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FLEXO Magazine : April 2012
FTA TODAY Trial By Flexo 2012 Phoenix Challenge Competition Recap By Steve Deering Hard work, dedication and passion were just a few of the qualities necessary to compete in this year’s collegiate Phoenix Challenge. Between the tight time constraint, limited resources and long hours, participants had their work cut out for them. In the end, they were able to learn more about the flexographic printing process as well as themselves. THE COMPETITION Phoenix Challenge 2012 pitted schools against one an- other with one goal: to see who can create the best job with a limited amount of resources. Judging for the fifth annual event, was held in San Antonio, TX , during Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association’s Annual Forum and INFO*FLEX Exhibition in March. For 2012, the students’ mission was to design custom branding of narrow web, flexographically printed labels and/ or packages to be used for snack food items to be sold in college convenience stores. Students submitted two to four labels and/or packaging items. They were limited to four stations and no process colors—only spot colors. Fifty-one students from eight schools produced labels, packages and presentations for snacks to be considered by seven judges. The presentations, vision and market plans were then judged by four criteria: overall quality, concept and graphics, research, and execution. Industry specialists evaluated the work of each school’s team. Scoring was based on all the critical steps in label making: prepress, platemaking, printing skills and basic theory. Work was completed over the course of a full college semester. California Polytechnic State University was deemed the overall winner in the collegiate Phoenix Challenge for 2012. This was Cal Poly ’s fifth Phoenix Challenge award. It won for Excellence in Graphics in 2008; Overall Excellence in ParticiPant assessments • “Market and technical research, teamwork and prac- tice with an open mind for constructive criticism led to an excellent learning opportunity” • “ Team-oriented format wasn’t just enjoyable—it was necessary in order to complete a formidable project” • “It was great to follow the project from beginning to end—to see the whole flexo process” • “A better understanding of flexography and the abil- ity to have more personal time on press has greatly grown our knowledge of the technical aspects of the process” • “ The market research skills were definitely strength- ened this year. Being able to understand background research and its effect on production decisions was an integral part of this year ’s competition” Cal Poly 28 FLEXO APRil 2012 www.flexography.org