BIA Annual Conference Held in Indianapolis

Binding Industries Association

More than 200 members of the Binding Industries Association converged in Indianapolis, IN, for three days of sessions, awards presentations and plant tours during the BIA Annual Conference.

The 2013 BIA Annual Conference was held April 8-10 in Indianapolis, IN, in conjunction with the PIA Continuous Improvement Conference. More than 200 members of the BIA converged for three days of sessions, awards presentations and plant tours, coming away with the knowledge, resources and connections necessary to make an immediate impact on their businesses.

Sessions Provide Actionable Information

Conference sessions included a keynote address shared with Continuous Improvement Conference attendees by Dr. Alan G. Robinson. Entitled “Capturing Workforce Knowledge and Creativity”, Robinson’s presentation discussed the importance of tapping front-line employees as a source of business innovation. Since those workers often are the ones dealing with production issues on a daily basis, shouldn’t they be the ones to develop the solutions? With support and training from upper management, employees could be developing and implementing ideas that could have a significant impact on the bottom line. Another shared session walked attendees through “A Day in the Life of a Lean Supervisor.” Presented by Mike Wroblewski, director of the Kaizen Institute USA, the session showed supervisors how to improve their own performance while promoting lean throughout the organization.

BIA-specific sessions included sales strategies aimed at finding and keeping the correct customers, preparing for the inevitable OSHA inspection (Rick Hartwig, manager for Environmental Health and Safety Affairs, PIA, has written an article on this topic. See page 11.) and mastering the personality gaps that exist between what nature has created and what is needed to succeed in a particular job type.

Two new members of the BIA Hall of Fame were inducted during a presentation at Tuesday morning’s general session. The award is given to individuals who have been strong supporters of the BIA through lifelong careers in the trade bindery, graphic finishing and custom loose leaf industries. The class of 2013 included Richard Senior of Duraweld Ltd and Vernon Schwent of Silvanus Products. (Read more about Schwent and Silvanus Products).

Plant Tours Offer Insight into Three Indianapolis Companies

On the final day of the conference, attendees were treated to in-depth tours of three Indianapolis-based binding and finishing companies. The first stop of the morning was at D.E. Baugh, a print finisher with capabilities ranging from foil stamping, embossing, debossing, diecutting and UV coating to film laminating, remoistenable glue stripping, folding/gluing and other special processes. Attendees were divided into groups and given personal tours through the facility, with special attention paid to the types of equipment on the floor and the company’s unique capabilities. The second company toured was Ross Gage, Inc., a provider of indexing solutions that include thumb cut, European cut and step cut indexing in many styles. Indexing is a finishing process not performed in many facilities, and tour participants were intrigued by the processes, which include both automated equipment and detailed handwork.

The third tour was given by BIA board of directors’ President Chris Eckhart of Eckhart & Company. Thrilled to be hosting the BIA members in the company’s hometown, Eckhart led attendees on a tour of the facility’s mechanical binding, casebinding, perfect binding and information packaging solution capabilities.