When the graduates began the course almost 12 weeks ago, they were completely new to flexographic printing. After completing the rigorous mix of 80% hands-on and 20% classroom training, all four graduates are now able to successfully operate flexographic presses. Part of the students’ final was to run a tight register, seven-color job with a diecut. In order to receive maximum points, they were required to set up the job in under 850 feet.
Time played a pivotal role in the grading process, as the students had to perform both setup and clean up in less than 3.5 hours. In addition, the students completed an intense 150 question written final and achieved their FTA Level One Certification.
To attend the almost three-month course, Bey, Forbes and Lashley traveled to Minneapolis, MN from Malvern, Philadelphia, where they are employed as extruder and slitter operators at Infiana.
Byam worked in receiving at AWT Labels & Packaging in Minneapolis, MN. All four students look forward to their new roles as press operators.
"Traveling from Philadelphia to the Midwest, I did not know what to expect from Flexo Tech and the exciting world of flexography," says Bey. "I've learned about anilox rolls and their importance to the flexo industry. After my time spent training at Flexo Tech, walking into a supermarket is a totally new experience knowing that 90% of the product printed was done through flexography."
Through a variety of classroom and hands-on work experience, the students increased their knowledge and efficiency in advanced press operations and components. The course ran from April 4-June 9 and concluded with a celebratory presentation of program graduation certificates.
"The Flexo Tech Class was intense and I learned a lot," says Lashley. "I never thought there was this much to know about printing."