On Thursday 4th November in a room filled with industry peers, colleagues and friends, our very own Alan Quinn was awarded ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Flexo Industry’ at the prestigious EFIA ceremony. Unfortunately, due to ill-health Alan was unable to attend the event, but Reflex Sales Director Steve Sinclair had the honour of collecting the award on his behalf.
Steve said: “Alan is a Gentleman of the old school. When he joined Reflex from Skanem, he was moving from a big group to a fast-moving, hungry, smaller company with huge ambition. His quiet brilliance and ability to get on with everyone made him a key part of the team that has taken Reflex, as the largest independent packaging company in the UK, to the size that it is now.”
Whilst Alan (Quinny or Q to those that know him) retired a couple of months ago, he remains very much a part of Reflex – his knowledge, expertise and good humour has been woven into the very fabric of the business.
Reflex CEO Ian Kendall said “Alan has always been loved by everyone, colleagues, customers and suppliers. His quiet brilliance coupled with that unique ability to get on with everybody played a significant part in enabling Reflex to become the company it is today. Everyone at Reflex is in his debt”
Alan’s career in print began in the early 70s when he left school to pursue an apprenticeship as a process engraver, learning about the print business using photography and chemistry to produce metal plates. A natural leader, he quickly progressed to Studio Manager and then Production Manager for a local newspaper.
Newspapers during this time were hubs for printing innovation, and Alan was involved in developing new technologies with a system that promised to improve the printing process and eventually produce full-colour newspapers…this technology was Apple MacIntosh.
A chance meeting with a self-adhesive label printer introduced Alan to the world of sticky labels, and this was the end of his newspaper print journey! He went from using a six-colour Goss litho press that was “three stories high and a city block in length” to a 12-16-inch-wide press capable of printing up to nine colours. He was in his element and joined the company ‘Labelling Dynamics’ shortly afterwards.
Alan continued his good relationship with Apple, discarding the traditional high-end repro programmes to establish one of the first in-house origination plants in flexo, setting up a studio with a Mac, ArtPro and a Nexus Rip. This helped to achieve better plate technology with flat-topped dots and better-quality print as a result.
Alan went on to find innovative ways to automate routine tasks, delivering dot on dot accuracy and closed loop colour, long before the industry was using words such as ‘spectrophotography’. These improvements continued with the standardisation of all elements of the press and a comprehensive QC system at each stage of the print process.
Alan continued his career through SE Labels, Skanem and finally with us at Reflex, and has helped countless people launch their own successful careers in repro, linerless application systems and label printing. Universally acknowledged by the industry to be competent and capable, he has shown a constant track record of innovation and delivery.
Everyone at Reflex wishes Alan all the best for his hard earned retirement and huge congratulations on his Outstanding Contribution award!