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FLEXO Magazine : August 2012
as plate making and mounting; calibration of the press densito- mentrically; and analyzing and applying colorimetric data. WHAT TO EXPECT Over the course of 12 weeks, students complete a self- paced, online course from the convenience of a web browser – allowing them to stay in the office. While it is possible to complete one module per week during a production sched- ule, it is important to learn and retain the material. But, as it is a self-paced course, it is possible for faster completion. Each module is designed to take less than one hour to complete. “FIRST answered the ‘ why ’ question. If people understand why they have to do things a certain way, they are more ac- cepting of it and more apt to do it correctly,” explained Jeff Zeber, senior vice president, InterFlex Group. Course information is presented in small amounts. This al- lows students to learn more information in less amount of time. Furthermore, with ability to progress through the material at their own pace, students can repeat lessons as many times as needed. This reinforcing of the material is a great way to easily achieve complete understanding of course material. IN SUMMATION The press is at the heart of the flexographic method. In the last 20 years, great advancements in technol- ogy, knowledge and specifications have made flexography a force to be reckoned with within the printing industry. Since the days of rudimentary quality, flexo has progressed by leaps and bounds. But, this is not the end of the line. There are more innovations to come. The best way to keep up with these revolutions is something that has been lost on American industries as a whole, but not flexo. That is training. “[Thanks to FIRST], our associates are more technically sound and un- derstand the need to follow processes to get the desired results,” explained Preston Bryant, vice president of man- ufacturing, Plastic Packaging, Inc. And because employees are the greatest assets to any company, it is imperative to continue their training well past the original hire and FIRST Press Operator training does just that. If a flexographic firm would like to see more consistent and efficient cleaning or removing of plates; defect identifi- cation and flagging; or simply wants to get all employees on the same line of communication, the FIRST Press Operator program is just what is needed to become an elite printer. n Press-side Viscosity measurement: A press operator measures the viscosity of a solvent ink using a #2 Zahn cup. Press Component Print Variables: Press components such as driers, registration controls, tension controls, and press mechanics can have a direct impact on print quality. www.flexography.org August 2012 FLEXO 25