FLEXO Magazine Features
This year marked a milestone birthday for FTA. To celebrate 60 years strong, flexographers spoke about FTA’s past, present and future in the January issue of FLEXO, looking back at the Association through its six decades of highs and lows, comings and goings of technology, and flexography’s journey to its present position at the top of package printing.
The FLEXO Flash Poll appeared in the magazine’s pages for the third year, surveying FTA membership on relevant and important subjects, and then presenting the resulting data in charts and graphs. This year’s surveys focused on the following:
What Pieces of Equipment Have Been Identified as Priorities?
A March Flash Poll looked at printer member purchasing priorities and tax reform’s impact on capital expenditure plans. The printers identified presses and digital presses as top priorities, with 51 percent planning to make purchases in the second half of the year.
Does Your Plant Run a Hybrid or Combination Press?
Another March Flash Poll looked at activity in the hybrid printing space, both now and compared to the year prior. Results revealed that better than 80 percent of those polled feature finishing capabilities on their hybrid presses, an increase from 45 percent in the 2017 poll.
What Ink-Related Issues Are Most Common?
June’s Flash Poll revealed the most common problems faced by printers due to the ink/anilox roll/doctor blade interface. Of those polled, 68 percent cited anilox scoring as a frequent nuisance, 46 percent listed blade wear, 46 percent indicated chamber starvation, 32 percent pointed to ink foaming and 18 percent said ink misting.
A Flash Poll in September targeted FTA printer members who categorize their focus as labels, flexible packaging and the sub-elements associated with them. Thirty-six percent of those polled felt the flexo operating environment is “healthy, dynamic and thriving,” while 26 percent felt it’s “highly competitive” and another 26 percent described business as “stable.”
A new feature focusing on members of the Emerging Leaders Committee debuted in the June issue. The one-on-one Q&As give Committee members the opportunity to talk about topics like their career paths, what it’s like for millennials in flexography and what companies can do to attract young talent.
For the annual Press Buyer’s Guide in August, a collection of articles focused on FTA members, their recent press purchases and how new technologies were impacting speed, performance, quality, maintenance, finishing options and more. The companies relayed their accounts on how they moved from installation to production as fast as possible, showcasing their individual processes, needs and missions. They included:
Also in the August issue, a series on Forum 2018’s FIRST in Motion session premiered. The articles chronicle the wide web, flexible packaging pouch job at its center, with each article authored by a different speaker from the session:
- “FIRST in Motion”: Objectives
- “FIRST in Motion”: Scope, Timelines & Schedule
- “FIRST in Motion”: Technology & Methods
- “FIRST in Motion”: Ink & Press
- “FIRST in Motion”: ISO Standards
- “FIRST in Motion”: Characterization
A FLEXO Magazine Cover Project was presented in the July issue, with the cover being designed by FTA member Hamillroad Software Ltd and making use of the company’s 2018 FTA Technical Innovation Award-winning software, Bellissima Digitally Modulated Screening (DMS). The project used crisp highlight dots, fades to zero and the “stochastic rosette” to create a flexographically printed cover at a previously unseen level of quality.