FTA Celebrates 2023 Excellence in Flexography Awards Winners
After an afternoon of informative sessions, including discussions on hot topics such as extended producer responsibility, advanced recycling, collaboration’s role in delivering efficacious flexible packaging, and a lively debate about mounting tape and self-adhesive rollers, the FTA unveiled the winners of its 2023 FTA Technical Innovation Award, 2023 FTA Sustainability Excellence Award, 2023 FTA President’s Award, 2023 FTA Hall of Fame induction, and the 2023 FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards.
The award-winning prints were announced on Sunday, April 16, during the Awards Banquet at FORUM & INFOFLEX 2023, FTA’s annual four-day technical conference and exhibition. This year’s list of distinguished winners further exemplifies the diverse capabilities that flexographic printing has to offer in today’s fast-paced, constantly changing market.
“Every year I’m more and more impressed with the quality of the print in this competition,” said Excellence in Flexography Awards Committee Chair Alix Guyot of tesa tape. “This year we really saw what’s possible when entrants optimize for their pressrooms and focus on the printing. The judges continue to impress with their dedication and discussions. I encourage anyone to get involved, either through entries or judging.”
Judges representing a range of segments of the flexographic industry analyzed hundreds of print samples. All entries were evaluated meticulously, with multiple parameters for gauging the work’s degree of difficulty and level of execution.
Six exemplary prints were selected for the Best of Show award in their respective categories:
- The Vet IQ Skin & Coat/Calming/5-in-One Soft Chew Bags, printed by PPC Flexible Packaging (Wide Web category)
- The Framar CideKicks Disinfectant Pods Bag, printed by Accredo Packaging (Mid Web category)
- The Wander Folk Spirits Garden Club Gin Label, printed by Multi-Color Corp (Narrow Web category)
- The Social Burgerjoint Takeaway Container, entered by Marvaco Ltd on behalf of Adara Pakkaus Oy (Combined Corrugated category)
- The Angry Orchard Hard Cider Explorer Variety Pack Box, printed by International Paper Co (Preprinted Linerboard category)
- • The M&S Start Your Spring Collection Today Envelope, printed by Encore Envelopes Ltd (Envelope category)
Early the next morning, the educational conference program continued with Bobby Congdon from Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University and Hank Welter from TC Transcontinental Packaging, who led a blended session with panels and presentations that explored how flexible packaging converters and printers help find new employees, train them for success, and retain them as vital pieces of their companies long term.
Next was an exploration of color management that spanned two days. Starting with an interactive panel discussion led by Jason Campbell from X-Rite and Dan Uress from MeasureColor that showcased how package printers adopted data-driven color measurement to improve color management and developed new SOPs that resulted in improved overall print quality and more reliable and repeatable processes.
The conversation around color printing continued Tuesday morning with a series of mini-presentations, curated by Kevin Bourquin of Cyber Graphics and Jessica Harrell of SGS & Co., developed to answer pressing questions such as What is the impact of a white base substrate or ink? Is the highest density always the right density? Expanded gamut has been around for a while; is it ready to improve efficiency, and will brand colors sacrifice? How does an LED light source impact visual results on shelf? Kai Lankinen from Dr. Lankinen Graphic Innovations started the session with a data-rich, academic exploration of extended color gamut.
The educational program will continue until Wednesday, April 19, eventually delivering more than 25 industry experts will take the stage during the conference, delivering 20-plus presentations. The FORUM 2023 conference program at the Hilton Columbus Downtown, which, with 75,000 square feet of meeting space, is currently the largest hotel in Ohio, is being held in conjunction with INFOFLEX 2023, which boasts 180 exhibitors over 25,000 square feet at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.