BOHEMIA, NY – May 7, 2014 – Flexographic Technical Association’s (FTA) 2014 Annual Forum, themed Breaking New Ground did just that at last week’s four-day event, April 27-30. Attendance records were shattered. Educational and technical content was at its finest. Networking was continuous and constant. Subject matter inspired dialogue and discussion.
Chaired by Pepper Stokes, robbie fantastic flexibles and Jessica Harkins Harrell, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc., the conference drew record crowds for flexography’s main event, which took place in downtown Baltimore, MD. Eleven sessions spanned everything from the fundamentals, found in the Flexography 101 and 102 sessions, to the more complex processes expounded upon in sessions like Expanded Gamut and Managing Pressroom Efficiencies.
- Myths were debunked, demystified and deflated in the Flexo Mythbusters session
- Research results were unveiled during the Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC) session
- Growth and diversified markets took center stage in the Emerging Flexo Markets session
- A preview of what’s in store for future updates was given in the FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances) session
- An array of concurrent sessions (Flexible Packaging, Tags & Labels and Corrugated) delved into the specific concerns, challenges and opportunities facing those market segments
“Everything came together extremely well for this year’s Forum gathering,” said Mark Cisternino, FTA/FFTA president. “The program committee and members of the FTA staff really took the theme to heart in executing a number of new and exciting initiatives throughout the year-long development process. There was a real positive buzz among attendees at the conference and on the INFO*FLEX show floor…both commenting on the success of the event, as well as reflecting on the current strong business conditions in the flexo marketplace.”
Presenters were lauded for their proficiency on the podium and the knowledge they cogently communicated on stage. The ballrooms of the Hilton Baltimore were crowded to capacity with an audience made up of printer/converters, print buyers, designers, brand management firms, prepress providers, suppliers and students/educators.
Forum, often hailed as the largest annual gathering of the package printing and converting marketplace, attracted praise such as:
“Excellent technical content; well presented.”
“Great approach to presenting best practices to the printing community.”
“Good inclusions of non-traditional subject matter.”
At the Annual Banquet & Awards Program, honors were given to the 106 award winners of the 2014 Excellence in Flexography Awards Competitions. Two companies were announced as winners of the newly minted FTA Sustainability Excellence Award. Two individuals were recognized with President’s Awards. One individual was honored into the industry’s most elite group of flexographers—FTA’s Hall of Fame. Two companies were named winners of the 2014 Technical Innovation Award. One company was recognized with the TEST Educational Leadership Award and the FFTA/Rossini North American Flexographic Scholarship was awarded to a trio of students.
Sponsors of the 2014 Forum include: Kodak; 3M; Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.; DuPont Packaging Graphics; Esko; Glunz & Jensen Degraf S.p.A.; MacDermid Printing Solutions; Sun Chemical Corp.; Daetwyler; DOMINO; Hewlett Packard; Soma Engineering; Xeikon; Graymills Corp.; MicroDynamics; Rogers Corp.; Flint Group; Harper Corporation of America; Flexo Wash LLC; and ICE USA.
Next year’s Forum is slated for May 3-6, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. Chairing the events are Jessica Harkins Harrell, Anderson & Vreeland, Inc. and Jennye Scott, Berry Plastics Corp.
For more information about FTA’s 2014 Annual Forum contact Sharon Cox, FTA director of marketing at 631-737-6020 ext. 46.
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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.