. The rolls are mounted into a frame, which is actuated by means of two pneumatic cylinders. P oductivity Issu —Double Kiss Bonding
9. Thin Wall Hot Plates 10. Pressure System Benefits —Exact glue application due to defined contact of applicator roll to web. Web is in contact to less flute tips compared to bar systems. • High precision glue application • Less moisture applied to web —No wear of shoes and springs —No adjustment of shoes or paper gap —Uniform glue application over entire w orking width for all flutes by use of pneumatic cylinders instead of springs — Less contamination by paper dust and glue remains —No jam of board because of web breaks caused by splice joints going through 630-784-0800 Benefits —Rollers secure exact defined first point of contact of liner and single-faced board - No double kiss —Frame design avoids unintended lifting of roller shoe (compared to spring or air loaded systems) - No double kiss —Pressure can be increased or released for special grades or products 490 Tower Blvd., Carol Stream, IL Contact Chicago Electric to GET IT RIGHT 630-784-0800 firstname.lastname@example.org chicagoelectric.com Solution The ProPress system ensures an optimum heat transfer to the board. It offers a wide range of set- tings. The loadi g pressure can be varied, the number of shoes can be lifted in accordance t the line speed. The outer shoes can be lifted in accordance to the paper width. The shoe bars will be delivered pre-assembled for a short installation time. —Liftable for easy paper infeed and for cleaning of the machine —Position adjustable in paper direction to avoid grooves in hotplate Press Productivity Issue—Poor Heat Transfer Rollers are usually limiting the heat transfer, since they often have contact mainly on the edges of the plates due to wear or bent plates. They also cause often loss of caliper and bearing need to be replaced frequently. Airpressure actuated systems can only supply a limited pressure and have com- pared to shoe systems a closed surface. Pressure Shoe
Plate vity Issue—Poor Heat Control l hotplates are slow to react to pressure due to high steam volume and massive y also have high heat radiation and heat profile. Worn plates can damage crease edge crush.
Thin-Wall Hot Plates
t by peripheral drilled hot plates. anufactured out of special wear and nt steel, through which a continuous is drilled, with one inlet and one outlet. ecured by a massive steel frame.
ance from steam to paper surface results in fast heat flow
Corrugated Solutions Launches New Website To Improve User Experience Lake Forest, Illinois based Corrugated Solutions, a U.S. manufacturers’ representative, completed a total refresh of its website at www.corrugatedsolutions.com to im- prove user experience for boxmakers nationwide. As many converters continue to embrace digital technology, Corru- gated Solutions is committed to making capital equipment sales easier, smarter and a better experience for all. The company reps manufacturers opf flexo folder gluers, rotary die cutters, material handling , IIoT, and more. “Engaging the current and next generation of decision- makers has always been a priority at Corrugated Solu- tions,” said Michael Klear, President of Corrugated Solu- tions. “We are a modern company and we needed a site that showcased the value of our team and our solutions partners. With this new site, we hope to elevate our brand, while modernizing the capital equipment sales process through digital mediums - as it should be in the digital age.” The new site features in-depth product pages, videos, e-commerce capabilities and online quote requests. Man- ufacturers and suppliers represented by Corrugated Solu- tions and featured throughout the new site are SUN Auto- mation Group, Latitude Machinery, PARA Srl., Helios IIoT, Highcon, Arco Murray, and C&M Conveyor and Ohio Blow Pipe – now rebranded as Innoveyance.
Five Lessons Learned (CONT’D FROM PAGE 6)
5. Adding more storage space in multiple markets: Sup- porting the strategy of having inventory when and where you need is the movement toward diversified storage solu- tions, including increasing the number of locations, adding multiple new markets, and looking at storage near pop- ulation centers. Having product or merchandise in multi- ple locations builds in more agility and flexibility allowing you to get those goods to your customer more quickly. What’s more, being closer to population centers is almost a requirement in today’s “next day delivery” e-commerce marketplace, which will continue to be a driver for where and when to build warehouses in both the short- and long- term future. The pandemic affected the global supply chain in a va- riety of ways, presenting weaknesses, challenges, oppor- tunities and solutions. Being open to new ways of doing things, building new relationships, adding buffer stock, increasing domestic inventory, and adding more storage space in multiple markets closer to population centers are just a few of the ways today’s modern shippers are suc- cessfully navigating disruptions. While the future of the supply chain remains uncertain, we believe many of these changes are here to stay. Dale Young is Vice President of World Distribution Ser- vices (WDS), a provider of nationwide distribution and lo- gistics solutions. Visit worlds.net for more information.
8 December 13, 2021
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NAM: Mixed Employment News Despite Good Manufacturing Gains Manufacturing employment rose by 31,000 in November, and year to date, hiring in the sector is on track for the best annual job growth since 1994, rising by 315,000 in
from $24.14 in October to $24.24 in November, with a 4.9 percent increase over the past year. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 210,000 in November, which was well below the consensus estimate of around 575,000. That figure comes from the “Estab- lishment Survey” from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The separate “Household Survey” shows employment growth of 1,136,000 for the month, and that stronger figure more accurately depicts the current strength in the labor market. Along those lines, the unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 percent in October to 4.2 percent in November, a post-pandemic low. Despite ongoing challenges, production strengthened in November at the fastest pace since April, buoying the ISMManufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index. The head- line index edged up from 60.8 in October to 61.1 in Novem- ber. Hiring growth was also the strongest since April. The sample comments and the data once again highlighted supply chain disruptions, shortages of key inputs and soaring costs.
the first 11 months, according to Chad Moutray, Ph.D. and Chief Economist at the National Associ- ation of Manufacturers (NAM) Yet, there remained 253,000 fewer manufacturing employees rela- tive to pre-pandemic levels, with 12,799,000 workers in the sector in February 2020.
The average hourly earnings of production and non- supervisory workers in manufacturing rose 0.4 percent
BALEMASTER: 75 YEARS STRONG — 1946 - 2021 —
In the November manufacturing survey from the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, ac- tivity accelerated in most of the key mea- sures. The index for raw material costs rose to another all-time high. Respondents re- mained positive in their outlook for the next six months, and they expected wages and benefits to jump at the fastest pace in the survey’s history. New orders for manufactured goods rose 1.0 percent to a record $522.1 billion in October, increasing for the sixth straight month. Excluding transportation equipment, manufacturing orders increased 1.6 percent in October. Factory shipments increased 2.0 percent in October, or 10.1 percent year to date. Overall, the manufacturing sector contin- ues to expand strongly—despite lingering supply chain, workforce and pricing pres- sures—with new orders soaring 11.5 per- cent year to date. In addition, new orders for core capital goods rose 0.7 percent to $78.7 billion in October, a record high, with 9.9 percent growth year to date. Private manufacturing construction spending edged up 0.3 percent to $78.90 billion in October, the strongest pace since November 2019. Encouragingly, private construction activity in the sector has trend- ed higher since bottoming out at $65.92 billion in December 2020, with 13.2 percent growth year-over-year from $69.71 billion in October 2020. NAM represents 14,000 member com- panies in every industrial sector. For more information, visit www.nam.org.
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10 December 13, 2021
AICC 37th Annual West Coast Golf Tournament A Success
The awards reception gave attendees time to recon- nect with old friends and make new acquaintances. Tour- nament organizer, Pete Kobrak of BW Papersystems, also recognized the year-end retirement of industry veteran Ken Normann of BHS. Save the date for next year’s tournament on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, which will also take place at the Straw-
AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, brought together 64 AICC members for the 37th Annual West Coast Golf Tournament on November 16 at the Strawberry Farms Golf Club in Irvine, California. The team of John Burgess of Pamarco, Jeff Dietz of Kolbus America-Hycorr, Jurgen Gruber of Koenig & Bauer,
and Kyle Milley of Huston Patterson, left to right above, took first place in the tournament, Strawberry Farms was a new golf course for this tour- nament and it offered a challenging and fun location with an 18-hole, par-71 course amid canyons and wetlands.
berry Farms Golf Club. For more information about all up- coming events, visit www.AICCbox.org/Calendar . AICC members prepare to enjoy a round on a beautiful morn- ing at AICC’s 37th Annual West Coast Golf Tournament in CA.
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Corrugated Rides E-Commerce Demand To Continued Growth BY TOM KARST
Corrugated box production reached a record level in the pandemic year 2020, and the outlook for continued moderate growth is still in place. The corrugated box industry shipped 407 billion square-feet of prod- uct in 2020, equivalent to about 39 billion boxes, said Rachel Kenyon, Senior Vice President of the Fibre Box Association. That output was the highest since 1999 and up 3.4 percent from 2019, she said.
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After hitting record levels in the late 1990s, corrugated output dipped substantially in the recession year of 2009 to just 345 billion square feet. Since then, corrugated growth had been on a slow climb through 2019. The extra jolt in 2020 corrugated demand attributed to COVID-19 related e-commerce transactions was real, Kenyon said. “E-commerce has been growing for a while, but not at levels that re- ally impacted the industry until last year,” Kenyon said. When demand jumped, Kenyon said suppliers responded. Shipments jumped to record
levels in March last year, tailed off in April and May, but then increased in June and reached record levels again in September and October, she said. “Our industry really ramped up to meet that need, and we’ve continued to operate at that high level,” she said. The U.S. is a net exporter of fiber from trees for corrugated boxes, so the domestic supply is large, and customers are not
600 + Plants 60,000 Users North America Latin America
dependent on the recently clunky global supply chain. With holiday and e-commerce demand, Kenyon said corrugated shipments are expected strong through the end of the year. “We have the ready supply of fiber here, and not only that, but we also recycled fiber,” she said, noting that an average corrugated box has 52 percent recycled content. With more than 1,100 corrugated produc- tion facilities in the U.S., each plant serves customers in about a 150-mile radius of each plant. In addition, Kenyon said many suppliers have their own truck fleet, which allows them to sidestep the ongoing shortage of trucks and truck
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
December 13, 2021
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With Amtech’s NEW AUTOMATED PERFORMANCE COSTING To Learn More or Schedule a Demo Darren Artillio: email@example.com 215.639.9540 www.amtechsoftware.com/accurate-costing
Corrugated Rides (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)
Commercial locations such as grocery stores have been “wonderful partners” in baling corrugating boxes and sending them back to manufacturers to create new boxes, and Kenyon encouraged the produce industry sup- ply chain to remind consumers to recycle boxes they re- ceive with e-commerce transactions. “The big push for us is to encourage consumers to re- cycle, so if there’s anything produce companies or grocery retailers can to say to consumers, ‘If you get a box in your home, please recycle it in recycling bin’; it’s really import- ant for us to get that fiber back,” Kenyon said. “We need that fiber.” Weyerhaeuser Appoints Graham As President Of Its Canadian Subsidiary Seattle, Washington based Weyerhaeuser Company has announced the appointment of David Graham as Presi- dent of Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, its wholly owned Canadian Subsidiary, effective January 1, 2022. Graham will report to Travis Keatley, Senior Vice President of Tim- berlands, and his appointment follows the planned retire- ment of Fred Dzida, who has served as President of the company’s Canadian subsidiary since 2014 and will stay on through March 2022 to aid in the transition. Graham joined Weyerhaeuser in 1991 as an engineer and has held a variety of senior leadership positions.
drivers. Corrugated packaging is widely recycled, which allows the industry to create new boxes from recycled con- tent. The recovery rate for corrugated material is around 90 percent, she said. For antitrust reasons, Kenyon said FBA does not track prices or the inflation experienced by the corrugated suppliers and customers. Corrugated manufacturers want to make sure regula- tors and lawmakers credit the work the industry has al- ready done to encourage recycling. “An average box has 52 percent recycled content, but we are always looking for improvement,” Kenyon said. Next year, Kenyon said the Fibre Box Association plans to issue its fourth update of the corrugated life cycle as- sessment since the first report was issued in the early 2000s. The document will report metrics such as green- house gas emissions. “We are always looking for continuous improvement and how are our practices are performing,” she said. In addition, the industry is looking at the issue of formally cer- tifying corrugated packaging as compostable. Corrugated dry box packaging is produced from fiber, starch and wa- ter, and will naturally biodegrade. While continuing to encourage all consumers who re- ceive e-commerce boxes to recycle those boxes, Kenyon said the industry is working toward having the corrugated box certified as compostable.
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Mesirow Promotes Yermack To Managing Director
AIR CONVEYING CORPORATION is a recognized leader in the industry of Pneumatic Conveying Systems and has been in business since 1968. As an equipment manufacturer rather than simply a sales organization, we have complete control over the quality of material and products which make up your proposed system. Our equipment is found in Printing, Folding Carton and Corrugated plants throughout the country and the world.
Chicago, Illinois based Mesirow, an independent, employ- ee-owned financial services firm, announced that Mela-
nie Yermack has been promoted to Managing Director within Mesirow Investment Banking, effective im- mediately. Yermack joined Mesirow Investment Banking in 2011. Since joining the firm, she has focused on the packaging sector and in 2017, was named a winner of The M&A
Advisor’s 8th Annual Emerging Leaders Awards in the Dealmaker category. As Managing Director, Yermack will lead advisory teams and build client relationships within the paper, plastics and packaging sectors. Prior to joining Mesirow, she served as a Manager in the Transaction Ser- vices division at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Mesirow Investment Banking has experienced tre- mendous growth over the past years as we continue to provide to new services and sector expertise to our cli- ents,” said Brian Price, President and COO. “Melanie’s well-deserved promotion recognizes her contributions to this ongoing growth and providing exemplary service to the middle market. She will continue in this new role as a key contributor to the success of the business.”
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18 December 13, 2021
The Neuroscience Of Innovation: How Your Brain Limits Creativity BY SUSAN ROBERTSON Several neuroscience principles limit our ability to creative- ly solve problems and generate innovative ideas. Under-
The Perfect Combo Get Peak Performance From Your Equipment with Matched Component Sets
standing some of these principles can help you optimize your creative thinking and innovation processes. 1. While your whole brain is work- ing all the time, there are serious energy constraints. The brain stores no fuel and running on empty de- grades performance significantly.
Thus, it needs frequent breaks from high energy usage. One of the places you experience this brain energy constraint most acutely is during the brainstorming phase. It’s a fast and furious pace of generating ideas, potentially for a long time. Leaders have always known that taking breaks from ideation makes for better results, and this neuroscience principle is obviously why. However, it’s also important to help people understand they actually need to take a brain break, and to have the willpower to do it (instead of checking email or doing other work during the “break”). To help them, plan a little “en- forced fun.” This can be things like group juggling, kid-like games or songs or an impromptu dance session. You’ll notice many of these activities have a physical element. This physicality also helps with restoring some energy for the intensive brain work.
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Another energy-enhancing tip: feed people. A growling stomach is not conducive for maximum output of ideas. Be sure to feed them satisfying food—not just sweets. Offer nuts, cheese, veggies or fruit. Oh, you can offer sweets too—but always make sure there’s some more sustaining fare, as well. 2. The brain naturally limits System 2 thinking. Your brain has two types of thinking: • System 1 (Fast): is the “easy” type of thinking that we use most of the time. It’s intuitive and automatic. So, obviously, it’s also energy-efficient. • System 2 (Slow): is thinking that requires more deliber- CONTINUED ON PAGE 22
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The ARChitects of exo
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Neuroscience Of Innovation (CONT’D FROM PAGE 20)
ation, more focus, more conscious thought, and liter- ally uses more energy. So, we subconsciously avoid it whenever we can. If you avoid (or limit) System 2 thinking when it’s need- ed in your innovation process, you will, at the least, miss out on really good ideas—and at the worst, make some bad judgment calls that you might have avoided if you had effectively used System 2. One of the phases where people frequently try to avoid System 2 thinking is immediately after idea generation, when it’s time to select the best ideas. The brainstorming is usually lots of fun. It’s fast, and our brains are making sub-conscious and intuitive connections. Then comes the time we have to be focused and deliberate to narrow to a manageable set of ideas. Suddenly, it all becomes…a Lot. Less. Fun. Know that your team will try hard to avoid System 2 thinking, and you need to be prepared to counter the ob- jections, and ensure that the needed deliberate thinking will happen. For example, people will say, “It takes too long to review all the ideas. We don’t have time.” or, “Let’s just
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have everyone champion a few ideas instead of reviewing all of them. The ones we remember are probably the best ones anyway.” (Which isn’t true, but that’s another topic.) Another all-too-common scenario -- the team has got- ten together and spent several hours generating ideas. Then, everyone gets five sticky dots to vote for top ideas. Most people will do this in five minutes and immediately dash out the door. They weren’t forced to engage System 2 thinking, so they won’t. Their decisions will rely on Sys- tem 1, with all its concurrent biases, shortcuts, and mistak- en intuition. There will never be the deliberate, conscious, effortful thinking that’s needed at this stage. If this is the typical process in your innovation sessions, you need to make some significant changes. 3. The brain is a “Bayesian inference machine.” Bayes- ian logic is a very specific, formulaic method that provides a disciplined way of combining new evidence with prior models. So, the reference to our brains being a Bayesian inference machine is obviously a metaphor, although a very apt one.
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CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
22 December 13, 2021
Neuroscience Of Innovation (CONT’D FROM PAGE 22)
Remaining vigilant about these neuroscience-based barriers can help you dramatically improve your creative thinking and your innovation processes. Susan Robertson empowers individuals, teams, and orga- nizations to adapt to change by transforming thinking. As an instructor on applied creativity at Harvard, she brings a scientific foundation to enhancing human creativity. To learn more, visit https://susanrobertson.co/ Report: Skills Gap Could Leave 2.1M Jobs Unfilled By 2030 One of the main challenges facing our industry is work- force development and closing the skills gap. A U.S. man- ufacturing skills gap could leave as many as 2.1 million jobs unfilled by 2030, according to a report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. “The manufacturing industry net- ted a loss of 578,000 jobs during the pandemic, a figure that represents nearly six years of gains, and yet, at any given moment, nearly 500,000 jobs have remained open in manufacturing,” according to the report. PMMI U is PMMI’s education initiative that works to de- velop and educate the current workforce as well as sup- port the manufacturing industry’s fight for talent by offer- ing resources to attract and retain the future generation workforce. Visit pmmi.org/workforce for more.
Whenever people are faced with new information, they use it to only slightly refine -- not completely rethink -- their existing models/beliefs/hypotheses. Rarely do we assume new data means our existing beliefs might actually be wrong. Instead, we make only incremental and minimal ad- justments to our existing beliefs; the least possible change in our thinking that will account for the new data. Further, the more experience you have in a subject, the more of these existing assumptions you have about it. You are likely not even aware of all these embedded assump- tions; many of them are so ingrained in your thinking that it wouldn’t occur to you to question them. They are pre- sumed to be fact -- if you even consciously recognize that you have these beliefs. Obviously, to reach truly breakthrough insights and ideas, you must go beyond incremental thinking. To get there, we need to consider the possibility that our view of the world (or the market, or our product category, etc.) might need shaking up. Given that our human tendency is to retain existing mental models, you need to consciously be doing things to help you and your team break out of this natural limitation on new thinking. Our brains are constantly making short cuts, mostly in the interest of conserving energy. As a result, your brain will subconsciously limit your thinking in ways you’re not aware of, unless you consciously and actively manage it.
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Rivera To Keynote (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )
“We are excited to partner with EFI and print industry leaders who believe in equipping the next generation, es- pecially those who are marginalized and have limited ac- cess to resources,” said Rivera. “Together we can change the trajectory of students across the nation, creating op- portunities for a better future.” Rivera will discuss both his career and his work with his Foundation in a special presentation at Connect 2022, EFI’s annual users conference taking place January 17-21 at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. His January 19 keynote session will look at the motivation and drive in a career that led him to becoming MLB’s all-time saves leader, as well as examine the equally strong faith and perseverance guiding his Foundation into its mission. During Connect 2022, several leading print industry media organizations are aiding as co-sponsors in EFI’s fi- nancial support initiative for the Foundation. Connect at- tendees can join the effort by participating in a silent mem- orabilia auction taking place at the conference. Real-World Job Preparation Rivera’s initial vision to offer digital print design and IT vocational training aligns with the purpose of the Founda- tion he co-founded with his wife, Clara, creating a reality where each child is afforded an opportunity to see beyond their circumstances and discover new ways to confidently create a better life. The Foundation’s new print education and mentorship offerings focus on skills needed to prepare young people for careers in the MFP service technician, design and print production fields. Created in 1998, the Foundation provides young people with life skills and educational opportunities that prepare them to succeed in life. The future 40,000-square-foot New Rochelle facility will mark the Foundation’s journey toward a community-centered hub for youth training ef- forts in multiple industries. The Foundation’s activities reflect a longstanding, im- portant calling for Rivera, a Panamanian American pitching legend of the New York Yankees who, upon his 2013 re- tirement as Major League Baseball’s all-time saves lead- er, remarked, “I would love to be remembered as a player who was always there for others.” “The Mariano Rivera Foundation is providing a pathway to attract new, skilled talent sorely needed in the print and imaging industry with skills training and mentorship,” said Frank Mallozzi, EFI’s Chief Revenue Officer. “Mariano is the definition of ‘closer,’ a professional who gets it done no matter the obstacles. Given his dedication, commitment and drive for success, we are excited to support the im- portant work he and Clara are doing to help underserved
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In addition to Mariano Rivera’s keynote presentation, EFI Connect 2022 will feature three information-packed
CONTINUED ON PAGE 28
26 December 13, 2021
Unbox new opportunities
Make the move to digital – and unbox your business with the power of just-in-time jobs, fast-cycle proofs and prototypes, and customized campaigns. With the EFI TM Nozomi C18000 Plus digital press for corrugated packaging and POS, you can offer endless creative opportunities with VDP, white ink, and more. And personalize runs from one to infinity at higher margins and with lower costs – all in a single pass. Let’s build your brilliant future. Together. Visit nozomi.efi.com/bcn to learn how corrugated converters and packaging printers are opening up new opportunities.Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44
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