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FLEXO Magazine : June 2012
“FIRST training helped me understand the technical as- pects of flexo printing. I was unaware of how beneficial this knowledge could be until now,” commented Noelle Jones, customer service representative, Portco, who is enrolled in the FIRST Implementation Specialist Certification program. While the company certification process is not entirely complete — the firm is on course to completing the FTA audit— communication is one aspect that was immediately enhanced. This heightened interaction has allowed different departments to better understand each other, resulting in improved efficiencies. Burks explained that this benefit of the training is already beginning to show. “Communication has noticeably improved. As employees gained more knowledge about different opera- tions, the gap in communication closes. Departments now have a general knowledge of what one and another is doing. This makes the entire print process more efficient.” “It gives us a common way of communicating from the production employees to the implementation specialist and also with our outside vendors, such as our art house,” Burks continued. Because the company had employees complete training not necessarily in their field of expertise, operators and imple- mentation specialists were exposed to each other ’s work. This has helped the entire workflow optimize productivity. Plus, many employees were interested in what exactly their col- leagues did on a day-to-day basis. “I was interested in the process of how the internal and ex- ternal teams work together for upcoming print jobs,” explains Tammi Murphy, laminator operator, Portco, who is enrolled in the FIRST Implementation Specialist Certification program. Murphy was also impressed with the training overall, stating, “[the training] was well laid out showing step by step of what it takes to get a finished product to meet FIRST specifications. ” This was a reoccurring reaction among the employees of Portco. “T he FIRST Operator Certification program gives you a lot of tools you need, explains their practicality and the need to use them,” said Jim Steel, production supervisor, Portco, and FIRST Certified Implementation Specialist. “ T here is a lot of data collecting, testing, checking, and calibration. It’s designed to get you to the point where you can run the same job today, tomorrow, next week, next year and deliver to your customer the same superior product each and every time. This is great for Portco and our customers.” ENDLESS ENRICHMENT With the recent, rapid developments on the technologi- cal front, it is only natural that flexo printers also advance employees. While automation and increased efficiency have seen the most major progress, people are still the backbone of the workflow. Investing in employees has proven to be even more important than a press upgrade. Portco continues to innovate, update and modernize. And that is key in the age of perpetual change—especially in the flexographic industry. It is also the reason why Portco has been such a fixture in the west coast printing arena. The com- pany ’s commitment to its employee’s knowledge and abilities, along with serious consideration for the environment, makes Portco Packaging a company to watch and emulate. While the company has yet to achieve FIRST Company Certification, it is well on its way. Once it has attained this es- teemed distinction, there is no telling how many positives will be reaped for the company. Until then, Portco promises—as it has from the beginning—to “do what we say.” And the staff is saying it loud and clear with its commitment to FIRST. n 36 FLEXO june 2012 www.flexography.org Gordon Chao on the Comexi 8-color CI press. Comexi 8-color Ci press Comexi PROSLIT e-Turret