by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : September 2011
• Routine calibration schedules are developed and ad- hered to. • Universal naming conventions are applied to workflow tags and other communications. • Control targets applicable to each and every pressrun stand at press side. • Job tickets containing all documentation relevant to pro- duction of each piece are prepared, retained and referred to. As a result, consistent, repeatable results are ensured. PRIDE IN PERFORMANCE FTA President Mark Cisternino, Education Director Joe Tuccitto and Project Coordinator Rose McKernon flew out to the West Coast to mark Best Label’s completion of the FIRST Company Certification program, and then to celebrate the staff ’s collective achievements. Tuccitto and McKernon, who have brought the FIRST program along over the past four years, spoke to FLEXO Magazine about how it may benefit its participants. Accord- ing to the pair, the purpose of the FIRST Company Certifica- tion Program is to recognize flexographic printing companies which are applying FIRST methodology and have attained compliance with the specifications and tolerances related to communication, implementation, design, prepress and press, as detailed in the most current FIRST document. FIRST certification is all about establishing consistency. The goal is to attain the same high level of quality each time. Print- ing to the numbers and standardizing the way companies do business are the objectives of the program. The backbone of company certification is individual certification. In fact, it’s re- quired that at least 40 percent of press operators be certified, 40 percent or more of prepress operators be certified and 40 percent of management be certified at implementation specialist level. In the case of Best Label, the program’s beta site, that translates to 15 certified press operators, three certified pre- press technicians and six accredited implementation special- ists. The numbers, continue to get larger on a day-in/day-out basis. This demand for individual certification reinforces the knowledge attained throughout the program, and ultimately strengthens the company ’s expertise with regards to prac- tices carried out as a result of the FIRST program. “One of the greatest things FIRST did for us was establish and identify our starting points,” said Best Label’s Scheduler Dan Crammer. “Beyond that, we learned to optimize the presses and establish our tolerances and standards. Now we can say, ‘This is where we should be. ’ ‘ This is the best we can do.’ We actually sit here and strategize about how we get our best quality, while looking at the measures and documenta- tion that we’ve recorded.” “I called it the year for the people,” John Crammer recalled of the FIRST process. “ I was investing in them as individuals because they were going to get their individual certification. Obviously the company ’s going to benefit, but this is some- thing with or without the company that they ’ll be able to take with them. The response has been very, very good. Once people saw that we were serious in applying it across the board, their enthusiasm has been great.” Results started surfacing almost immediately. Best Label employees bought into the long process and realized that they were learning how to do their job better, quicker and more eco-friendly than they ever had before. “It really helped my printing knowledge, but it also made me well-versed in terminology that I didn’t use before,” said Travis Gilkey, Best Label’s sales manager. “It helped me learn more about the printing process, as far as the way we print and getting down to the brass tacks involved in what we’re actually doing. We’re measuring density. We’re measuring tonal values, calibrating equipment and making sure it all connects. When we go to print a label, it’s correctly printed and measures up to the specifications and tolerances that are put into place by FIRST.” CUSTOMER RECOGNITION According to Gilkey, it only took customers one month to no- tice a significant difference in the way the company operated. “It used to take clients one-half day, or maybe even a full day to perform press checks and approvals for one or two labels. Now, it takes them two hours. The proof is in the pudding. www.flexography.org september 2011 FLEXO 15