October 11, 2002 -- (Quad/Graphics) -- We are breaking ground on our much-anticipated printing facility in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The plant will commence operations in summer 2003 as a web offset printing facility with gravure presses being added in two years' time to create a state-of-the-art facility unparalleled in capabilities and product flexibility.
Situated on 168 acres of land just 12 miles southeast of downtown Oklahoma City, the plant – the first for Quad/Graphics west of the Mississippi River – will measure 92,000 square feet to start, someday growing to mega-size proportions of more than 1 million square feet. Employment will grow from nearly 100 during the first year of operation to many hundreds in two years' time. Rapid employment growth will continue in subsequent years.
"Quad/Oklahoma will feature a manufacturing platform engineered for nimbleness," said Thomas A. Quadracci, president and CEO of Quad/Graphics. "We're constructing and equipping the plant to rapidly adapt to changing client needs in terms of geodemographics, targeted delivery and shortened concept to consumer cycles."
To start, Quad/Graphics will install two web offset presses – an eight-unit Heidelberg press and an eight-unit MAN Roland press – as well as saddle stitching equipment.
When gravure operations begin in 2005, Quad/Graphics' Oklahoma City plant will feature the industry's fastest, most productive gravure presses, regardless of size. The presses, manufactured by Italy-based Cerutti, will be equipped with "jack rabbit gravure" technology – full automation from cylinder loading through signature delivery, including computerized process-control systems by QTI, Quad/Graphics' award-winning research and development subsidiary.
Quad/Graphics announced its intent to expand to Oklahoma City in December 2000, following an exhaustive 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 in anticipation of an influx of new business as the economy stabilizes. "We're preparing now for future business opportunities," Mr. Quadracci said. "The demand for print is certain to rebound with the economy."
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