FTA Hands Out Awards for Excellence


BALTIMORE, MD | The Flexographic Technical Assn. (FTA) presented its 2014 Excellence in Flexography Awards during a gala event as part of the Annual Forum and INFO*FLEX exhibition being held April 27–30 at the Hilton Baltimore. FTA handed out 28 gold medals, 34 silver medals, 38 bronze medals, and 6 best of show honors for the best gold medal winning entries. 

The following companies took home Best of Show awards:

Sunshine FPC for its Seafood Medley In A Ginger Noodle Broth Wrapper

Marvaco Oy for its Falcon BBQ Wrapper

Cellotape-Landmark for its Ron Teeguarden’s Dragon Herbs Tonic Alchemy Label

Lewisburg Container Co. for its Boulevard Brewing Co. Pale Ale Box

RockTenn Co. for its Hartz Multi Cat Litter Box

Mac Papers Envelope Converters for its Dish Cinema Multi Sport Pack Envelope

Technical Innovation Awards

FTA named Esko’s Equinox software technology a winner of its 2014 Technical Innovation Award in the prepress graphics category. Equinox converts four-color jobs, in CMYK or RGB, to seven-color process and allows for spot colors and combining multiple jobs into a single run, reportedly bringing a higher graphic quality, more print consistency, and increased profitability. It focuses on four four-color combinations: CMYK, OMYK, CGYK, and CMVK.

SpotOn! Flexo, the joint venture between All Printing Resources (APR) and SpotOn! Press, was announced as winner of the Technical Innovation Award in the prepress pressroom category. SpotOn! Flexo is a color analysis software tool that uses a Predictive Analysis algorithm to determine the best ink density to achieve optimum color reproduction. Predictive Analysis is an adaptation of the Beer-Lambert Law, which is a relationship of ink film thickness and substrate white point, as related to L*c*h°.

Sustainability Awards

Two companies were announced as winners of FTA’s 2014 Sustainability Excellence Awards: Accredo Packaging, Sugar Land, TX / Sustainability Programs; and Avery Dennison, Mentor, OH / Innovations in Sustainability.

Among the recent major accomplishments at Accredo:

• Accredo is in the process of obtaining certification as an SGP Printer with the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership

• The converter received a 2013 Green Power Leadership Award from the US EPA, which recognizes the country’s leading green power purchasers for their commitment and contributions to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market

• Accredo is a registered member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and the Organic Trade Association

Avery Dennison was honored for its ClearFlake Portfolio, built on the company’s proprietary SR3010 adhesive, which debounds and cleanly separates the label during the recycling process. Reportedly, the label floats and the pure PET sinks to deliver food grade quality PET flakes.

“CleanFlake was designed to address the lifecycle impacts of pressure-sensitive labels and full bottle shrink labels on PET recyclability,” says Maria Kula, communications manager within the North American Materials Group. “CleanFlake can help brands and consumer packaging companies adhere to design for recycling guidelines, so that their PET bottles and containers can be easily collected and do not contribute to contamination and yield loss of recycled PET supply.”

President’s Award

FTA named Robb Frimming, print services director at SCHAWK!, and Paul Teachout, technical/OEM accounts manager at Harper Corporation of America, as recipients of its 2014 President’s Award. The honor is given annually to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward the collective good of the flexographic community and the Association.

Frimming was recognized as a key contributor in a variety of diverse areas, including his work with the TEST (Technical Education Services Team) staff to implement a custom data collection process for the FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances) Company Certification Program. Robb also serves on the FQC (Flexo Quality Consortium) Executive Committee and its Standards Working Group Subcommittee and is co chair of FTA’s FIRST Committee. Teachout was recognized for his valuable contributions that have supported FTA’s growth in membership and in educational development. As an FTA certified FIRST Implementation Specialist, Paul maintains the value and importance of training and education to printers.

Leadership Award

Master Packaging was announced as winner of the FTA TEST Leadership Award. After attending 2012 Forum, president and CEO Mary Jean Irving became aware of the Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST) Certification program. Her company immediately began exploring how FIRST works, the various certification levels, and how to enroll employees. Two years later, Master Packaging has more than 350 Level I, II, and III certifications among its workers and another 116 certifications currently underway.

Hall of Fame

Dr. J. Page Crouch, alumni professor emeritus of graphic communications at Clemson University, Clemson, SC, was inducted into the FTA’s Hall of Fame. 

This self professed “student of printing” taught for 30+ years and later started his own consulting business—Print Education & Training. Flexography and every other form of printing has been one of his passions—decade after decade—totaling some 50 years. He is widely credited with leading the development of the school’s graphic communications program. He dedicated a career to preparing students for the printing and packaging industries, and was responsible for the development of the university’s hands-on industry training programs used by employers across the globe.

Under his tutelage, Clemson University developed a flexo capability that it describes as “second to none in an American educational setting.” Offset, gravure, and screen printing were also found on Dr. Crouch’s list of courses and syllabi that he assembled.

His service to FTA includes speaker, committee member, researcher, judge, instructor, author, and member of the board of directors.

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