Quad/Graphics Debuts All-New Plant in Oklahoma City
Press release from the issuing company
OKLAHOMA CITY--Oct. 29, 2003-- Quad/Graphics, the world's largest privately held printer, inaugurated operations at its newest plant in Oklahoma City today at 11 a.m. CST with a grand opening celebration headlined by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, Newsweek magazine executives and Quad/Graphics President & CEO Tom Quadracci. The event - which featured a plant dedication and ribbon cutting, equipment startup, lunch and tours - drew approximately 500 guests including Oklahoma state, county and city officials, and Quad/Graphics employees and family members.
The new Oklahoma City plant, located off I-240 at 6801 Sunnylane Road, is Quad/Graphics' ninth domestic printing plant and the company's first printing facility west of the Mississippi River.
Currently, the plant encompasses 218,200 square feet and houses two web offset presses and three saddle stitchers among other equipment that supports full print-production services from digital prepress through distribution. The plant employs 100 people.
Without pause, the company is constructing another 385,000 square feet of manufacturing space to accommodate the startup of gravure operations in fall 2004. The expansion also will enable the company to immediately grow existing web offset printing and finishing capabilities. When complete one year from now, the 603,200-square-foot plant will be the single largest print-production facility west of the Mississippi River and represent a total investment of more than $130 million.
The company anticipates hiring another 150 employees by fall 2004 to accommodate its rapid-fire growth.
"We're proud to make this investment on behalf of our clients to ensure they have access to the most modern, most advanced printing capabilities anywhere," Mr. Quadracci said. Despite economic uncertainty, the printer has moved forward with construction of the plant because "we believe in the U.S. economy and we believe in Oklahoma," Mr. Quadracci said. "We want to be ready when the economy turns around. As Will Rogers once said, 'Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.' We intend to be ready."
Mr. Quadracci announced that the company will install a variety of equipment next year for fall 2004 production, including:
-- Two 108-inch Cerutti gravure presses, fully automated from cylinder loading through signature delivery and equipped with Quad/Tech computerized process controls.
-- Two fully automated Hell Gravure Systems Helioklischograph K6 gravure cylinder engravers, which are "so technologically advanced, they can practically run unattended in the dark," Mr. Quadracci said. The engravers will be the first of their kind to be put into live production in the world.
-- An 8-unit, gapless MAN Roland Rotoman 2x6 press, bringing the plant's total number of web offset presses to three. "The purchase of this press is so new, the ink isn't even dry on the contract yet," Mr. Quadracci said.
-- Three saddle stitchers, bringing the plant's total number of stitchers to six.
Grand Opening Event
At today's grand opening event, hundreds of people flocked to Quad/Graphics' Oklahoma City plant to learn more about the company and see the latest in print-production technology.
"This is a great day in Oklahoma," said Governor Brad Henry. "Quad/Graphics' investment underscores that this is a great state to do business. We look forward to fulfilling (Quad/Graphics') dream of making this the largest printing plant in the west."
V. Burns Hargis, Chairman of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, added: "We couldn't be happier than to welcome such a fine company to our community. In the time we have worked with Quad/Graphics, I have been amazed by the innovation, courage and tenacity the company brings to the table. We are fortunate Quad/Graphics has chosen Oklahoma City and look forward to working together for many years to come."
As part of the plant dedication, Mr. Quadracci announced that the plant's main entrance would be named "Admiral's Way" in honor of the late Harry V. Quadracci whose vision and inspiring style of management grew Quad/Graphics from an obscure Wisconsin printer to a renowned international corporation. "'Admiral' was the name by which many employees knew Harry, so we thought it appropriate to remember him always," Mr. Quadracci said of his late brother. "And while Harry isn't physically here with us today to celebrate, I know he is present here on some level."
Following a ribbon cutting outside the plant - led by Governor Henry, Mr. Hargis, Mr. Quadracci and Steve Horning, Quad/Graphics' Oklahoma City Administrative Plant Manager - guests were invited inside to celebrate the installation of the company's first pieces of equipment. Mr. Quadracci and Angelo Rivello, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing & Worldwide Distribution for Newsweek, led the startup of the plant's first MAN Roland Rotoman 2x6 press, which was running advance forms of Newsweek's November 10 issue.
Quad/Graphics' relationship with Newsweek spans more than 25 years and was strengthened in March when Newsweek announced it would be the first client to commit work to the printer's Oklahoma City plant as part of a five-year, $85 million contract extension.
Oklahoma City becomes Quad/Graphics' fourth Newsweek-producing plant after Hartford, Wis.; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; and The Rock, Ga.
"In the 1970s, Newsweek took a chance on a fledgling printer, giving us the traction we needed to become what we are today," Mr. Quadracci said. "We are proud to be Newsweek's largest printer and its best, having earned Newsweek's coveted Printer of the Year award for the past 18 consecutive years."
Mr. Rivello added: "Having this state-of-the-art facility here is going to add to our operations in a way we've dreamed about for a very long, long time." The plant's location will enable Quad/Graphics to better service Newsweek readers in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana, which are growing states for the magazine's business.
Following the ceremonial press startup, guests were invited to enjoy lunch and tours.
Coming to Oklahoma
Sussex, Wis.-based Quad/Graphics announced its intent to expand to Oklahoma City in December 2000 following the purchase of 168 acres of land and broke ground in October 2002. The printer chose Oklahoma City over other locations, including Phoenix and Dallas, for a variety of reasons, the most important of which were the state's central U.S. location (ideal for expedited delivery of product to both coasts), affordable utilities, plentiful skilled labor and desirable quality of life.
With the startup of Oklahoma City gravure operations in fall 2004, Quad/Graphics will have three gravure facilities nationwide: Oklahoma City; Lomira, Wis., which launched gravure operations in 1986; and Martinsburg, W. Va., which opened in 1997.
Eventually, Quad/Graphics' Oklahoma City plant could encompass 2 million square feet and employ more than 1,000 Oklahomans.
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