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FLEXO Magazine : March 2012
FTA TODAY Call Him “Al,” “Altruistic,” or “Fritz;” His Passion is Packaging Bowers is 50th Inductee Into FTA Hall of Fame By Robert Moran From files and formats to platemaking and prepress, no one understands package production better than the 50th inductee into the Flexographic Technical Associa- tion Hall of Fame. He’s been practicing his craft for decades. First attracted to a print shop in high school, he evolved into a soldier-printer. After three years of active duty, he enrolled in Western Michigan University ’s Print Management Program on the GI Bill. There, once again, he was drawn to the print shop with magnetic force. A printer-turned-prepress-expert, he now dabbles in design and has long been an advocate for the consumer product company. As a champion of standards, he is a forbearer of Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Toler- ances (FIRST) and staunch proponent of printing to the num- bers. Some know him as flexography ’s “Walmart Connection” and describe Bentonville, AR, as his near second home. When he picks up a package and glances at it, he instantly knows who it was printed by and where it was printed. He’s fascinated by flexography—its fundamentals and its flashiest complex image statements. BOWERS ON THE BUSINESS • “ The priority: maintain the advantages flexography has established in cost, productivity and versatility over other printing processes. Improve resolution and consistency. ” —2001 • “Small file formats allowing off-site content for on- site platemaking will allow flexographic printing to advance to the next level. ” — 2002 • “Color profiling and digital workflow calibration have improved the quality and cost advantage of flexo. ” —2003 • “Optimizing colors, beyond CMYK requires collabo- ration with ink and roll manufacturers. ” —2011 • “Brand owners now have the opportunity to make packaging designs more eye-catching and save waste in printing them. ” —2011 Al Bowers, FTA’s 2012 Hall of Fame inductee, with his ever-present coffee in hand. Al and Lori Bowers. Al with wife Lori and son Andy at a recent Lions vs. Packers game at Lambeau Field. 20 FLEXO MARcH 2012 www.flexography.org hALL OF FAmE