FLEXO: Was there any part of the material taught during the FIRST Prepress Operator Certification training that conflicted with how you were used to doing things?
Prepress Operator at Bay Tech Label: Not really. It simply continued the journey to predictable results when using standard and consistent methods.
FLEXO: Did the training’s material cover things you hadn’t seen before, or was it refreshing what you already knew?
Prepress Operator: In the prepress area, there is a tendency to learn our immediate functions. It was helpful to have a broader level of flexo learning.
FLEXO: What task or responsibility have you changed the way you do the most since completing the certification?
Prepress Operator: We do a better job of handling process jobs because we understand what we need to control and the variables the ink tech and press operators need to control.
FLEXO: What’s different about how you build graphic files since achieving FIRST Prepress Operator Certification?
Prepress Operator: We follow the standards, period.
FLEXO: How has working with customers during the proofing phase changed?
Prepress Operator: Only that we try to communicate that we aim for measurable color targets.
FLEXO: What would you say about FIRST Prepress Operator Certification to someone in your position at another company?
Prepress Operator: It helps provide a background to interact with the press department.
FLEXO: What was your initial reaction to the idea of FIRST Press Operator Certification?
Press Operator at Bay Tech Label: In a word—nervousness.
FLEXO: Was the material presented in the training new to you, or a review of things you already knew and practiced?
Press Operator: Some we knew, some we learned.
FLEXO: Did any of what was taught contradict how you were used to performing a specific task or procedure?
Press Operator: We check color on an X-Rite unit and bring our density within target, rather than swapping anilox rolls and/or doctoring the ink.
FLEXO: How has certification changed the way do your job? What’s something you’re doing differently on the pressroom floor because of FIRST?
Press Operator: We do a better job being proactive about anilox maintenance before we have trouble with jobs.
FLEXO: Where do the results of certification show up: Do you find makeready speeds to be faster? Has waste been reduced? Are results more consistent and repeatable?
Press Operator: Color issues are fixed much faster, which cuts makeready and waste. Color targets are measurable, which helps repeat orders to be consistent.
FLEXO: Is there a particular aspect of flexography about which you now feel more knowledgeable or better understand?
Press Operator: Color.
FLEXO: How would you describe FIRST Press Operator Certification to a press operator at another printer?
Press Operator: There are no longer random defects or problems. It is a more rational process.