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 Business > Manufacturing

2730 Eastrock Drive | Rockford, IL 61125-0046 | www.centrometalcut.com


Early in his career, Danny Pearse made an abrupt change and dramatic advance when he founded Quantum Design. It was that leap in 1986 that has since paid big ­dividends.

Pearse earned his associate’s ­degree from Rock Valley College in the early-1980s while working at Centro-Metalcut—a company he would later own—before starting his own business. Pearse founded Quantum Design as a controls engineering firm before also quickly growing into a full-service control panel manufacturer.

“We celebrated our 30-year ­anniversary in April this year,” says Angie Ostler, the company’s ­executive marketing coordinator and Pearse’s daughter. “We’re able to work with basically any manufacturing industry as a leading control systems integrator.”

Quantum Design’s story can be traced back to Pearse’s school days in Belvidere. As Quantum Design quickly grew beyond what Danny could handle on his own, he realized he needed a business partner. A local vendor put him in connection with Dave Culvey, someone Danny had known from high school. ­Culvey, a recent engineering graduate of University of Illinois, joined Pearse two months after Quantum opened its doors.

The controls division initiates the solution, crafting the electrical designs suited for each individual customer. Once the design and ­engineering phase is complete, the Quantum Design team wires the machine, readying panels for the manufacturing process before commissioning the systems to the customer’s production facility.

Over the last 30 years, Pearse’s team has diversified into many ­markets, including aerospace, food and beverage, automotive and transportation, pharmaceutical, ­agriculture and water treatment.

“Our focus remains on controls engineering and panel building,” Ostler says. “While we have business nationally and globally, we’re ­positioned to serve the Midwest, specifically the Rockford area, a ­region with a vast manufacturing tradition.”

A large part of Quantum’s past and ongoing success is a direct ­result of its best practices in quality, having recently been certified to ISO 9001:2015. Moreover, Quantum continues to outline that commitment to quality with the development of an Integrated Management System that measures customer satisfaction and company growth.

That commitment has been passed on through two business acquisitions. In 2007, Quantum Design purchased Centro-Metalcut, and, in 2014, the duo acquired KTI (formerly Keene Technology, Inc.). Headquartered in Loves Park, Quantum and its South Beloit (KTI) and south Rockford (Centro-Metalcut) businesses now total 100-plus employees.

“With Quantum’s expansion we’ve been able to share work through the three companies, utilizing key employees and skills within each ­division,” Ostler says. “We’re able to maintain a high standard of quality for all product lines and keep our staff employed and working as a team.”