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FLEXO Magazine : January 2011
INDUSTRY INDICATORS It was not long before A&V introduced its own line of molding presses manufactured out of the Bryan facility. The business did more than $1 million in sales during its ini- tial year, far surpassing their $400,000 projection. A&V began growing with the industry it served, opening an Atlanta, GA facility in 1964 and West Covina, CA facility in 1969. Elk Grove Village, IL soon followed and a nationwide sales/distribution network was established. PHOTOPOLYMER INTRODUCED In 1974, Uniroyal introduced a sheet polymer material that is still utilized by the flexo market today. Anderson & Vreeland quickly became an innovative leader in the manufacture of equipment that processed photopolymer plates for flexogra- phy. Rotary plate processors, exposure systems and dryers were manufactured in a range of sizes from 15in. x 27in. to 52in. x 80in. Combination systems that contained everything required to expose, washout, dry, post expose and detack solvent-wash photopolymer plates soon followed, along with other plate processors. As the quality of flexo improved with innovative materials and equipment, the market expanded, and so did Anderson & Vreeland. In 1983, A&V completed the acquisition of William- son & Co. “It was a logical move,” noted Howard Vreeland, Jr. “ Our sales were $20 million and Williamson’s sales were $10 million.” International expansion was soon on the horizon when an operation in Holland was established. A&V held the business in Holland for 14 years before selling it. Anderson & Vreeland was concerned with environmental and ecological issues long before it was fashionable to do so. Before water-wash plates were introduced, flexo plate pro- cessing required harmful chemicals (perchloroethylene/butyl alcohol) in the washout process. A&V introduced fumeless processors featuring a special vapor evacuation system, ex- haust fans and automatic plate input and take-off to prevent operator exposure to fumes. The company then introduced Poly-Safe, a non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally- safe washout alternative to foul-smelling perc/butyl. A&V also pioneered the use of UV light to detack photopolymer plates. In the late 1990s, Anderson & Vreeland introduced to North America Cosmolight, the world’s first water-wash flexo plate from Toyobo, a Japan-based world leader in photopolymer chemistry. A&V also introduced the equipment required to process water-wash flexo plates, reducing the industry ’s reli- ance on solvent-wash plates. THE NEW MILLENIUM Andy Anderson and Howard Vreeland Sr. retired from An- derson & Vreeland Inc. in Dec. 2001. At the same time, Thom- as O. Gavin, formerly president of MacDermid’s Graphic Arts Division, joined A&V as president and chief executive officer. Howard Vreeland Jr., who worked at the company in every facet of the business, became vice president of operations and chief operating officer. During this time, Anderson & Vreeland recognized the growing importance of digital technology in improving the productivity and quality of flexo. More and more companies were converting to flexo, expanding the market and its poten- tial for A&V. In 2002, A&V introduced the first complete laser-imaged computer-to-plate (CTP) system (FlexoLaser) for water-wash flexo plates. At the same time, the company introduced Cosmolight digital plates from Toyobo for CTP systems. The digital revolution was picking up speed for A&V. In 2003, A&V began selling FulFlex laser engraving materials, including plates and sleeves. This high-performance flexo plate mate- rial continues to offer improved print quality and substantial savings to printers. Digital technology now dominates the graphic arts and packaging industries. Technological advances, such as laser- engraved anilox rolls and sophisticated plate- making equip- ment, have helped flexography grow into the most effective printing method for packaging and other print products. With recent innovations in the area of publication printing, flexog- raphy has further solidified its reputation as a sophisticated, high-quality printing process that can expand to countless applications. Anderson & Vreeland has positioned itself for continued growth as flexo evolves. In Jan. 2009, Darin Lyon was ap- pointed vice president and general manager of A&V. Darin’s responsibilities include all sales, customer service and marketing, purchasing, warehousing, technical service and training for Anderson & Vreeland’s customers throughout North America and Mexico. At the same time, Drew Elisius Tom Gavin, president and CEO. Darin Lyon, vice president and general manager. Drew Elisius, vice president of operations, Engineered Products. www.flexography.org JANUARY 2011 FLEXO 29
Sustainable Winter 2011