Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Costello Brothers Uses Screen's Platerite 8100 Platesetter To Diversify Products

Press release from the issuing company

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — Officials of Costello Brothers Lithographers, Inc. don't want their company to become the biggest printing operation in Los Angeles County — just the best. With the help of a recently installed PlateRite 8100 thermal platesetter from Screen USA, the 50-year-old, family-owned firm is one step closer to its goal. "We want to be known for quickly responding to customers' needs and for delivering the highest-quality work," said Bob Costello, vice president of production. "We take pride in printing the job right the first time and being able to offer same-day or next-day service." Costello Brothers was founded in 1954. After a half-century, the Costello clan is still well represented in the family business. Second-generation co-owners Bob Costello, Joe Costello and Rich Beaver (a cousin of the Costellos) all have a hand in the company's day-to-day operations. Joe serves as president, and Rich is vice president of sales. The company describes itself as being "a quality color commercial printer that has diversified to include packaging and label printing." Geographically focused on southern California, Costello Brothers produces annual reports, newsletters, label wraps for corrugated boxes and folding cartons. The company prints on a diverse range of stock, including synthetic substrates and packaging board up to 24-point. Costello Brothers' customers run the gamut, from advertising agencies and large corporations to grocery chains and utilities. Costello Brothers operates a 35,000-square-foot facility in Alhambra, south of Pasadena. Fifty-three employees staff the facility, which ostensibly runs two shifts a day, five days a week, but like many printing firms frequently stretches into round-the-clock operation to accommodate rush jobs. The company's desire for excellence has positioned it for success. It combines traditional craftsmanship and the latest technology with a philosophy that meshes well with high-quality work and is supported by unsurpassable service and reliability. One of the ways in which Costello Brothers distinguishes itself is the size and color configuration of its pressroom equipment. It is equipped with three two-color Heidelberg presses (40-inch, 36-inch and 18-inch) and three six-color Komori presses (two 40-inch and a 26-inch). Accommodating the various jobs that go through the pressroom requires about 1,000 printing plates a month. The PlateRite 8100 is responsible for feeding all of the company's work to its stable of sheetfed presses. "Prior to installing the PlateRite, we were outputting one-piece film on an imagesetter," Bob Costello recalled. "We went through so much film, we thought there had to be a better scenario for us. We had owned two Screen step-and-repeat machines and a stand-up camera, so we were comfortable with their technology. After hearing what the PlateRite 8100 could do and investigating what other vendors had to offer, we chose the PlateRite." The PlateRite 8100 was specifically developed to meet the needs of printers looking for a cost-effective way to incorporate high-quality thermal CTP into their business. The platesetter handles a minimum plate size of 17.7 x 14.6 inches and a maximum plate size of 45.6 x 37 inches. It images a standard plate of 40.6 x 31.5 inches at the rate of eight plates per hour. "Even though it costs less than other CTP devices, the PlateRite 8100 offers some very attractive features," Costello said. "The imaging system uses 16 separate infrared lasers as opposed to only one. The multiple-laser configuration is a good safety measure in case a laser burns out. The remaining lasers continue to image plates but compensate to ensure proper exposure. Since we're a smaller shop, we can't afford to have the machine go down." He also cited Screen's exclusive intelligent auto-balance system. "With the auto-balance system, no manual adjustments are required for drum balance when we switch to different-sized plates," Costello observed. "The plate size is selected from the display menu, and the auto-balance system automatically sets the correct balance of the recording drum. The PlateRite 4300 also features separate loading and unloading bays, so one plate can be readied for loading while another is being exposed." Costello said the PlateRite 8100 is exceeding all of the company's expectations. "We thought the transition from analog to CTP would occur gradually." he said. "Several other printers we talked to told us we'd start out doing 40 percent CTP and then progress a little further each time. Since the day we plugged the PlateRite in, we've been making digital plates for every job that has come through the shop. Our prepress production is much smoother and turnarounds are faster. The PlateRite provides the same high productivity when using Kodak Polychrome Graphics' Sword non-prebake plates. We're extremely pleased with that."