Flexographic printers/converters in the Milwaukee, WI, USA, region learned about some of the new additions and modifications to the Flexographic Technical Association’s (FTA) premier technical manual, FIRST 4.0 (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances).
FTA Hall of Famer Jean Jackson of Allison Systems, who chairs FTA’s Technical Advancement Council, and FTA Technical Director Bill Pope opened the July 9 stop on the Harper GraphicSolutions Tour at the Clarion Hotel Airport with an insider’s look at the content.
“In flexo, we print more than just graphics,” said Jackson, who stated that FIRST 4.0 has been updated with the knowledge that there is increasing use of the flexo printing process for printed electronics and other applications. “The design section went through a major rewrite,” she added, “and the prepress section has been greatly expanded.”
Jackson noted that starting with version 4.0, FIRST will no longer just be a North American document. The FTA has been cooperating with many of its international sister associations in bringing the process control manual to its members.
“If you put these practices in place, it should be easier to get up to color and print consistently,” said Pope. He mentioned that the traditional FIRST control target has been revised and will come in different configurations for a variety of applications. In addition, he stated, the process methodology has been aligned to CGATS TR012-2003 standards, and process control techniques based on gray balance and G7 near-neutral calibration have been added.
“We are going back to a focus on customer satisfaction,” said Jackson. She then spoke to the audience about TEST (Technical Education Services Team), the FTA’s newest educational initiative, which seeks to align institutional degree programs, seminars and resources to outcomes prescribed in FIRST.
According to Pete Hartmann, VP of sales for Harper Corporation of America, the event attracted some 70 people, and was very well received by those who attended. Feedback from printers/converters at the event showed a positive response to Jackson and Pope’s presentation. “The majority of the ratings on the presenter’s were good to excellent with the rating scale being poor, fair, good and excellent,” said Hartmann.
FTA/FFTA will soon present a series of four road shows: FIRST 4.0 on the Go! Events are set for Appleton, WI, USA, Sept. 25; Indianapolis, IN, USA, Oct. 8; Toronto, ON, Canada, Oct. 14; and Atlanta, GA, USA, Nov. 12.