FIRST Operator Certification Program

Earn Your Mark of Excellence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"In terms of delivering FIRST training, in large scale, to our entire workflow, online training is the only practical solution. We can't shut down production or send everyone away to be trained this intensely. This program considers the complete package, from the initial graphics in prepress to final production. FTA has got a winner on its hands in virtual training."

— John Crammer,
General Manager, Best Label, Inc.

 


Today’s competitive workplace requires more than just casual knowledge to succeed. True leaders must demonstrate a complete mastery of the flexographic printing process and a commitment to continuous improvement.

The FIRST Operator Certification program, administered online via the TEST Virtual Campus, offers three, 3-level certification programs. Each program leverages proven e-learning technology to empower working professionals to hone their expertise and give their plant a decided advantage over the competition.

Choose to become FIRST:

Regardless of which designation you choose, you will:

The end result? Proficiency – demonstrated by high-quality, repeatable & consistent results.

 

 

 

 

  • Press Operator
  • Prepress Operator
  • Implementation Specialist

FIRST Press Operator Certification

This certification is designed for press operators wanting to gain an expert proficiency of the flexographic printing process. After successfully completing this 3-level program, students will have a solid understanding of FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances) and how it applies within their daily routine of press operations, specifically how to:

  • Achieve optimal results for consistency & color/tone accuracy
  • Measure & control print variables
  • Effectively manage inks, substrates, plates & other press components
  • Identify methods to reduce waste
  • Utilize process control techniques throughout the workflow
  • Evaluate press conditions & perform proper maintenance
  • Streamline communication with internal/external customers & suppliers
  • Enhance personal productivity during press make-ready
  • Ensure each element within the workflow complies with FIRST methodology

Level I:  6 weeks, self-paced - Sign up online
Level II: 12 weeks, self-paced - Sign up online
Level III: 12 weeks, self-paced - Sign up online

 

FIRST Methodology
FIRST supports the methodical approach to process control, optimization, fingerprinting, characterization and process improvement as outlined in CGATS TR 012-2003 (Graphic Technology – Color Reproduction and Process Control for Packaging Printing). While each organization may use its own workflow based upon its specific needs, there are certain fundamentals universal to the flexographic printing process. With a firm understanding and application of the FIRST methodology, flexographers can: identify potentially troublesome issues, benchmark press performance, utilize statistical analysis to maintain optimal conditions, perform accurate device calibrations, identify improvement opportunities and preserve stable conditions for repeatable results –all with the end result of satisfactorily reproducing the graphic design.

FIRST Prepress Operator Certification

This certification is designed for prepress personnel wanting to gain an expert proficiency of flexographic prepress operations. After successfully completing this 3-level program, students will have a solid understanding of FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances) and how it applies within their daily routine of prepress operations, specifically how to:  

  • Achieve optimal results for consistency & color/tone accuracy
  • Measure & control print variables
  • Effectively manage digital assets throughout the workflow
  • Perform calibration procedures as they relate to the graphic artist
  • Utilize process control techniques throughout the workflow
  • Streamline communication with internal/external customers & suppliers
  • Enhance personal productivity as it contributes to the workflow
  • Ensure each element within the workflow complies with FIRST methodology

Level I:  6 weeks, self-paced - sign up online
Level II: 12 weeks, self-paced - sign up online
Level III: 12 weeks, self-paced - sign up online

 

FIRST Methodology
FIRST supports the methodical approach to process control, optimization, fingerprinting, characterization and process improvement as outlined in CGATS TR 012-2003 (Graphic Technology – Color Reproduction and Process Control for Packaging Printing). While each organization may use its own workflow based upon its specific needs, there are certain fundamentals universal to the flexographic printing process. With a firm understanding and application of the FIRST methodology, flexographers can: identify potentially troublesome issues, benchmark press performance, utilize statistical analysis to maintain optimal conditions, perform accurate device calibrations, identify improvement opportunities and preserve stable conditions for repeatable results –all with the end result of satisfactorily reproducing the graphic design.

FIRST Implementation Specialist Certification

This certification is designed for non-production personnel, including supervisors and managers, as well as suppliers of flexographic products and services. After successfully completing this 3-level program, students will have a solid understanding of FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances), and how to communicate both internally and externally to assure ongoing workflow compliance. Specifically, students will learn how to:

  • Achieve optimal results for consistency & color/tone accuracy
  • Cultivate a culture of communication among internal/external team members
  • Develop internal workflow teams to establish ownership of the FIRST process
  • Orchestrate the functions of the package/product development team
  • Enhance & optimize workflow productivity
  • Perform print evaluations & compose documentation procedures
  • Ensure each element within the workflow complies with FIRST methodology

Level I:  6 weeks, self-paced - sign up online
Level II: 12 weeks, self-paced - sign up online
Level III: 12 weeks, self-paced - sign up online

 

FIRST Methodology
FIRST supports the methodical approach to process control, optimization, fingerprinting, characterization and process improvement as outlined in CGATS TR 012-2003 (Graphic Technology – Color Reproduction and Process Control for Packaging Printing). While each organization may use its own workflow based upon its specific needs, there are certain fundamentals universal to the flexographic printing process. With a firm understanding and application of the FIRST methodology, flexographers can: identify potentially troublesome issues, benchmark press performance, utilize statistical analysis to maintain optimal conditions, perform accurate device calibrations, identify improvement opportunities and preserve stable conditions for repeatable results –all with the end result of satisfactorily reproducing the graphic design.