Lake Forest, California, USA

Westamerica Communications

With process-free technology, Westamerica wins big on sustainability and cost efficiency


Forward-looking print and marketing services provider in southern California, with offset and digital operations


Improve the business's environmental sustainability without sacrificing performance or value to customers

Kodak Solution

SONORA Process Free Plates



"The beauty about this solution is that with process-free plates, we actually do see cost savings. It really allows us to deliver two things which aren't always together: a sustainability win, and a pricing or value win."
Mark DeBellis, Corporate Vice President, Westamerica Communications
Westamerica Sonora Plate
Left to right: Westamerica President and CEO Doug Grant, Prepress Supervisor Kelly Vancura, Corporate Vice President Mark DeBellis
Westamerica Building
Company headquarters in Lake Forest, California
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As one of southern California's most diversified providers of print and marketing services, Westamerica Communications has prospered by adapting and evolving to the priorities of their cost-conscious and environmentally sensitive customers. Their transition to process-free platemaking from Kodak brings big advantages in both value and sustainability.

The Business Need

In the state of California, ongoing severe drought and broader environmental awareness have significantly affected the print industry, with pressure to improve sustainability coming from both regulations and the public. Westamerica Communications, with a diverse, end-to-end offering of offset and digital print, has felt this firsthand, as their customers increasingly want greener production—but not corresponding price increases. The company began exploring new ways to improve their water, energy, and chemical use without adding costs or reducing quality or workflow efficiency, and turned to Kodak for help. For 14+ years they had relied on innovative Kodak products: a KODAK TRENDSETTER Platesetter for offset plate imaging and a legacy Kodak digital press, plus the KODAK INSITE Prepress Portal for customer collaboration and KODAK PRINERGY Workflow Software to tie everything together. That longstanding partnership cemented their confidence to try new Kodak sustainability solutions.

The Kodak Solution

Always keen to optimize where they can, Westamerica decided to switch from conventional platemaking to KODAK SONORA XTRA Process Free Plates, which go directly from imaging to “develop on press,” no separate processing step required. The plates—which could still be run on the company's existing CTPs, including the TRENDSETTER Platesetter—deliver fast imaging speeds, high resolutions, long-run durability, and compatibility with UV inks, making them an easy fit for Westamerica's busy, diversified operation. Moreover, eliminating the plate processor and its high consumption of water, electricity, and chemistry immediately brought the tangible environmental benefits the company sought—as well as cost, time, and labor savings. Removing processing even streamlined pressroom activity: the simplicity of SONORA Plates means that press operators can easily reimage a plate on their own if needed, without involving prepress staff.

The Outcome

Within a year of the transition, Westamerica was using Kodak's award-winning SONORA Plates for about 70% of their offset production, with the goal of getting to close to 100%. There have been no compromises or limitations: performance and print quality are comparable to traditional plates, with excellent image detail and durability. Staffing and production efficiency has improved, especially during overtime hours, since the SONORA Plate remakes are so quick and easy, requiring fewer people on hand. And the sustainability benefits of going process-free help differentiate Westamerica in a marketplace of eco-conscious California customers—without the cost increases that come with many other green practices. The company's Kodak solution has been a win-win in many ways, and they expect more dividends yet to come.

"[Kodak is] really at the forefront of changes in technology as it relates to what we implement here. Their service and response time has been great in our market…it's just a win-win to use the Kodak solution."
Mark DeBellis, Corporate Vice President, Westamerica Communications

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