Oct. 21, 2013—More than 300 printers/converters, their customers and print partners descended on Kansas City, MO, for Flexographic Technical Association’s (FTA) 2013 Fall Conference, “Got Data? Now What?” The event held last week (Oct. 14-16) drew a record crowd, with final attendance numbers signifying a 10 percent increase over last year’s highly successful conference.
Consisting of eight sessions, more than 20 speakers and 50 tabletop exhibitors/sponsors, the conference brought data collection, analysis, quality, consistency, componentry and quantifiable solutions development to the forefront of every delegate’s mind.
Attendees praised speakers for technical content, delivery and the way in which they transmitted complex subject matter into clear, understandable concepts. One evaluation summed it up, “A solid approach to provide real world data, incorporate levity and actually deliver some concrete solutions.”
Kevin Bourquin, Cyber Graphics, remarked, “Well done! Fall Conference put real meaning behind what we measure all day!”
John Paine, C-P Flexible Packaging, expressed similar thoughts. “The information and advice conveyed will make trending easier. Methods and systems showcased will provide real-time feedback to operators.”
Lori Ashford, Robbie Fantastic Flexibles, added, “Very good examples on how stats can be applied to print applications and prove essential to setting the stage for continual improvements.”
The conference began with a well attended pre-conference session—How G7 and the Seven New Reference Print Conditions Make You Money—followed by an FQC Project Update session concluding with a reception and tabletop exhibition that continued the data-driven dialogue, discussion and networking.
The 50 exhibiting/sponsoring companies included: 360 Imaging / Brandcolor Imaging; 3M Industrial Tapes & Adhesives Division; ACTEGA WIT; Acucote Inc.; AGFA Graphics/Pitman; All Printing Resources; Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.; Aquaflex/PCMC; ARC International; AVT – Advanced Vision Technology; Beta Industries; BST Pro Mark; Carey Color Inc.; Color-Logic Inc.; CT Graphic Arts; CS Labs (A Bradley Systems Co.); Daetwyler Corp.; DCM Usimeca; DuPont Packaging Graphics; Durst Image Technology US, LLC; Eaglewood Technologies, LLC / Sani-Blast; Electronics for Imaging, Inc. (EFI); eltromat America, Inc.; Erhardt + Leimer Inc.; Esko; EyeC-America, LLC.; Fine Line Graphics, Inc.; Flexo Concepts; Flexo Wash LLC; Flint Group Flexographic Products; FLXON Inc.; Harper Corporation of America; Interflex Laser Engravers; Kocher + Beck; Kodak; MacDermid Printing Solutions; Matthews Brand Solutions; MCS; OEC Graphics, Inc.; Pamarco Global Graphics; Paper Converting Machine Co.; Polymount US LLC; Precision AirConvey Corp.; QuadTech, Inc.; Screen USA; Ship & Shore Environmental; The Provident Group; Tri-X Inc.; XDS (XericWeb Drying Systems); and X-Rite.
The roster of speakers included: Brian Ashe, X-Rite; Richard Black, All Printing Resources; Randy Carter, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.; Jean Engelke, Kodak; Joe Fazzi, IDEAlliance; Robb Frimming, SCHAWK!; PJ Fronczkiewicz, Flint Group Flexographic Products; Tom Gilbertson, Enercon Industries; John Gleich, Group 360; Larry Goldberg, Beta Industries; Jessica Harkins, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.; Bill Malm, Flexo Wash LLC; Rose McKernon, FTA; Courtney Norris, DuPont Packaging Graphics; Lon Robinson, Tension Corp.; Mark Samworth, Esko; Steve Smiley, SmileyColor & Associates, LLC; Sean Teufler, Harper Corporation of America; Jeff White, EFI; and Greg Wuenstel, QuadTech.
“Got Data? Now What?” was co-chaired by Mike Orcutt, Matthews International, and Bart Wright, InterFlex Group. Orcutt summed things up with this comment. “Great conference! ‘Got Data? Now What?’ didn’t turn into ‘So What!’ In fact, one long time FTA member said it best…‘practical, technical and applicable!’”
The venue and dates for FTA’s 2014 Fall Conference have already been solidified—Oct. 20-22 in Minneapolis, MN. PJ Fronczkiewicz, Flint Group Flexographic Products, will be the conference chair and is looking forward to building a successful 2014 program.
About FTA: Flexographic Technical Association (FTA), chartered in 1958, is a professional society dedicated to bringing all members of the flexographic printing community—printers, suppliers, consumer product companies, institutions, prepress houses and others–together by providing opportunities for the free exchange of technical ideas and discussion of mutual concerns. It is a proponent of maintaining and advancing quality standards and includes 1,650 member sites that represent more than 1,400 companies and 60,000 individuals. Foundation of FTA, founded in 1974, is the educational arm of FTA and is dedicated to supporting and advancing the flexographic printing industry.