Your browser is no longer supported. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Innovation highs


Four entrants to the Global Flexo Innovation Awards 2021 were chosen as High Honor winners for projects that had a big impact for the flexo community. As representatives for the companies behind the winning entries met in Europe to celebrate and collect their trophies, we took a look at what the independent judging panel said about the innovations they worked on.

The judges for the GFIA selected a group of High Honor winners from the entries based on industry breakthroughs and their potential value in transforming the future of flexo. Four winners were selected during the 2021 awards, all showing a big impact towards advancing the flexo printing process:

• Bosisio SA, Celomat SA & Mondelez SA
• Fathom Optics, Grace Label Inc & Confluence Brewing Company
• Mega Embalagens, Multipack & Pontyn
• Sunshine FPC & Trisoft Graphics

With travel restrictions easing across the globe, we were able to bring the winners together to celebrate their awards success. Here’s snapshot of why they stood out and were chosen as High Honor winners.

Making strong cases for change

“They brought in 8-color jobs, very traditional, a lot of broken out spot colors into a standardized gamut color set…They were very strategic in how they selected the final colors. And they went further than that, demonstrating how much cost savings and the savings on the sustainability side.”
GFIA judge Chip Tonkin on the Bosisio SA, Celomat, SA and Mondelez SA winning entry.

Not everyone is open to change. Making the case for a change to ink or print process can be one of the biggest innovation challenges. Two of the High Honor winners, Bosisio SA and Trisoft Graphics made impressive cases for change – from gravure to flexo, unlocking previously unachievable efficiency and sustainability benefits for their clients with flexo, and delivering real cost savings with ECG printing.

“This was a gravure to flexo conversion, and the gravure print had been imported from overseas. So having a local source, lots of freight savings and lots of time savings [are achieved] in the implementation.”
GFIA judge Chris Horton on the Sunshine FPC and Trisoft Graphics winning entry.

Raising flexo printing standards

Innovations are probably best judged by their impact; one of the criteria the judging panel considered when they selected High Honor winners. Standardization in print is an area of innovation with potential for a large number of jobs and one that can deliver at scale.

Mega Embalagens used the FLEXCEL NX System to respond to an industry trend towards shorter print runs. Their approach saved three printing setups, 23 polymer plates and a 40% reduction in setup time. Color standardization was a feature of Bosisio’s winning entry, bringing ECG printing by numbers to their large scale conversion from gravure to flexo.

“Because they had relatively low volumes, they were able to include four different SKUs on each print around the cylinder. And through the technology achieve great print, great color.”
GFIA judge Jason Goode on the Mega Embalagens, Multipack and Pontyn winning entry.

Pushing the potential of FLEXCEL NX Technology

A key feature that defines market-leading technology is that people can effectively use it to realize its full – or even wider – potential. That’s exactly what Fathom Optics did with their futuristic 3D design, brought to life with the KODAK FLEXCEL NX System and printed by Grace Label on a standard flexo press.

“It’s the first time that I’ve seen a 3D printed graphic image that just came off a conventional printing press with no additional steps. I’ve never seen one that came off a flexographic printing press that was able to achieve this kind of effect.”
GFIA judge Ken McGuire on the Fathom Optics & Grace Label winning entry.

“As you saw from the image, this is mouthwatering. Our judges became hungry looking at the print sample it was so outstanding.”
GFIA judge Chris Horton on the Sunshine FPC and Trisoft Graphics entry.

For their entry, Trisoft Graphics made use of the advanced capabilities of the FLEXCEL NX System to create impressive designs that Sunshine FPC could produce on a new plant-based substrate, overcoming the ink adhesion challenges the substrate presented, with no compromises on print quality.