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Anderson Litho--The Logic of Investment

June 1999
Anderson Lithograph's recent investments—which include a new eight-color MAN Roland web press, plus ongoing digital prepress and pressroom quality enhancements (Hint: Harris & Bruno's chambered doctor blade system)—are strengthening this high-end printer's profit and productivity margins.


A LOOK at Anderson Lithograph, strictly from an equipment purchase standpoint, presents an interesting case study in the calculated risks and productivity merits associated with making the leap to new equipment investments.

Anderson Lithograph, a high-end commercial printer situated in star-studded Los Angeles, is no stranger to leading, even bleeding, edge technology investments. As of last month, Anderson Lithograph became a part of the high impact division of Mail-Well Print Group, bringing its reported sales of $150 million for 1998, its 420 employees and a host of new technology investments into the Mail-Well family.

In the prepress area, CTP has, for three years now, been well instituted at Anderson Lithograph. Lately, Anderson's attention has been consumed by the promise of digital color proofing. Anderson, at present, operates a Kodak Approval and is currently evaluating Imation material running on a Creo ProofSetter digital halftone proofing device. A Creo ProofSetter is due for delivery this month.

Anderson Lithograph's goal in electronic prepress is to be an extension of its customers' creative needs. To accomplish this goal, Anderson has applied state-of-the-art technologies for image capture, image retouching, page assembly, film output and proofing (both digital and analog). Beta efforts at Anderson over the years includes work with Kodak HiFi Color Systems, SGI high impact graphic workstations and Creo thermal platesetters.

"By keeping current in all aspects of electronic image manipulation and image management, we can stay ahead of the pack and offer a greater range of services to our customers," contends Mark Tennant, vice president of new business development at Anderson Lithograph.

Right now, there is excitement about Anderson Lithograph's sixth and most current web press installation, a MAN Roland eight-color in-line press, said to be the only press in the world set up as it is—capable of spot and overall coating on an essentially nine-color web. In the sheetfed line,

Anderson, at present, operates six 40˝ Komori presses: three six-colors with coater and three eight-colors.

In January, Innotech installed a two-station prefolder on the Rotoman, one of Anderson's web presses. Innotech positioned its prefolder prior to the double-former folder, enabling a variety of special folded-signature configurations, such as single-gated six-pagers, double-gated eight-pagers and various roll-over folds.

Why Innotech? Innotech in-line finishing systems employ gap-cutting sheeter technology with a combination of Innoformer folding stations, and gluer and perforator functions to produce a wide variety of multi-folded and fully trimmed products on press. Prefolders using Innoformer air-bar plows enable running various gatefolded products through the press folder.

Harris & Bruno technologies also play a major role in Anderson's sheetfed, UV coating operation, with Harris & Bruno's LithoCoat chambered doctor blade system, allowing Anderson to lay down precise UV, aqueous and metallic coatings with their Komori tower coaters. This system utilizes a single engraved metering anilox roll, along with the chambered doctor blade system, to deliver uniform and consistent coatings.

Why the push to invest?

Quite frankly, Tennant reports, the powerhouse printer's goal is to offer services to its customers that translate creative concepts into the text and graphics medium known as print.

"With new forms of communication technologies encroaching on advertising budgets, Anderson realized that only by pushing existing digital prepress and printing technologies and advanced finishing techniques—while continuously developing new ways to exploit the latest and greatest preprinting technologies—could we keep the art of print a dynamic communication," Tennant adds

The future. This is Anderson's motivating force behind each investment, whether the tool is a digital proofing device, a thermal platesetter, an advanced doctor blade system for high-quality coating or an on-press folding system.

Look for an in-depth report on Anderson's investment strategy for improving pressroom efficiency in an upcoming issue of Printing Impressions. zz

The Doc Is In

Editor's Note: Scott Michels, product manager at Harris & Bruno, offers tips for effective coating. Harris & Bruno's LithoCoat Conversion for offset tower coaters is at work at Anderson Lithograph.

When quality spot coatings are desired, the chamber process is often used with superior results. Only the exact amount of coating required is delivered to the sheet, therefore, the spot image is very uniform with well-defined edges. This consistent coating thickness helps to improve gloss readings, while showing no signs of orange peel.

One of the biggest production realities printers struggle with is the ability to lay down dull coatings free of streaks and striations. People often blame this on their coatings, but it often has more to do with their process. Traditional roll-to-roll coaters have difficulty transferring the coating in a smooth and consistent manner, leaving marks or flaws in the end product. With the anilox and chambered doctor blade system, like the LithoCoat conversion, dull, gloss and other coatings can be applied with little effort and superior results.

For more Harris & Bruno tips on chambered doctor blade benefits, visit

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