A Quantum Leap--From Foresight to Fortune...a Gamble Pays
Quantum's new 75,000-square-foot facility, located in Morton Grove, IL, is reportedly one of the most modern anywhere.
In the "hospital-clean" pressroom, high- and low-voltage power supplies, air handling systems, and chilled water and fountain solution run in tunnels under the floor. (The only thing overhead is exhaust.)
The pressroom and bindery, which are sealed off from the rest of the building and automatically opened and closed upon entry or exit, are maintained at 45-percent humidity. Ceiling baffles cut down on pressroom noise.
An internal, cellular phone system has been installed throughout the facility, keeping production and project managers connected with customers, while a centralized print management system keeps them connected with every phase of a customer's job.
Quantum designed the perfect facility for what it considers the perfect technology: direct digital platemaking (coming soon) supporting five Heidelberg presses, including a new six-color, 40˝ Speedmaster 640 CD LYL equipped with multiple coating technology, which allows UV and aqueous coating over conventional inks, curing and drying—all in one pass. Plus, Quantum's analog and digital color proofing systems reportedly provide 98-percent color match. Quantum's average customer color approval takes just 15 minutes. (See sidebar for more on Quantum's prepress and pressroom technology.)
"We conducted an in-depth, two-year study of our electronic workflow to make sure it fully supported direct digital platemaking," says Cudahy. "Under the direction of our plant manager, Jim Lewandowski, we involved every employee in the design of the new plant. Every department worked on its own design, and we incorporated that information into our new facility."
"Also, we went through the complete ISO 9002 process with each person writing the standard operating procedures of his or her job," adds White. "Then, through committees, we made sure workflow was documented by SOP and supported the digital platemaking technology planned for mid-1998. We took painstaking efforts each step of the way." (White notes that Quantum should achieve ISO 9002 certification by year-end.)