"Jack Rabbit" Press Highlights Future Quad/Graphics Facility
PEWAUKEE, WI—The rabbit is out of the bag at Quad/Graphics.
One of the nation's leading privately held printers has revealed that when it launches its print production operations at its Oklahoma City plant in the spring of 2003, a new breed of gravure presses, designed to outperform other printers' presses in speed, productivity and cost-effectiveness, will be leading the way.
The press, courtesy of Italian manufacturer Cerutti and manufactured to Quad's specifications, will be equipped with "jack rabbit gravure" technology—full automation from cylinder loading through signature delivery, including computerized process control systems by Quad/Tech, Quad/Graphics' research and development division.
According to Harry Quadracci, president and founder of Quad/Graphics, the press will "reset the gravure industry to zero with the development of these new presses, which I call 'jack rabbit gravure' based on their speed and productivity. With a brand new plant, we had the option of installing any press in any configuration. After careful consideration, we decided to develop 'jack rabbit gravure' technology. These presses will be the fastest, most productive, most cost-efficient gravure presses existing in the industry today, regardless of size."
The presses will be the centerpiece of a print manufacturing platform Quad/Graphics has engineered and will enable the printer to rapidly adapt to changing client needs. They will feature an all-new color control system designed exclusively for gravure presses by Quad/Tech. The system will accurately blend ink throughout a press run for color consistency, as well as capture data for optimizing cylinder engraving on future print runs.
Quad/Graphics will install two of the specially equipped gravure presses at its Oklahoma City plant as part of an initial plant and equipment investment totaling more than $70 million. Eventually, the company will expand the plant to house as many as 12 of the "jack rabbit gravure" presses, as well as multiple web offset presses, saddle stitchers and perfect binders, creating one of the industry's largest, most technologically advanced print production facilities.
"Quad/Graphics is building the largest gravure and web offset printing plant west of the Mississippi River," notes Quadracci. "We expect that our Oklahoma City plant will reach megaplant status of one million-plus square feet within five years' time and employ hundreds, if not thousands, of people. The opportunities for employee education and advancement will be unparalleled."
Construction on Phase I of the plant will start this fall following a celebratory groundbreaking in October. Situated on 168 acres of land southeast of downtown Oklahoma City, the facility will initially measure 193,000 square feet and employ 100 people during its first year of operation.
Quad/Graphics announced its intent to expand to Oklahoma City in December 2000, following an exhaustive, one-year site search that included several western cities. Among the city's advantages is its central location within the United States, which is ideal for expedited product distribution. The plant site, located off I-240, provides instant accessibility to I-40, the primary east-west interstate corridor that bisects the country. In addition, Oklahoma City is within one day's drive of Quad/Graphics' existing production facilities in Georgia and Wisconsin, which will facilitate interplant shipments.
Despite the fragile economy, Quad/Graphics is pursuing the expansion knowing that "times like this are periods of preparation for companies like Quad/Graphics to leap forward with another step in growth," Quadracci states. "As the economy rebounds, so will print demand and so will the need for another brand new printing plant—Quad/Oklahoma!"