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In the past, the Gravure Education Foundation and the Gravure Association of America recognized outstanding leaders in the gravure industry with the Gravure Person of the Year Award. This elite group includes:
|Madame Tere Cerutti||John Walter||Vito J. Colaprico|
|Lester W. Buechler||Edward E. Barr||H. Howard Flint, II|
|Christopher M. Little||Peter Daetwyler||Charles G. Cavell|
|Thomas Quadracci||Thomas Coker||John Yuko|
|Paul Steen||Cathie Black||Stephen Young|
|Kim L. Feil||Charles L. Sullivan, Jr.||Thomas L. Hammond|
|Thomas Quinlan||David Blais||Ken MacKenzie|
|Peter H. Coors||Joachim Jacobson|
Several of the past honorees are highlighted in greater detail below.
2015 Person of the Year - Peter H. Coors
Peter H. Coors is chairman of Molson Coors Brewing Company and chairman of MillerCoors. Pete is a native of the state of Colorado. He was born on September 20, 1946, in Golden, Colorado, and remains a resident of Golden today.
He graduated from the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., in 1965, attended Cornell University where he received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 1969. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Denver in 1970. He also has received honorary doctorates from Regis University in 1991, Wilberforce University in 1992, Johnson & Wales University in 1997, and Colorado State University in 2011.
Pete’s professional career in the brewing business follows a Coors tradition that has spanned more than a century and five generations of Coors family members. He has served in a number of positions at the company. In 2002, Pete was named Chairman, Coors Brewing Company and Chairman of Adolph Coors Company. Currently, Pete is Chairman of Molson Coors Brewing Company. In addition, in July, 2008, Pete was named Chairman of MillerCoors.
Pete’s outside corporate board of director membership includes Energy Corporation of America and American Enterprise Institute. He is president and a trustee of the Adolph Coors Foundation. His numerous and diverse civic responsibilities include serving as a trustee and member of the executive board of the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and a member of the National Western Stock Show Association executive committee.
Pete is also a member of the International Chapter of Young Presidents Organization, and the Denver Art Museum Foundation.
Pete is an avid outdoorsman. Active in wildlife conservation, he serves on the boards of several conservation groups. Peter is currently a national trustee and also is a former national president and chairman of Ducks Unlimited.
Pete is the son of Joseph and Holly Coors, and is a great-grandson of Adolph Coors, who founded the Golden brewery in 1873. He and his wife, Marilyn, have six children and eleven grandchildren.
2015 Person of the Year - Joachim Jacobson
Accepting the Person of the Year Award on behalf of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is Joachim Jacobson. For the past 6 years, Joachim has worked in print production, part of Media Production, for Inter IKEA Systems B.V. with his main emphasis on the process of commercial gravure printing. As Quality Assurance Specialist, he focuses on Print processes, Colour Management and Repro processes to secure the quality expectations Inter IKEA sets on all their printed products. This involves an essential collaboration between IKEA and all suppliers all over the world in order to achieve IKEA's goals.
Joachim's passion is definitely – “Print”. He studied at Den Grafiske Höjskole in Copenhagen, Denmark and his odyssey began in 1978 as a printer for various companies in Sweden and Denmark. These have all been commercial printers in the high end segment of sheet fed and web offset printing.
For the past five years he has worked in the Delft office in The Netherlands. He has three children, boys, who live in Sweden with his wife, who commutes between Sweden and The Netherlands.
Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the owner of the IKEA Concept and worldwide IKEA franchisor.
As the franchisor, Inter IKEA Systems B.V. has the assignment to continuously develop the IKEA Concept and ensure its successful implementation in existing and new markets.
All IKEA retailers are franchisees and our business partners. Today there are 369 IKEA stores in 47 countries.
2014 Person of the Year - Ken MacKenzie
With over $9.5 billion dollars in sales, 27,000 employees and more than 180 sites across 43 countries, Amcor holds global market leading positions in the flexible and rigid plastic packaging segments.
Born in Montreal, Canada, Ken MacKenzie joined Amcor in 1992. Following several leadership positions across Amcor’s major packaging segments, Ken was appointed Managing Director and CEO in 2005.
Under Ken’s leadership, Amcor has undertaken a significant turnaround program. This included the divestment of non-core businesses and industry transforming acquisitions, delivering improved financial returns and the ability to offer customers innovative and sustainable packaging solutions from geographically diverse locations.
Prior to joining Amcor, Ken was a management consultant with Accenture. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from McGill University in Canada.
Ken has lived and worked in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific and now lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two daughters.
2014 Person of the Year - Dave Blais
As Executive Vice President of Global Procurement & Platform Strategy, Dave oversees all of the company’s purchasing functions worldwide, including paper and other consumables. He also directs Quad/Graphics’ efforts to maximize the effectiveness and competitiveness of its total platform, focusing on quality, turnaround times and cost-effectiveness.
Joining Quad/Graphics’ Corporate Training program in 1984, Dave later served as manager of the program. Dave was promoted to management in 1989 and became Corporate Director of Marketing in 1995, where his responsibilities expanded to include development of product and pricing strategies, unifying marketing efforts and decentralizing the scheduling function. He was named Vice President of Marketing in 1999, Vice President of Operations in 2003, Senior Vice President of Sales & Administration in 2005, and Executive Vice President in 2010.
A graduate of Western Michigan University, Dave earned a bachelor’s degree in printing management. He also completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.
2011 Person of the Year - Thomas Hammond
Thomas L. Hammond (Tom) joined Southern Gravure (now Southern Graphics Systems, Inc.) in September of 1967 as Chief Engineer with responsibility for Engineering, capital allocation and some operations. Prior to that Tom held positions ranging from Industrial Engineer to Plant Superintendent with Colgate Palmolive.
Tom gained more responsibilities at Southern Gravure and became Vice President in 1976 with full responsibility for two operating divisions, Engineering, Accounting and Human Resources.
In 1978, Tom was elected President of Southern Gravure and became a member of the Board of Directors. He also served on the GAA and GEF Boards.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Tom led a technology revolution within Southern Gravure. The company changed from a film based, acid etched image carrier to a computer generated, electronically engraved cylinder. This significantly reduced the variation in the process and was accompanied by a “Value Proposition” that focused on continuous quality improvement, speed to market and lower cost.
Tom was named CEO of Southern Graphics Systems, Inc. in 2000 and retired from the company in 2002. He currently serves on the Boards of Southern Graphics Systems International and SCORE Chapter 522. He is also on the Louisville Cathedral of The Assumption Parish Life Committee and does other volunteer work.
Tom’s leadership as President/CEO, provided the foundation for the transformation of SGS from a Gravure packaging cylinder engraver to one of the world’s leading pre-media companies. The principles and values Tom instilled at SGS are rooted in today’s culture and provides the ideology through which management continues to direct the daily activities of the company. During Tom’s tenure, the organization’s culture evolved from a internal focus to an external customer focus. SGS’s number one value today is “Obsessive Focus on the Client!”
He is married to the former Barbara Augustyn. Between them they have 7 children and 8 grandchildren.
Tom holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Purdue University and a Law Degree from the University of Louisville.
2011 Person of the Year - Thomas Quinlan
Thomas Quinlan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Chicago-based R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, the largest provider of printing and print-related business services in the world, with more than 55,000 employees, annual revenues of nearly $10 billion, and more than 600 locations around the globe.
Mr. Quinlan, 48, joined RR Donnelley in February, 2004, and in 2006 became Group President, Global Services (comprising approximately 40% of RR Donnelley's revenues), and Chief Financial Officer. From 2004 to 2006, he served RR Donnelley as Executive Vice President, Operations, with primary responsibility for the integration of RR Donnelley and Moore Wallace. Previously, at Moore Wallace from 2000 to 2004, Mr. Quinlan served variously as Executive Vice President, Operations, Executive Vice President, Business Integration, Executive Vice President, Office of the Chief Executive and Treasurer. At Moore Wallace, he had primary responsibility for the integration of Moore Corporation Limited and Wallace Computer Services. He also had responsibility from time to time for all of Moore Wallace's sales and manufacturing functions, and for all corporate staff functions, including, among others, human resources, information technology, benefits, legal, treasury, tax and credit and collections.
From 1994 until 1999, at World Color Press, Inc., Mr. Quinlan served in various finance capacities, including as Senior Vice President and Treasurer. He has previous finance and treasury experience at Walter Industries, Marsh & McLennan and Kidder Peabody.
Mr. Quinlan holds an MBA in finance from St. John's University, which recognized him with its Outstanding Alumni Achievement Medal in 2010, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Pace University, which conferred upon him an honorary doctorate in Commercial Science and presented him with its 46th Leaders in Management Award in 2009. In 2011 he received American Jewish Committee's National Human Relations Award. Mr. Quinlan is a member of Business Roundtable. He is active in supporting organizations that focus on literacy, health and development and serves as a Director and a member of the Executive Committee for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and on the Board of Trustees for Pace University.
2010 Person of the Year - Kim L. Feil
Kim L. Feil is a vice president and chief marketing officer for Walgreens, headquartered in Deerfield, Ill.
Feil, who joined Walgreens in September 2008, is leading a new marketing organization to respond to the evolving needs of Walgreens customers and pharmacy patients.
Feil has 25 years of experience in marketing, sales and strategic planning. Previously, she was senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Sara Lee North America, a $4.5 billion division of Sara Lee Corp. While there, she led a food and beverage marketing transformation that revitalized the company’s brand portfolio and built a new marketing organization. She instigated comprehensive new marketing strategies for the meat, deli, bakery and sweet goods businesses under the Sara Lee, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and Senseo brands.
In 2006, Consumer Goods Technology Magazine honored her as one of its 25 Marketing Visionaries, and in 2005 Ad Age named her a “Woman to Watch.”
Feil joined Sara Lee in 2005 from Kimberly-Clark Corporation where she served as vice president and senior marketing officer. In that role, Feil built a marketing center of excellence that implemented and aligned all marketers under Kimberly-Clark’s Brand Equity Management process.
For seven years starting in 1998, Feil was employed at Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) where she served in positions that included president of marketing and president of worldwide innovation. There, she led the design and development of the company’s online service, CPGNetwork.com, and consulted on business performance measurement capabilities for manufacturers and retailers in the CPG industry. She also was CEO of Mosaic InfoForce, an in-store audit insights joint venture of IRI and Mosaic.
Previously, Feil held a number of senior management positions at Cadbury Schweppes plc, including senior vice president of strategic planning and senior vice president of marketing for Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. (DPSU), the company’s largest division, with brands including 7UP, Canada Dry, Schweppes, Sunkist, A&W and Squirt.
Feil’s earlier career included positions at Pepsico, Inc. in the Kentucky Fried Chicken and Frito-Lay, Inc. subsidiaries.
Feil is the national secretary and a member of the board of directors of the Network of Executive Women. She also is a student mentor as an associates board member of Southern Methodist University Cox Graduate School of Business. She holds masters of business administration and bachelor of fine arts degrees in journalism and a bachelor of arts degree in English, all from Southern Methodist University.
2010 Person of the Year - Charles L. Sullivan, Jr.
Charles L. Sullivan, Jr. joined Sonoco in September 2000 as senior vice president—Global Consumer Products. He is a key leader in the Company’s efforts to be more customer and market oriented, especially in new product and service development, tapping customers’ unmet packaging needs.
In April 2005, Sullivan was elected as executive vice president with global operating responsibility for Sonoco’s businesses serving consumer markets, including Sonoco’s rigid paper and plastic containers, flexible packaging, closures, Pack Centers, point-of-purchase and fulfillment, graphics management and laser-engraved printing cylinders. He also serves as a member of Sonoco’s executive committee.
Sullivan is formerly regional director of Cargill Asia/Pacific. He joined Cargill, an international marketer and processor of agricultural, financial and industrial products, in 1981—through Cargill’s acquisition of the Hartsville Oil Mill’s soybean plant. He served as a superintendent for plants in Cargill’s Domestic Soybean Processing Division and Chemical Products Division until being named an assistant vice president of operations for the Chemical Products Division in 1988. In 1991, he became general superintendent for the European Oilseed Processing Division headquartered in the United Kingdom. In 1992, he joined the company’s Salt Division and was appointed vice president for the division’s Western Profit Center in 1993. In 1994, he was named vice president of sales and marketing for the Salt Division, and in 1995 was made president.
Sullivan served as a member of Cargill’s Management Operating Committee and was a leader on the Retail Food Service Products Platform. He also was executive supervisor of Cargill's Corporate Marketing Services and led the Corporate Strategic Account Management Initiative.
He served as chairman of the Salt Institute and as a member of its CEO Council and is a member of the American Management Association. He is the past chairman of the Associate Member Council of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and also served on the President’s Advisory Council of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
Charles is active in the Hartsville community, serving as chairman of the Coker College Board of Trustees, Board of Deacons at First Baptist Church, and Board of Clemson University Foundation Board of Directors.
He is married to the former Betty Young. They have two children, Rosemary and Duncan, along with four grandchildren.
2008 Person of the Year - Cathie Black
Cathie Black--"The First Lady of American Magazines”-- heads Hearst Magazines, a division of Hearst Corporation. She manages some of the industry’s best-known titles: Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s BAZAAR, Marie Claire, O,The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Redbook, and Town & Country - 19 magazines in all. She also oversees nearly 200 international editions of those magazines in more than 100 countries. Most recently, she oversaw the launch of Quick & Simple, Hearst’s first weekly magazine in the U.S.
Her book, “BASIC BLACK: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)”, explains how she achieved “the 360° life” (a blend of professional accomplishment and personal contentment) and how women can seize opportunity in the workplace. Now in its eighth printing, her book reached No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal Business Books list (Nov. 6, 2007) and Business Week best seller list (Jan. 3, 2008), and No. 3 on the New York Times Business Books List (Nov. 11, 2007).
She serves on IBM and the Coca-Cola Company boards and is a board member of the Advertising Council, a trustee of The University of Notre Dame and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She also held a two-year term (1999-2001) as chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America. Black is among a handful of women appearing on Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in American Business” list each year since it debuted in 1998. She has also been included on Forbes magazine’s list of “The 100 Most Powerful Women” and Crain’s list of New York City’s “100 Most Influential Women in Business.”
2008 Person of the Year - Stephen Young
Stephen Young has been a supporter of the Gravure Education Foundation and member of the Board of Trustees for many years. He is the Chairman and CEO of Mundet Inc., a privately-owned packaging printer with 350 employees and five plants in Canada, US and Mexico.
Born in a suburb of London in 1944, he moved to the south coast of England after World War II. After attending boarding school, Mr. Young found a job as a lab technician in a multi-product full-house gravure plant in England. Obtaining a professional degree through the Royal Society of Chemistry, he later spent two years at the University of Chicago earning a business degree. Young recalls attending his first gravure conference in 1976 in NY and getting involved with the Gravure Association of America about 15 years ago when he joined the Board of Directors. He was appointed second Vice President in 1998, first VP in 2000 and then served as GAA Chairman from 2002 through 2004.
Married in Chicago in 1980, he moved permanently to North America in 1981 and has lived in New Jersey, Virginia and Toronto – finally settling in Richmond, VA. Stephen has traveled extensively – especially in Europe, China and southeast Asia and has seen all 50 states in the US. Most of Mr. Young's spare time is spent in a rather large garden. He loves to travel, cook and listen to opera.
2006 Person of the Year - Paul Steen
Paul Steen is Director of Print Production for Target,a $50 billion retail company operating over 1,400 stores across the U.S. He began his employment at Target in 1984, working in both the creative and production areas of marketing. Over the last 20 years, his team has guided the production of the Target newspaper insert program from a small circulation printed both web offset and gravure to a weekly circulation well in excess of 50 million, all printed gravure. While managing the internal print production area at Target, his team worked closely with gravure industry resources to grow their weekly insert program that is now known as the second most widely read part of Sunday newspapers after the comics. Target implemented an extensive paper trialing/testing program for SC papers that has positively influenced suppliers of gravure SC paper in both North America and Europe. Mr. Steen is a member of the GAA’s Gravure Publishing Council and has continuously been involved with the GPC conference since its beginnings. He has been active in supporting the GEF through participation and presentations for Gravure Day.
2006 Person of the Year - John Yuko
John Yuko , General Manager, Resilient Sheet Operations and Technology, Armstrong World Industries, was raised in western Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with an Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He also received a Master of Arts in Organization Management from the University of Phoenix. John joined Armstrong World Industries in 1984 in the Engineering Department. After several yearsof design engineering, plant engineering, maintenance management, production management, and business unit management assignments in Armstrong's Building Product and Floor Product Divisions, he moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to become the Assistant Plant Manager of Armstrong's Stillwater Flooring Plant. In 2001, John was named Plant Manager of the Stillwater Plant, with a primary focus to expand the operations to include and start up a new hot melt calendering process and convert the plant to a continuous operation. John returned to Lancaster in 2004 to head up the Armstrong's Research and Development, Engineering, and Quality Assurance Teams for Armstrong Resilient Floor Products. In November 2005, John moved into his current assignment leading the North American Resilient Sheet Plants, as well as the Research and Development, and Engineering organizations.
2004 Person of the Year - Thomas Coker
I am truly honored and humbled to be the recipient of the Gravure Association of America’s prestigious Gravure Person of the Year award. And, I’d like to congratulate my co-honoree today, Thomas Quadracci. I’d also like to thank each of you for taking the time to be here today to support the Gravure Education Foundation. It is important work. The Foundation’s educational initiatives are helping attract the best and the brightest to gravure printing and building a solid foundation for our industry’s future growth and success.
Today I would like to discuss the future for rotogravure printing, and I’d like to give you a quick overview of our company, Sonoco.
Sonoco was founded in 1899 in Hartsville, South Carolina, by Major James Lide Coker. From 12 men in a renovated barn producing one productæa paper cone for the textile industryæwe have grown into a global powerhouse in industrial and consumer packaging with approximately 16,000 employees.
Today, Sonoco has more than 300 operations in 36 countries on five continents and customers in 85 countries. The Company’s net sales last year were $2.8 billion.
Packaging segment includes:
- Paper and paperboard,
- Tubes and cores,
- Wire and cable packaging reels,
- Construction tubes and forms, and
- Protective packaging.
Sonoco’s Industrial Packaging segment accounts for approximately 55 percent of the Company’s total sales.
The Consumer Packaging segment, which produces approximately 45% Sonoco’s sales, includes:
- Rigid and plastic packaging,
- Ends and closures,
- Specialty packaging, and
- Retail point-of-purchase displays,
- And my operation printed flexible packaging.
Even though Sonoco, as a company, has only been in the rotogravure printing industry for about ten years, our purchases of well-known, successful rotogravure printing companies, Morrill Press, Hargo, Graphic Packaging, or Gravure International have given us more than 50 years of combined flexible packaging knowledge. I have only been in the flexible package business two years, although sometimes it seems like it’s been 50 years. Seriously, though, I am very excited about the future of rotogravure printing’s and Sonoco’s position in this dynamic industry.
As a company, we are making substantial investments in rotogravure as we work to grow our position in the industry in North America and around the world.
Sonoco is one of the leading North American supplier of gravure barrier laminations to the retail food and non-food markets. Our primary markets are confectionery, hard baked goods, tobacco, and snacks.
Sonoco has eight flexible packaging plants in North Americaæfour in the United States and four in Canada. Five of the eight plantsæthose in Edinburgh, Indiana; Morristown, Tennessee; Franklin, Ohio; Winnipeg, Canada; and Mississauga, Canada, have rotogravure printing presses.
And, as a result of the company's 1997 joint venture with the Keating group, based in the United Kingdom, we developed a fully automated cylinder engraving facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. This plant is equipped with the only direct laser-engraving equipment in North America.
The recent acquisition of Keating Toronto has added the only other fully automated engraving plant in North America. Both plants are equipped with the very latest high-speed engraving systems and have benefited from recent capital expansions.
By embracing new technologies, Sonoco and Keating have introduced the market to award-winning, high-definition graphics with vivid color and crisp, fine text on the most demanding substrates. Keating will continue to invest in the gravure market in 2005 and beyond. We truly believe Keating’s state-of-the-art engraving technology helps differentiate Sonoco’s flexible packaging and provides additional value to our customers.
Sonoco has also continued to invest in state-of-the-art presses and support equipment such as vision systems for printers. As a result, we have one of the newest fleets of gravure presses in the industry. And, our integrated cylinder engraving operations help customers get their products to market much faster.
We also have a large presence in flexographic printing, having invested heavily in expanding our capabilities so that we can meet our customers’ and markets’ changing needs.
As we’ve built our culture, we’ve made safety and operating efficiency core values.
Sonoco’s company-wide focus on safety, its clear commitment to safety from the CEO down, employee-driven safety teams, and ongoing recognition of plants and employees with exceptional safety records have helped our Flexible Packaging business set the industry standard for safety. We are all very proud that our Total Incident Rate, or TIR, is just one-fifth of the TIR for the Flexible Packaging industry as a whole, according to the FPA’s recent statistics. Just a few years ago, our TIR was 3.5, so we’ve made significant progress here.
When it comes to our plants’ operating efficiency, we benchmark it against the global flexible packaging market, tracking four efficiency measures with the goal of having the best operating efficiencies in the industry.
Like many of you in the room today, we are constantly trying to improve our plant’s changeover performance by reducing the time it takes to change to a new color. We also continually try to improve our changeover effectiveness by cutting the startup footage and scrap per color.
To improve prepress effectiveness, we’re focusing on standardization, error-free order entry, and prepress color matching to reduce/eliminate on-press color pulls.
Realizing that printing effectiveness and efficiencies drive overall plant performance, we also push toward our vision of world-class manufacturing by employing a variety of manufacturing tools and processes including:
- LEAN Manufacturing,
- Six Sigma,
- Leveraging our industry’s best practices and technology, and, most importantly
- Putting the right people in the right places.
We do see a significant re-emergence of rotogravure printing in the next few years, in part because we’re beginning to see greater parity in the prices of rotogravure and flexographic presses.
Although the quality of flexographic printing has improved, so has the quality of rotogravure printing. And when all is said and done, there still is a clear difference in the quality of the two types of printing. Rotogravure printing consistently produces better quality printing.
We believe reduced prepress costs will also drive the expansion in rotogravure printing. Rotogravure prepress costs have come down substantially, and we believe that will continue. Flexographic prepress costs, on the other hand, are headed up, in large part thanks to laser-engraved, continuous-polymer sleeves.
It’s my belief that rotogravure printing’s superior quality and declining prepress costs when coupled with increasing prepress speeds and changeover times efficiency will drive growth in the next few years.
Sonoco is excited about our industry’s future and thrilled to play a part in the continuous product quality and productivity improvement taking place. Press and engraving technology continue to improve, and gravure’s flexibility enables us to quickly and easily meet our customers’ changing needs.
But as good as our machines and processes become, people will always be the key to our industry’s success. That’s why it’s so important that we’re all here today. We’re helping provide students with the education they’ll need to successfully enter and help our industry prosper. Since 1979, the Gravure Education Foundation has provided more than one million dollars to educational institutions, and Sonoco is extremely proud to be a part of that.
In closing, thank you, GAA, for this very special honor. Thanks, too, to everyone who took the time to be here. It is a real pleasure to be part of such a dynamic industry.
2004 Person of the Year - Thomas A. Quadracci
It's an honor to be here today to accept this award. I thank the GAA for this prestigious recognition and am glad to know this event promotes and supports the Gravure Education Foundation. The Foundation plays an important role in advancing our industry through the development of both people and technology.
While this award is named Gravure Person of the Year, I know that this award is not really for me. It is really an honor for our 12,000 employees that make up the fabric of Quad/Graphics, and I accept it on their behalf.
Whatever small contribution I have made to the success of Quad/Graphics I owe to my wife, Susan, who has supported me when I needed it and pushed me when I deserved it.
Thank you, Susan. My son Mario and his wife Jenny, and my other son David are here today to once again give their old man support, and I very much appreciate it.
Quad/Graphics is a relative newcomer to rotogravure. For years, my brother Harry and I looked at gravure with awe and dreamed of someday becoming a gravure printer. We made a number of trips to Europe to understand the technology and were always put off by the complexity of making carbon tissue, continuous-tone separations, bromides, and all the other black magic that went into the process.
All that changed in 1984. At that time, I was responsible for our imaging operations. I met with Harry to explain to him what I knew about a process that had been developed called “halftone gravure.” The process involved defocusing the read head on a Helioklischograph in order to fool the machine into thinking it was looking at a continuous-tone bromide when, in fact, it was looking at a halftone. If we could perfect this process, I told Harry, there was an opportunity to produce gravure cylinders using basically the same process that we used for producing offset plates. Effectively, there was no difference between preparing work for gravure than what we already had been doing for years with offset. It was time for us to go into gravure!
With a lot of hard work by our employees and with a lot of support from our suppliers, we started our first gravure press two years later in 1986.
Today, we operate three publication gravure plants with twenty-five presses total. Lomira, Wisconsin, is our original and largest gravure plant. Martinsburg, West Virginia, opened in 1997. And Oklahoma City, which opened as a web offset plant one year ago, debuted gravure operations just last month.
We're particularly proud of our Oklahoma City plant, which has attracted the attention of big-name publishers, catalogers, and retailers. We opened the doors of the plant last October with just 218,000 square feet and now, just one year later, the plant has grown to more than three quarters of a million square feet. The gravure industry has been really terrific for Quad/Graphics.
At Quad/Graphics, we believe strongly in the future of gravure and will continue to expand our capabilities now and in the future. It's one of the fastest-growing segments of our business.
I don’t think I need to tell anyone in this audience about the specific benefits of why gravure is ideal for high-page-count, long-run work. Not only do we intend to continue building on those benefits that are the strong suit of gravure, but we also intend to work on the weaknesses. It is our vision to move gravure to not only be suitable for long-run work, but also for mid-sized runs, and we are making progress. For instance, we print multiple versions of a single catalog, each with runs less than 100,000 copies … and, yes, it has proved to be the most cost-effective approach.
Technology continues to advance allowing us to continuously lower the length of run threshold. We are working hard on reducing the time required to engrave cylinders, as well as the cost. In Oklahoma, our new, fully automatic engravers practically run themselves. In fact, our engravers in our Oklahoma plant are controlled by technicians in Lomira, Wisconsin — some 800 miles away.
Our Jackrabbit Gravure presses are fast and flexible and are equipped with the latest automation from cylinder loading and unloading through product delivery. Our clients benefit from quicker makereadies and reduced waste.
Our new variable former folders that we are developing are giving clients the same low-page-count signatures and gatefolds that now require them to run offset.
All of these technological advancements are generating a lot of interest in gravure by publishers previously considered too small for the process.
But technology is perhaps the smallest part of the plan. The most important element is people. That is why I am proud to be here today to support the Gravure Education Foundation. People are the future of our industry.
A BRIGHT FUTURE, IF WE WORK TOGETHER
Truly, I believe there's never been a more exciting time to be in gravure, whether you're a commercial printer like Quad/Graphics, or into packaging and specialty gravure.
My vision for the gravure industry is the same vision I have for Quad/Graphics. Printers need to partner with our vendors and suppliers to develop the technology to remain competitive. Further, printers need to partner with schools, universities and organizations like the Gravure Education Foundation to make sure that we are bringing talented and qualified people into the industry.
My brother Harry used to say, “Together we can do more than as individuals apart.” I really believe that together, we have the ability to build on gravure's record of success!
Thank you, again, for this honor.
Golden Cylinder Awards
We are now accepting entries for the 2017 Golden Cylinder Awards competition. Click here to learn more about these coveted industry awards and download the application. We look forward to seeing your work!