Flexography in 2019: Looking Back on What the Year Meant to FTA, FLEXO Magazine & the Industry

With each passing year, innovations in flexography continue to grow and expand, and this year was no exception. In 2019, flexography was once again a preeminent force.

Attendees to events like INFOFLEX and Labelexpo Europe saw firsthand the new and upcoming technologies that are allowing companies to streamline processes, automate and become more competitive. Printers continued to find ways to cut waste while not cutting back on quality.

Market research gave a positive outlook, with one report citing an expected increased demand for bulk packaging. Issues like the labor shortage continued to loom large, but in spite of that, flexographers are more equipped than ever before to handle such challenges. Here is a look back at 2019 in flexography’s world.

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Association Happenings

Companies from all different segments found value in an FTA membership, and in the last 12 months, nearly 100 businesses joined the Association.

New names were added to the FTA Board of Directors and FFTA Board of Trustees, and as individuals completed their terms, some were removed. Kristen Shields of Graymills Corp, Paul Teachout of Nilpeter USA, Sean Teufler of Harper Corporation of America and Laura Wright of CSW Inc joined the boards, while newly re-elected Johnny Dye of Accredo Packaging Inc began his first-year term as FTA Board Chair.

The full roster of FTA’s Board of Directors includes:

The full roster of FFTA’s Board of Trustees includes:

  • Alexander James, Miraclon Corp, Chair
  • Jean Engelke, Chair-Elect
  • Mark Cisternino, President
  • Dale Walbert, G3 Enterprises, Treasurer
  • Geoff Roznak, Further North LLC, Vice Chair, Project Evaluations
  • JP Delage, Master Packaging Inc, Vice Chair, Scholarships
  • Ron Premo, Vice Chair, Solicitations
And Members at Large of both bodies are:

  • Doug Bartlett
  • Kristen Shields, Graymills
  • Paul Teachout, Nilpeter USA Inc
  • Sean Teufler, Harper Corporation of America
  • Laura Wright, CSW Inc

Ten FTA Member Webinars covered topics that included quality control, state-of-the-art press technologies, ISO standards, ink transfer and more.

FIRST Press Operator Certification, FIRST Prepress Operator Certification or FIRST Implementation Specialist Certification was achieved by about 300 people.

MemberConnect, FTA’s portal for content and offerings exclusive to members, continued to be an important asset to members, with videos from FTA events and webinars, basic press operator training tutorials, archived issues from FLEXO Magazine, Tech Tips, print-related resources and more added throughout the year.

FTA launched www.allthingsfirst.org, a new dedicated website providing information and benefits on FIRST 6.0, FIRST Individual Certification and FIRST Company Certification.

FTA added LinkedIn and Facebook to the social networks on which it is active, while growing its Twitter and Instagram audience by double-digit percentages.

Industry Happenings

Labelexpo Europe 2019 took place Sept. 24-27 in Brussels, Belgium. Attendees numbered 37,903 and 140 countries were represented. The event saw the launching of new mid web presses, hybrid technology, and advancements in automation and sustainable materials.

Acquisitions were once again a frequent occurrence: