Quad/Graphics Launches $600 Million Expansion Program

MARTINSBURG, WV—Fueled in part by a new contract to print National Geographic, Pewaukee, WI-based Quad/Graphics has embarked on a two-year, $600 million expansion program.

The contract calls for the monthly production of 9 million copies of the magazine, primarily at Quad’s facility here, but with support from the printer’s network of plants in Wisconsin, New York and Georgia.

In preparation for the new work, Quad will invest in new equipment and hire approximately 700 employees at the West Virginia facility, nearly doubling that plant’s employment. Additions at the plant will include an 84,000-square-foot pressroom, bringing total floor space at the facility to nearly 1.1 million square feet.

Quad will also invest $70 million to acquire seven major new pieces of press and finishing equipment:

Two 108˝ gravure presses equipped with triple former pinless folders manufactured by Quad/Graphics’ research and development division, QTI;

Two web offset presses enhanced with QTI’s Color Control System;

Three perfect binders featuring demographic binding, multiple-cover versioning and personalized ink-jet messaging.

“Without question, this is a monumental event for Quad/Graphics,” said Harry V. Quadracci, president and founder of the company.

Quad/Graphics’ relationship with the National Geographic Society dates back to 1985, when the printer produced pages for a book the Society published in association with the Statue of Liberty Foundation. Since then, Quad/Graphics has:

Won exclusive printing contracts for the production of National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic World;

Produced a variety of softcover and hardcover books; and

Printed the Polish-language edition of National Geographic through its European print partner, Winkowski.

The equipment additions are only the latest for Quad. In recent months it has purchased 56 pieces of press and finishing equipment, including 20 web offset and sheetfed presses, two gravure presses, 28 saddle stitchers and six perfect binders. While the presses, stitchers and binders will replace some existing equipment, they mostly will expand Quad/Graphics’ capacity.

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