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FLEXO Magazine : June2010
Dunwoody College of Technology has opened my eyes to the extent of what flexography actually is by giving me and four other students the opportunity to compete in the Phoenix Challenge College competition and attend the 2010 FFTA Forum and INFO*FLEX. From all the great contacts created to the memories that will last a lifetime, I have to say this was a very beneficial trip to Las Vegas. Our team, representing Dunwoody, competed in The Phoenix Challenge and earned the grand prize for Overall Excellence in each category: Research, Concept, Design, and Execution. We were asked to redesign, print and convert a ho- tel’s custom line of hygiene products. We started working on the competition in November. Many of us had full time intern- ships and worked all day, then met at Dunwoody to work on our solution to the Challenge. The Phoenix Challenge was our life for months, as we worked late hours to put the finishing touches on our products and presentation. Our exhaustive work paid off with the trip of a lifetime. While working on the competition, we never realized the great experience we had gained. Looking back on it now, I was able to work on a product from the beginning, being just a thought in our heads, to the research that was used to make product decisions, to the end print and prototype. We were able to get a taste of every aspect in the production workflow. The Phoenix Challenge and FFTA Forum have boosted my confidence about my future. We competed against nine other colleges and found out that our education is comparable to most of the four-year colleges. It was a great feeling and, I sense, a great accomplishment for our teachers because, without them, we would not be where we are today. After the competition, we were able to meet all the other schools and learn about what technologies they are utilizing and how they took on the challenge. It was very beneficial meeting and becoming friends with more students our age with the same future goals. We were also able to attend the INFO*FLEX Exhibition and compete in creating a booth to promote Dunwoody. The first time I walked into the convention hall, I had to take a step back and soak it all in. It was then that I realized just how big the flexographic community is. We manned our booth in shifts so we could network with all the great companies at the con- vention. I can’t even count how many different people I was able to meet, not to mention the numerous companies that came to our booth because of The Phoenix Challenge want- ing to help donate to our school, which we thank graciously. Along with the exhibition, the coolest part was being able to attend the numerous educational sessions at FFTA Forum. We were able to learn about the new tends in flexography (including prepress, which was my concentration at Dun- woody), and receive advice on how to be more sustainable in printing. With the Prepress Session, I was able to learn new skills on how to become more efficient and productive in the workforce. We heard presentations about focus surveys and the end-user requirements test that the products need to go through before they are sent to the customer. Although some sessions were geared toward big business ideas, it was neat being able to comprehend everything and put it into context with what we learned at Dunwoody. I realized that my school- ing has paid off. In the final moments of preparation for The Phoenix Chal- lenge, we were exhausted, sleep deprived, and just about to throw in the towel. But now that it’s over I would never ask for those countless hours spent back. We were able to gain so many contacts through networking, friends, and memories from this experience at Forum 2010. I cannot wait to see what my future in the flexo industry holds. The Phoenix Challenge allowed me to see firsthand the workflow that a job goes through from conception to print. It also allowed me to work with designers and press operators learning how we all need to work together to make a better, more easily executable product. I would like to thank our teachers and Dunwoody again for this opportunity, the FTA, and also Bettylyn Kraft of The Phoenix Challenge. n ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matthew Evanson spends his days in Minneapolis working at Photo Book Press making wedding and fine art books. He will be graduating from Dunwoody College of Technology this month and is eager to see where flexo and prepress will take him. FTA TODAY Education’s Premium Package Forum 2010 from a Student’s Perspective By Matthew Evenson Efficiency through Technology. Who would have dreamed you could be so productive? Here at Comexi we develop tomorrow’s technology today and put it at your service. Innovative solutions that enhance your ability to achieve the man-machine symbiosis that delivers the greatest efficiency. Innovation is much more than simply a concept: it means understanding the future and developing solutions to problems that may soon be affecting our customers. Comexi stays ahead of the pack to demonstrate that precisely. Our FI and FW ranges of flexographic presses bring together the best innovations in technology, print quality, performance, reliability and ease of maintenance. In addition, this is accom- plished in an environmentally-friendly way, saving energy and keeping waste to a minimum, all in one, to bring you a competitive advantage in facing the future. Comexi is ready for the future, now! Join us and stand out from the competition. Ready for the future COMEXI North America, Inc. 142 Doty Circle, West Springfield, MA 01089 Tel. 413 789 3800 Fax 413 821 9988 Toll Free 866 594 3800 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.comexinorthamerica.com 22 FLEXO junE 2010 www.flexography.org • Gained a new perspective on the size of the flexo industry. • Was able to network extensively on the INFO*FLEX show floor. • Demonstrated just how much was learned in the classroom. FLX_June2010_mech.indd 22 6/10/10 9:38 AM