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FLEXO Magazine : November 2009
6 FLEXO NOVEMBER 2009 www.flexography.org FTA TODAY FQC = R&D... Hard to believe that it's coming up on 18 years since Gwen Chen of DuPont, speaking at Forum 1992, said, "By sharing our knowledge and expertise, we can make flexography an even better and more profitable industry. With this in mind, the FQC is here." The idea was ripe for the time and, in fact, it just might be ripe for all time. Isn't that what continuous improvement is all about? Flexo Quality Consortium---at FTA, we see it as research, experimentation, documentation, and of course, reporting. FQC was recognized as a standing committee (1993) with initial projects focused on verification, corrugated, narrow web UV and color and control. Results of its first statistically designed experi- ment---quantifying and optimizing ultraviolet flexography---were printed that November. Shortly thereafter, FFTA's first FQC Road Show was planned and executed. Open invitations were issued to engineers, trade shop personnel and anyone else technically oriented who desired ,and likely still desires ,a greater understanding of flexo's variables. This column is not intended to be a retrospective. Instead it should be seen as a recommitment to a cause---a restatement of the FQC mission, and perhaps even an invitation to get involved with the campaign. Who among us can find fault with engaging in an open dialogue, supporting it with research and experimentation, advancing an industry, strengthening its reputation, improving product turned out and winning new business? While I, myself, wasn't there in 1992, I've heard the words and story recanted countless times over during my tenure at FLEXO. People speak of the origination team---Dave Argent, Steve Cushner, Mike McPherron, Jeff Quadland, Steve Utschig, and Chen---with admiration, respect, and appreciation for the path they charted for us to keep following. It seems that the birth of FQC and all it stands for has become lore in Association history. To some extent, those original players have moved on as careers and lives evolved. Others, however, did not hesitate to step in, grab the banner, launch experi- ments and carry on. Today's team roster lists familiar names to many, many FTA members (See page 62). Predictability and repeatable print outcomes are the ever-present pursuit. Stan- dards and measurements are the statistical process control tools that we, as an industry, have identified to get us where we want and need to be. Should we succeed at our common quest, namely: defining the limits of flexo technology; we'll better gauge repeatability and reproducibility, we'll come to better understand correlations, we'll control the process, we'll predict certain results and we'll minimize setup time while maximizing running time. This month we're discussing standardized ink pigments (just as we were almost 20 years ago). Same goes for the need for best practices. Two articles touch on cur- rent FQC projects (see pages 22 and 62). Work currently underway supports the first words we heard on FQC. "One of the most pressing issues we face as an industry is the need for more thorough knowledge about how to control the flexo process. If we had this informa- tion, we could create industry standards and guidelines that can help us secure reproducible results and improve quality. This, in turn, can bring new technological advancements, and equip us with the ways and means to better accept and man- age change." PUBLISHER'S INK BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE FLEXOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION Roxanne Baker, Cryovac Sealed Air Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, PCMC Greg Collins, C-P Flexible Packaging Michael Ferrari, Procter & Gamble Gary Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. Matt Moffett, The Meyers Printing Co. James Nelson, Great Lakes Packaging Corp. David R. Nieman, All Printing Resources Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress David Straten, Advance Packaging Corp. Michael Reinhardt, Windmoeller & Hoelscher BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FOUNDATION OF FLEXOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION Roxanne Baker, Cryovac Sealed Air Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, PCMC Greg Collins, C-P Flexible Packaging Michael Ferrari, Procter & Gamble Gary Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. Matt Moffett, The Meyers Printing Co. James Nelson, Great Lakes Packaging Corp. David R. Nieman, All Printing Resources Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress David Straten, Advance Packaging Corp. Michael Reinhardt, Windmoeller & Hoelscher PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Mark Cisternino EDITORIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE Richard Cervarich, DuPont Packaging Graphics Catherine Haynes, All Printing Resources Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Brad Keys, Corporate Express John Meyer, Western Michigan University Dave Nunez, International Paper John Paine, C-P Flexible Packaging Paul Wilson, Encore Washington Ltd.
Sustainable Fall 2009