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FLEXO Magazine : January 2011
INDUSTRY INDICATORS Anderson & Vreeland 50 Years of Innovation It all began 50 years ago. Two men joined together to form a company that has become the foremost supplier of flexographic platemaking equipment and materials for the graphic arts industry. Anderson & Vreeland has come a long way from its humble beginning in 1961. Today, the company employs 145 people, has its corporate office in Fairfield, New Jersey, a state-of-the-art 112,000 square foot manufacturing and warehouse facility in Bryan, OH, and sales warehouses strategically located throughout North America. Andy Anderson and Howard Vreeland first met at Union Carbide’s Bakelite division in Newark, NJ, where Howard was a lab assistant. But it was while working at Williamson and Co. that they decided to go into business together. Andy was the vice president and general sales manager, while Howard was the sales manager of the Midwest, selling printing plate materials to the industry. The two men left Williamson and started their new business on Jan 1, 1961 with two locations; Fairfield, NJ and Bryan, OH. “T hey realized this business had tremendous growth poten- tial and wanted tobeapartofit,” said Ron Kerr, vice president of Anderson & Vreeland. Ron joined A&V in 1961 as one of the first employ- ees in the Bryan facility. INTRO TO BRYAN How did you end up in Bryan, OH? “It’s one question we are asked quite often,” said Howard Vreeland Jr. , chairman of the board. Oddly enough, it was a broken headlight that prompted Anderson & Vreeland’s Midwest offices to be lo- cated in Bryan. While still at Williamson and Co., Howard and company owner Gene Williamson drove to Fort Wayne, IN to establish a new warehouse. Somewhere along the way, a headlight fell off the car. Howard and Gene ended up at a car dealership in Bryan to get the light fixed. While there, Gene bought a car for Howard to use and ended up leasing a build- ing for the warehouse. According to Howard Jr., the family has been in Bryan since 1953. In the company ’s first year of business, family members were running much of the duties. Both Andy and Howard’s wives handled bookkeeping for the company. In the 1960’s , rubber and matrix became the main applica- tion for making flexo printing plates. The matrix material was supplied by Rogers Corp. and rubber supplied by U.S . Rub- ber and Goodyear. In addition to selling platemaking materi- als, A&V serviced equipment used in the rubber platemaking process, including PrecisionPlate hydraulic molding presses. The A&V Bryan, OH facility circa 1963. All art courtesy Anderson & Vreeland. Howard Vreeland Jr. , chairman. 28 FLEXO JANUARY 2011 www.flexography.org • Sales exceeded $1 million in initial year of opera- tions. • Nationwide distribution network established begin- ning in 1964. Atlanta, Ga.; West Covina, CA; and Elk Grove, Il. Facilities prove pivotal. • International expansion to Canada and Europe begins in 1983.
Sustainable Winter 2011