Breaking new ground, records in Baltimore.

Author:Katz, Steve

New attendance records were set at The Flexographic Technical Association's (FTA) 2014 Annual Forum, which took place April 27-30 at the Hilton Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, MD, USA. The theme of this year's Forum was "Breaking New Ground," and it featured a program full of fresh content. Commenting on the theme, Forum co-chairs Pepper Stokes, of Robbie Fantastic Flexibles, and Jessica Harkins Harrell, of Anderson & Vreeland, said, "This year we made it our No. 1 priority to bring forth new topics, new content, new research, new case studies ... new everything into the Forum program. Thus, the theme 'Breaking New Ground' came to be. We wanted to make sure that we broke new ground in every conceivable way."

Educational and technical content covered a wide ran range of topics, from flexo fundamentals, found in the Flexography 101 and 102 sessions, to the more complex processes and in-depth analysis in sessions such as Expanded Gamut and Managing Pressroom Efficiencies. The session titled "Flexo Mythbusters" paid tribute to the popular Mythbusters TV show, with experts sharing their thoughts on several flexo misconceptions. Topics that were tackled included the stigma UV inks have in relation to food packaging, the robustness of photopolymer plates, the importance of controlling ink temperature, cleaning anilox rolls that are UV-inked, and debunked were the perceived drawbacks of LED systems.

"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."


Across the street from the FTA Forum, at the Baltimore Convention Center, the annual INFO*FLEX exhibition took place. According to the FTA, this year's event attracted 1800-plus attendees who learned about the products and capabilities of the 262 exhibitors representing all facets of the flexo process and supply chain. Several exhibitors used INFO*FLEX as a forum to announce new products.

Flint Group Flexographic Products debuted at INFO*FLEX its new Flexo Toolbox app for iPhone and Android devices. The app helps printers in simplifying flexo prepress, platemaking and process control, and can assist platemakers with tasks ranging from the calculation of plate distortion and solvent...

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