More than 350 flexographers gathered in Louisville, KY from Oct. 10-12 for FTA’s 2016 Fall Conference. The event contained all the ingredients necessary for a successful and productive show—education, networking, and strategizing. Speakers provided in-depth analysis of real-world issues critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. Ideas were exchanged. Best practices were pinpointed. Suffice to say every attendee left with the knowledge to help them improve today and envision tomorrow.
Presiding over the three-day event were co-chairs Eric Frank, KBA-Flexotecnica and Sean Teufler, Siegwerk. The duo oversaw a comprehensive program agenda which consisted of eight sessions, two evening receptions, 29 speakers and 68 exhibitors.
During the conference, attendees were guided by a legion of experts who shared with them a variety of key takeaways designed to help them improve print operations today, so that they can remain competitive in the future.
The conference kicked off with FTA’s own Mark Cisternino and Joe Tuccitto discussing the specific flexo innovations recently unveiled at drupa 2016. It was, as one attendee stated, “invaluable for those of us who couldn’t make the journey to Düsseldorf, Germany.” Following was a panel session that honed in on the winning technologies from the 2016 Technical Innovation Awards and how those technologies could improve the operations of the entire flexographic supply chain.
On Tuesday, attendees were taught what works and what doesn’t when it comes to training a workforce. They also came away with knowledge on the key elements to planning and executing a successful workflow. Later that day, speakers took attendees on an exploration of the best practices used to enhance quality and productivity, with special focuses on calibration, quality control and measurement techniques. The closing session on day two provided an in-depth look into substrates, and how their surfaces are enhanced to accept ink film transfer.
Wednesday morning was dedicated to meeting a challenge faced by many in the audience—finding, training and retaining employees. The agenda focused on techniques for engaging existing staff and keeping them motivated, while also offering new sources of information for those seeking new workers. The conference concluded with the hotly anticipated Great Anilox Roll Debate, where experts from today’s leading anilox roll providers shed light on their products and features.
Attendees overwhelmingly praised speakers for technical content, delivery and the way in which they used real examples to emphasize theoretical concepts. On session evaluations, respondents noted:
“All very good presenters with obvious expertise. Made me reconsider some of our current strategies going forward.”
“Topics were very good and filled with good information.”
“Lots of good information on industry training and hiring.”