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American Screen Art: Capitalizing on Change

(May 2006) posted on Wed May 24, 2006

Find out how the company has benefited over the last five decades by constantly transforming its production capabilities.


By Lori Leaman

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Today, American Screen Art is located in a 90,000-sq-ft facility (Figure 2) that houses 100 employees and various departments to support the solutions that the company offers its customers. It all begins in the company's prepress department, which maintains a staff of eight. Here employees use Apple Macintosh G5 computers equipped with design programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Quark XPress. The prepress area also is equipped with filmmaking devices and exposure units. The screenmaking staff produces screens in sizes ranging from 12 x 12 to 60 x 120 in. (305 x 305 to 1524 x 3048 mm) and maintains a huge inventory of completed screens (Figure 3).

The majority of American Screen Art's jobs are produced in the screen-printing-production area (Figure 4) on any of its single-color presses or three multicolor inline presses. The company also has a collection of finishing equipment, including guillotine cutters, a laminator, CNC router, vinyl cutters, and steel-rule and thermal diecutting devices (Figure 5).

American Screen Art established a kitting and fulfillment-service program to meet customer demands in the beverage and P-O-S/P-O-P markets. In this area, employees pick, kit, collate, pack, and ship graphics to specific client locations.

The company's devotion to its customers doesn't end when finished products leave the shipping dock. For example, the company established a department to handle graphics-application and removal services to ensure that fleeted graphics are installed properly.

American Screen Art's management realized that customers wanted turnkey services. They moved quickly to establish a team of applicators and put the new hires through a training system developed by 3M. American Screen Art requires its applicators to be insured and bonded, and they are fully responsible for product installation and/or removal. Today, American Screen Art's team of 3M-certified applicators is located throughout the country.

Opportunities in digital printing

An increase in demand for valve decals and flavor strips for beverage equipment prompted American Screen Art to make an important addition to its operation: digital-printing technology. In 1996, the company purchased an HP Indigo E-Print, a plateless digital offset system, to complement its inline screen-printing equipment. The new technology presented a few challenges, but American Screen Art was able to reap rewards from its new purchase within six months after acquiring the machine.


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