Oui to Flexo

Flexo Printing

The Flexographic Technical Assn. (FTA) called its Forum 2007 “Crossing Borders: Flexo’s Global Gateway.” Very apropos. The event was held in Montreal, QC, Canada, and as with many other recent events, globalization was a big part of the agenda. Actually, it was one of three words repeated throughout the May 6–9 forum; the other two were sustainability and accountability. Attendees totaled 1,700.

Debbra Johnson and John McCooey from DuPont Imaging Technologies participated in the keynote session by offering their five Cs (challenges) of globalization: complexity, communication, cooperation, collaboration, and corporate social responsibility. They pointed out that globalization isn’t really new: People have been reaching out to each other for thousands of years. However, countries that were out of reach until relatively recently are now within reach, thanks to modern transportation and communications. According to Procter & Gamble’s Michael Ferrari, in the past big fish ate little fish; today, it’s the fast that eat the slow. Global business leads into the problem of accountability, said Ferrari, since global brands require consistent and easily recognized brand equity colors, text, etc. “Everywhere I go in the world,” he said, “Coca-Cola red is Coca-Cola red, which means I trust it.”

David Schawk of Schawk Graphics delivered the keynote address. “With each technological leap,” he said, “borders grow more transparent.” Later he added, “There will be two kinds of companies in the future: those that can capitalize on the growing Asian colossus, and those who will be left behind.” He said there will be more frequent design and product changes in the future, and “here is where the core opportunity for flexo lies. This is its strength.” He acknowledged that most of the printing being done in emerging markets isn’t flexo right now but said this can change.

Both Monday and Tuesday afternoon were devoted entirely to Info*Flex, the FTA’s popular tabletop exhibit. This year saw 183 exhibitors, and most of those PFFC interviewed observed high traffic.

Other sessions included FIRST and FQC; sustainability in the retail environment; sleeves; inks; regional reports on flexo in Germany, Australia, China, India, and the UK; flexo’s role in counterfeiting; printable electronics; and more.

Honors for Excellence
The FTA’s Excellence Awards were announced during a President’s reception on Sunday night and at the Annual Banquet and Awards Presentation held Tuesday evening. Judges selected 123 winners from a total of 608 entries in the following categories: wide web; mid-web; narrow web; folding cartons; combined corrugated; preprinted linerboard; graphic design; envelope; newspaper and publication; self promotion; college; and high school.

Presented here as a sampling of flexo excellence are the Best of Show/Gold winners in several categories of interest to converters. For more information, visit flexography.org.

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