Tag Archives: Flexographic Technical Association

Speeding to Indy for the Phoenix Challenge

The "Whole-in-One" -- the Dunwoody team's entry for the Phoenix Challenge

A team of four students from the Design & Graphics Technology department will be competing this weekend in the Phoenix Challenge, the Flexographic Technical Association’s annual product design and printing competition for colleges and universities that provide training in flexographic printing.

The competition will take place April 30 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is the culmination of months of hard work to conceive, design, market, and print an original product using flexographic printing technology.

This year’s challenge was to create a promotional product for a golf fund-raising event. Dunwoody’s team created the Whole-In-One (pictured above) and have been working since last summer to prepare for the competition. The students who will be representing the entire team at the Phoenix Challenge are: Matt Christianson, Mitch Hanson, Mary Johnson and DJ Rickerd. They will not only be submitting the final products for judging but also giving a presentation before the judges on the processes they used to develop and print the product.

Instructors Shawn Oetjen and Tom Herold will also represent Dunwoody at the Phoenix Challenge. Dunwoody took first place at last year’s competition.


Scholarships, flexographic printing presses, classroom space and more mean Dunwoody graphics and printing students graduate with experience with real equipment.

Minneapolis, June 11, 2008 — Dunwoody College of Technology’s printing and graphics production lab was renamed the Harper Center of Graphics Technology last Friday in a ceremony honoring Ron and Katherine Harper, retired founders of the global anilox supplier Harper Corporation of America.

Joe Tuccitto, education director of the Flexographic Technical Association represented the Harpers at the event. Tuccitto, who is also a former Dunwoody faculty member, said: “Ron asked me to tell you all, ‘It has been our pleasure to work with Dunwoody College of Technology for the past 15 years in their quest for excellence in flexographic education. As many of you know, we have a passion for flexographic education, and Dunwoody has been a significant vehicle for that passion.’”

The Harpers have long been supporters of Dunwoody’s Design and Graphics Technology program. Most recently they committed $500,000 to the College, of which $100,000 will endow the Ron and Katherine Harper Scholarship Fund.

The gift is in addition to other support over the years, including a $100,000 donation that included more than 50 anilox rolls for use on the two flexographic machines in the printing lab as well as lease support for the machines. Flexographic printing involves the use of flexible plates in conjunction with anilox rolls to adhere ink on a substrate (the item the ink is applied to). It usually is a six- or eight-color printing process and each flexo machine has a plate for each color so that the substrate only needs to run through the machine once. In addition, the process accommodates a wide range of substrates, including flexible ones. Most consumer product packaging and labels are printed on flexo presses.

All of Dunwoody’s pre-press, graphic design and press students get experience with flexo output, which is somewhat unusual for graphics education at the college-level.

The Harpers support of Dunwoody is the result of their strong belief in supporting technical education.

“By putting money into education at the high school and college levels, we can ensure that students are working with the latest technology,” Ron Harper said. “They come into the workplace prepared, instead of only being familiar with ancient technology that is no longer applicable.”

The Harper Center of Graphics Technology also includes three classrooms within the production lab. They have been renamed Harper Studio A, B and C.

About Harper Corporation: Harper Corporation has manufacturing facilities in Charlotte and Green Bay, Wisc., as well as licensee operations in Bangkok, Thailand, and Herford, Germany. The Harpers have been deeply involved in education and training future flexographers at the high school and college levels since 1990.

The Harpers were the first to participate in the Flexographic Technical Association’s Flexo In High Schools/Colleges program, which was initiated in 1990 and saw the first flexographic press installed in a high school in 1992. Today 21 high schools and 32 colleges in the U.S., Canada and Argentina provide hands-on flexography training programs based on the one launched by the Harpers more than a decade ago.