Peachtree City, GA-A year after the doors were temporarily shuttered on Quantegy's Opelika, AL factory, the company is running strong under the new ownership, with all tape lines restored and new products both on the shelf and in the works, according to Mike Porter, audio products manager.
"We've actually added one new magnetic product, called MagFilm," Porter reports--a coated 35mm sprocketed medium. "We're looking at other ways of using our coating capability." In addition to audiotape, Quantegy is also still heavily involved in the videotape market. And, while the movement in flight recorders and other instrumentation applications is towards solid-state memory, Porter says there's "still a heck of a lot" of instrumentation applications, including NASA and other governmental entities, where tape is in use. Quantegy is even considering the purchase of another, unspecified, magnetic media entity.
While tape has been the traditional strength for Quantegy, the company is actively exploring new territories for business expansion, first evidenced in its line of FireWire-capable, external, hard-disk drive products, now in their second generation. The first generation of Quantegy products was housed in a fully shielded plastic enclosure, with an internal power supply and cooling fan. The second-generation product, the Black Diamond FHD3 FireWire drive, was introduced in February, offering larger storage capacity in a metal housing with no fan, powered by an external supply. "The big deal," says Porter, "was to have no fan in it--a customer requirement for quietness." Accessories for the FHD3 are currently in the works, with a scheduled release around AES Convention time this fall; a line that will offer options like a rackmount housing with an internal power supply. A RAID array-based product is also in the development process.
Like the initial drive product, Porter says the Black Diamond series is built "basically with off-the-shelf components, including the enclosure." Quantegy is at work on a third-generation external drive that will, except for the physical drive itself, be of Quantegy's own design. This new product will also feature a FireWire interface, and SATA is being considered as an option for a multiple-port configuration.
Quantegy is also expanding its business in other directions, including getting back into the storefront retail business with the purchase of RMS (Recorded Media Supply) in Burbank, CA at the turn of the year. RMS continues to offer competitive products as well as Quantegy products (with delivery!). "This could be a model for how we do some business," in the future, says Porter, noting that RMS pricing does not undercut other Quantegy dealers and distributors in the area. That pricing model holds true for Quantegy's new internet storefront, www.quantegyonline.com, which went online in February "with business growing daily."