Find out how the company has benefited over the last five decades by constantly transforming its production capabilities.
By Lori Leaman
American Screen Art realized early on that in order to survive a changing marketplace, it would have to be willing to accept inevitable shifts in the industries it served and adopt new technologies and processes to maintain a competitive foothold. When the company first opened, it was outfitted with an ample amount of equipment to support the print jobs that it was producing for fleet and beverage applications. However, the company's growing client base brought with it the need to add equipment and processes to support the increasing order volume. American Screen Art recognized that to continue satisfying its customers, it needed equipment that also would support new graphics applications and materials.
In 1985, American Screen Art moved to a facility three times the size of its original plant. Its focus remained on the fleet and beverage markets, and print jobs at the time consisted of vehicle graphics (Figure 1), beverage-vending-machine graphics, replacement decals, and fountain graphics. Business in these markets continued to boom, and in 1996, American Screen Art purchased its first Tekind multicolor inline screen-printing press to meet the demand for print jobs in the beverage market and to support the company's switch from solvent-based ink formulations to UV-curable inks. The company added its second and third multicolor inline presses, manufactured by Sias, in 1997 and 1999.
American Screen Art's fleet-graphics business continued to experience significant growth. One of the company's sales representatives called upon McDonald's, whose marketing departmentex- pressed an interest in affixing images of McDonald's products on its fleet of trucks. American Screen Art produced prototypes and impressed McDonald's marketing team with its capability to print four-color-process graphics for the vehicles. With the McDonald's account, American Screen Art became the first screen-printing operation to implement a national, full-coverage, four-color-process fleet program.
Dennis Alexander, American Screen Art's COO, says this type of printing is no easy feat. "It's essentially a combination of good screen-printing processes," he explains. "You have to do prepress work, make good color separations, and be able to print by the numbers. We have to match densities, dot gain, registration, and put it all together. And we have a quality process that allows us to do that."
The screen-printing side
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