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Quad/Graphics To Acquire Fastest Gravure Presses in 2003 at New Plant

Press release from the issuing company

PEWAUKEE, WIS. - Quad/Graphics will launch print-production operations at its Oklahoma City plant in spring 2003 with a new breed of gravure presses designed to outperform other printers' presses in speed, productivity and cost-effectiveness. Manufactured by Italy-based Cerutti to Quad/Graphics' specifications, these new presses 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' award-winning research and development division. "Quad/Graphics 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," said Harry V. Quadracci, president and founder of the Pewaukee, Wis.-based commercial printer. "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 for nimbleness and will enable the printer to rapidly adapt to changing client needs, regionally, nationally and globally. Furthermore, the presses will offer unparalleled flexibility for printing the widest range of products possible. As far as componentry, the presses 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 unparalleled color consistency, as well as capture data for optimizing cylinder engraving on future print runs Initially, 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 the largest, most-technologically advanced print-production facility west of the Mississippi River. "Quad/Graphics is building the largest gravure and web offset printing plant west of the Mississippi River," said Mr. Quadracci. "We expect that our Oklahoma City plant will reach megaplant status of 1 million-plus square feet within five years' time and employ hundreds, if not thousands, of people who will be running the most sophisticated equipment in the industry. 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 plant 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 distribution of product. 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 plants 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," Mr. Quadracci said. "As the economy rebounds, so will print demand and so will the need for another brand new printing plant - Quad/Oklahoma!" In related news, Mr. Quadracci announced Steve Horning as Plant Manager for the new Oklahoma City plant - a role in which Mr. Horning will serve as an ambassador to the clients and employees as well as the community. A 20-year veteran of Quad/Graphics, Mr. Horning launched his career in the company's Pewaukee, Wis., pressroom. After managing individual presses for a number of years, he became a Press Shift Operations Manager for the company's Lomira, Wis., plant - the printing industry's single largest print manufacturing facility. Most recently, Mr. Horning has served as an Employee Advocate for the company's Hartford, Wis., plant, where he has capitalized on his communication and interpersonal skills to serve employee needs. Thirty-year-old Quad/Graphics (www.qg.com) is the largest privately held printer of magazines, catalogs, books and other commercial product in the Western Hemisphere. It is an industry leader in integrating equipment, technology and systems across all operating divisions in all plants for the purpose of reducing cycle times and, ultimately, improving the immediacy of print. Its long-standing integration initiative includes a seamless transfer of information from publishers and catalogers directly to Quad/Graphics' print-production and parcel sortation facilities on three continents. With the launch of its Smart Tools client site (accessible through www.qg.com), Quad/Graphics hosts the first major international B2B e-commerce portal of its kind in the entire printing and publishing industries. Quad/Graphics' services range from front-end design and photography through digital imaging/premedia services, printing, list management, finishing and distribution. The printer's research and development division, Quad/Tech, is known worldwide for the design and manufacture of computerized press and bindery controls. Quad/Tech also provides a complete line of material handling equipment, making it the only auxiliary control supplier with products for press, material handling and post-press operations. Quad/Tech products are in use in more than 85 countries. Quad/Graphics employs 14,000 people worldwide and has sales of $2 billion annually.

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