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FLEXO Magazine : Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal
THE 20005 FIRST & 10... "FIRST will not only help our customers and vendors, but ultimately make our workday more productive. By having standard colors, terminology and procedures, the demands for shorter lead times and common packaging with multiple printers can be easier to meet." -Tim Wake, MeadWestvaco Packaqinq Systems, 2003 Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances-it's been the talk of the industry for more than a decade. Publication of the premiere edition took place in November 1997. It marked the culmination of three full years of industry input and committee work. First update came two years later in the Fall 1999. From the onset, the catch phase and the concept spawned a series of road shows and confer- ences. The workbook, an actual set of current, state-of-the- industry guidelines for turning out quality consistent print, run after run, has continued to win buy-in from printers, prepress houses, designers and customers alike. FIRST, 3rd Edition entered circulation in 2003, with FIRST 4.0 just recently unveiled. While data collection procedures and interpretations have been refined, and content added from one version to the next, the principles of the program remain in place. In fact, the name FIRST, seems indelibly etched on almost every Forum agenda. Its corresponding session draws heavy interest and opens lines of communications. FT A volunteers associated with the launch of this important project included: Jeffrey A. Randazzo, Jay Luft, in, Don Voas, Tim Wake, Danny Michelle Beuscher, Kathy Cartney, Peter Bartell, Susan Barkis, Wayne Fortenberry and David Akin. These visionaries were the members of the FIRST oard of Directors. Some 54 other 'A members, including a 20-mem- Consumer Product Company sory Board have been credited with contributing resources to the initial effort. That number has grown sub- stantially, and so have page counts and peripherals. Introductory notes from FIRST's founders state, "Specifications were developed so that CPCs, designers, prepress service providers, raw materials suppliers, and printers, would, over the long term, enjoy a win-win program for themselves and their customers. ... The mission statement of this committee is to understand our customers' graphic requirements for reproduc- tion and translate their aesthetic requirements into specifica- tions for each facet of the flexographic printed graphics." "FIRST provides an anchor point for flexo reproducibility and consistency. Predictable, reproducible print quality is the key to customer satisfaction." -Don Voas, International Paper, 2003 OBJECTIVES Five statements drive FIRST initiatives. They are: 1. Identify key basic flexographic procedures and guidelines to be used from beginning of the process to the end. 2. Improve quality and consistency through improved com- munication and measurement procedures. 3. Reduce cycle time and minimize rework. 4. Control production costs. 5. Enable CPCs to obtain true flexographic capabilities, which are equal to, or exceed, offset lithography and gra- vure printing. In short, FIRST specifications are the tools necessary to maintain consistent results, improve quality, develop better raw materials, and grow the overall flexographic industry. . 1 II\;;Y UIU IL Juldn't be done!... It would hurt the competitive environment and reduce the industry output to the lowest common denominator. Besides, Flexo had too many variables... specifi- cations...etc. that would limit its abilities. "As founder and chairman of FIRST, my vision was to create a more united Flexo community, one where all participants were focused on improving the product, process, and communications; so that our customers, CPCs, could rely on flexography to print their packaging consistently, from printer to printer, product to product, coast to coast, and now continent to continent. FTA saw the need and rose to the challenge It gives me great pride to see that FIRST is now the cornerstone of every Forum!" -Jeff Randazzo, FIRST Founder & Past Chair 108 FTA 50th Anniversary Journal
Flexo Sustainable Spring 2008