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FLEXO Magazine : December 2013
Webinar and social media programs were initiated and greatly expanded as FTA aged from 50 to 55. Hot button topics included: food safety, adhering flexo inks and color in the digital age. Many other sessions were often focused on eliminating variables from the process and measuring, doc- umenting and analyzing all data collected to make printers better at what they do. Activity is brisk as webinars now occur monthly and often attract more than 100 listeners/participants. The launch of FTA’s Technical Education Services Team’s (TEST) Virtual Campus, in 2008, served as the foundation for a multi tiered educational skills training and certification program that now stands as the model for an industry; it received a streamlined and accessibility focused makeover in 2009. It is winning respect from global standards groups, support from consumer products companies and powerful endorsements from printers/converters who have applied FIRST principles and practices in their pressrooms and on their production floors. At present, two certified companies, 288 certified press op- erators, 32 certified prepress experts and 196 certified imple- mentation specialists are seeing bottom line benefits that they associate with, and attribute to, FTA’s commitment to profes- sional development and print process innovation. These are among the milestones associated with FTA’s mantra: “Print to the numbers!” Many more occurred from 2008 to 2013. Here is a look at the association and its annual achievements. 2008-2009 • Fall Conference 2008 visits Indianapolis, IN from Oct. 5 -7 , drawing 175 attendees; FTA commemorates its first 50 years serving the flexo industry with its Golden Anniver- sary Commemorative Journal: A Historical Timeline & Pictorial Salute; TEST is formed and explained with “Test Tidbits” series; “This Month in FTA History ” columns offer look back at organization’s past • FTA’s Strategic Planning Initiative (SPI) forecasts consid- erable opportunity for packaging industry • Flexo industry joins the green movement, with plan- et-minded packaging, recyclability and sustainability becoming hot topics; the Sustainable Green Printing Part- nership (SGP) has five flexographers—C & H Packaging, Coating Excellence International, C -P Flexible Packag- ing, Robbie Manufacturing and Global Packaging—en- roll in its certification program • FTA’s various SPI Leadership Councils report positive results of ongoing efforts to study sectors of the flexo industry, improve efficiencies and establish best practic- es; the hotly awaited Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST) 4.0 is released • FTA’s 2009 Annual Forum & INFO*FLEX runs from May 3-6 in Orlando, FL; more than 600 samples submitted for annual FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards; Laut- erbach Group, Coating Excellence International LLC, AllpakTrojan and Creative Labels recognized in Environ- mental Excellence Awards • Series of Web videos designed to explain merits of TEST is launched with initial installment of TESTcasts • Sustainable FLEXO named Printers’ National Environ- mental Assistance Center (PNEAC) Environmental Pub- lication of the Year; Fall Conference, in Cincinnati, OH attracts 170 flexographers for 20 individual presentations over Oct. 4-6; FTA and National Institute of Standards and Technology ’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership form alliance to improve business within flexo industry 2008 2008 2009 2009 30 FLEXO DECEMBER 2013 www.flexography.org