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FLEXO Magazine : Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal
HEARD FROM THE HALL FL, and our 30 th year in Nashville. They were two milestones in the growth of our association and industry. In the 1990s, to its credit, and to the benefit of the industry, FT A expanded its involvement with schools, be they High School, College, or Technical Institute. The Flexo in High School Program was born and continues to be a success to the present day. Since 2000, FTA's contributions toward higher quality in com- petition with other print processes have proven truly significant. FTA continues to facilitate the education of our industry. SHIELDS: FTA quickly established itself as the worldwide leader in flexo. Each decade continued pushing the quality and growth of flexo. BART: In the 1960s, FTA succeeded in expanding the sharing of technical information through the organization. Then, in the 1970s, it began seeking out new technologies to showcase. In the 1980s, FTA turned to promoting flexography as printing as well as converting, by showcasing industry printing capabilities to CPCs and expanding the printing awards competition. In the 1990s, FTA proved itself the leader in driving the atten- tion to training and promoting the need for process control. And since 2000, FTA has been supporting the importance of pre press GIVING BACK & SPAWNING GROWTH I have been to 45 Forums- missing only one in all the years of membership. When I look back at all of these, and the experiences they brought, it really is difficult to separate one from another. Certainly the one I chaired in Dallas stands out. It was the first to have general evening entertainment. I first joined FTA at the behest of my employer-Sun Chemical. I stayed involved over the years because I felt a need to give back to the industry; in particular, as regards education of members and communication of change. My activity in FTA also added to my personal growth through the years. Induction into the Hall of Fame blew me away! I couldn't believe it. It was a very great honor that con- tinues to be appreciated to this day. As far as the future is concerned, it will bring even more growth and change. Who would have believed in 1963 that we would be printing at present speeds with present quality and on the number of substrates for the huge number of different applications we do. FT A can and must remain a part of the industry and a leader in its growth. -Sam Gilbert, FfA Hall of Fame Member, Former Forum Chair, Sun Chemical Corp. 32 FTA 50th Anniversary Journal for the industry and providing the stage for the transition from analog to digital workflow. SHREVE: Overall, the most significant contribution has to be the formation of the Foundation. Not only did the industry re- ceive a venue for scholarships to be established and distributed to worthy future employees, in 1974, but the association in general benefited financially. HARPER: FTA, from the very beginning, provided an oppor- tunity to learn and to hone my skills. Just the simple process of preparing for a presentation was a learning experience. It also gave me confidence and allowed me to share technical informa- tion with the industry. My association with FTA has indeed been an overwhelming, positive experience for me. FTA has always been the most professional and best managed organization with which I have been associated. Its positive, un- deniable focus on flexography has been crucial to its success. Too many other associations are not focused. They try to cover too many subjects and too many segments of their industry. SHAPIRO: In the 1960s, the early members ofFTA and its Board had one objective - how to make flexography more than a rubber stamp process. FTA was driven by printers then. The small group was dedicated, not to their own firms, but to the organiza- tion and the improvements needed to train, develop and make consistent this process they had embraced. In the 1970s, there was a concentration on process printing. While only a small percentage of printers were capable of four- color process with fine screens, the effort helped to elevate the general quality of all printers-presses, plates, inks, prepress, etc. The real highlight of the decade, however, was the establishment of the Foundation of FTA. Here again, the Board was a dedicated group, working to build the organization and its ability to reach out and promote a more knowledgeable industry and customer base. It succeeded in getting support for funding for educational and research proj ects. The 1980s, the beginning of the environmental period, saw the spread of flexo to new fields. By necessity, the association and its membership began focusing on environmental regulations, as well as compliance and reporting procedures. Working for FT A, I was involved in those initiatives, as well as organizing the Newspapers for Flexo, and PreprintjCorrugated conferences. In the 1990s, the environment came into focus. We held meet- ings around the country and helped printers to cope with the variety of new conditions they faced due to governmental regula- tion. This regulatory period brought improvements in equipment and materials as equipment and ink suppliers had to change from the traditional patterns and find solutions that would enable printers to cope with the regulation and with growing demand for better quality. The 1990s was a very critical period for flexo. The process succeeded in jumping from a so-so reputation for quality to one of admirable quality. Since 2000, the face of the flexo industry has changed. Where small and medium-size companies were at the forefront of change and innovation, the consolidation of both suppliers and convert- ers has narrowed the number of people and competitive nature
Flexo Sustainable Spring 2008