Coating plant for hire!!

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by PHOTOTONE, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    It seems that the Agfa/Gaevart plant in Belgium offers custom coating facilities. This would be in addition to the huge variety of films (color & b/w) and papers they coat under their own brands. See my posts under the Another Agfa rumor heading.

    anyway, here is the data from their web site:

    Agfa offers its chemical and coating expertise on a custom-manufacturing base.

    Pilot coaters
    coating on a short loop with small amounts of coating solution and base (web width 24 cm) and with controlled drying conditions
    coating on a continuous base for larger amounts of prototype material under controlled drying conditions


    Production installations - watch movie * (4.2 MB)
    multilayer cascade and curtain coating with precision coating heads
    single or double coating on web in a single pass
    front side + back side coating in a single pass
    variable coating width
    aqueous and solvent coatings (possible in tandem)
    gravure coating, multiple coating stations in register, solvent based coatings
    solvent coating with multiple coatings in one pass
    coatings on glass
    in line corona treatment
    production web widths up to 1.75m
    multiple drying sections, individually temperature and humidity controlled
    inert gas drying
    dust class: 1.000 a 10.000
    coating in dark room conditions
    quality control by inline inspection system
    production facilities with filtered air at positive pressure


    Mix capabilities
    mix capabilities on site
    computer controlled mix preparation
    different sizes of stainless steel vessels
    controlled active degassing
    in line filtration
    multiple in line injections


    Converting, slitting
    can be offered at the same site
    different light conditions, a.o. dark room conditions


    Quality management certifications
    ISO 9001: 2000
    ISO 14001: 2004
     
  2. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Well, yeah, but...I suspect there are a couple of problems here:

    1) I have no idea as to whether you could coat photographic emulsions using this equipment (I'll defer to others here, such as PhotoEngineer)
    2) Custom=Expensive (No need for me to defer here - I'm on pretty secure ground with this one). I suspect this would be the sort of operation that would require a considerable cash advance.

    I'd hate to have to front Agfa, say, 1 million EUR and then have to charge $20 USD for every roll of 120:wink:

    FujiFilm also does this sort of thing. If EK does it, I've yet to learn of it.
     
  3. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Oh, the AgfaGevart coating lines are absolutely for light-sensitive film products, as they make dozens of them at this facility. B/W, Color, and Photo Papers.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I think you'll find that Ilford would offer custom coating facilities at Mobberley if you asked them. After all they do manufacture materials for a large Japanese photographic company.

    Perhaps I should add that Ilford used to have something on their website stating that they were looking for other possible avenues to utilise their coating technologies.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2007
  5. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Meaning a certain range of "Neo" films?
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Polaroid also offers custom coating. See their web site.

    None of this is cheap and you have to come to them with a coatable material. If you don't have the emulsion and they make it, if it does not work, tough. R&D is extra.

    In other words, you have to do all of the R&D yourself, and you have to do pilot runs somehow to learn how to scale things up. Or, you pay to have them do it for you.

    It will work and work well, but in the end it ain't cheap and it ain't quick.

    PE
     
  7. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I would think it would be more like a certain line of Orientalish papers.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    PHOTONE you think wrong :smile:

    In the BJP a few years ago there was mention of a co-operative agreement between Ilford and Fuji, regarding B&W films, this was also published in the financial & business sections of various UK newspapers as well.

    Yes I have also heard that Oriental papers may be being sourced from the Uk, but the rumour seemed to indicate it came from our second paper manufacturer.

    Ian
     
  9. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Interesting...

    When Mirko Boddecker of Fotoimpex has discussed the possible resumption of APX emulsion production using AgfaPhoto's research "kettle", many asked how he would coat it onto film

    I don't know how emulsion "travels" (i.e. if it could be transported from one site to another), but is this approach a possibility?
     
  10. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    I believe this had to do with a short-lived C-41 film that Fuji offered which was based on XP2 Super.

    Rumors abound that the present Oriental papers are nothing more than re-labeled Ilford Multigrade.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Emulsion travels quite well as long as it is refrigerated and kept dark.

    The problems arise in scaling both the making and coating operations.

    PE
     
  12. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    It is interesting that Ilford states that they do not private label their own products anymore. But....of course this does not stop them from custom manufacturing products for other companies. I wonder what the difference is? Do you change the fomulas by a teeny-tiny bit?
     
  13. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Well, the interesting thing here to think about regarding Agfa Gevaert is that they currently make a quite a number of panchromatic b/w films in various ISO's which they market as aerial photography films. They also manufacture Motion picture film stocks, and Microfilm stocks. They also make C-41 color negative film stocks and a Color transparency film stock, as well as offer in-house slitting and converting. The question that comes to mind is...are the b/w film stocks based on common, shared technology between Agfa/Germany and Agfa/Gevaert? Would the emulsion formulas already be close? How much of a stretch would it be to take a formula that is already similar and make it more similar?
     
  14. Aurelien

    Aurelien Advertiser

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    Well Relabelled or not, it's at the moment a great discussion. But it's boring and unproductive. The most important is to find everyfilm you want if you like it. An exemple: in France it was impossible to buy Forte films. The only alternative was Bergger films ad some people say they are the same. I don't think so. But actually if Forte is closed, we won't be able to find either Fortepan nor BRF films. it's a pity.
     
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Not having seen the two facilities, nor the emulsion formulas, I cannot answer that.

    I can guess. Based on experience, almost anything can be done such as you propose. All it takes is time and money. Lots of both, but that depends on product and formula differences among other things. Even 'kettle geometry' will affect emulsion quality.

    Kodak had an emulsion quality group that worked world wide to compare emulsions and insure that they came out the same everywhere. They met in Rochester about twice a year, and every lab within Kodak had to pass a standard emulsion making test every year. They made an identical emulsion, coated it identically and then compared test results. Those labs that failed were 'uncertified' until the problems could be eliminated.

    Regarding the rest of your comment, since Kodak has the lion's share of motion picture film production and Fuji has just about all of the rest, I wonder how much motion picture Agfa Gevaert produces....

    My wife recently bought a disposable camera for some quick pictures. It was in a generic cardboard covering but the original camera was Kodak and the camera was "made in china". When the film came back, it was surprisingly good and I thought it was one of the Chinese / Kodak brands, but the edge markings said Agfa.

    PE
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's a lot of film used for each motion picture print, so even a small part of the market is still a large volume of film. How economic it is is something else.

    As for you wifes rebuilt "Kodak" disposable camera :smile: I did some research 2 or 3 years ago into the recycling of disposable cameras. I found a company who bought the bits from the minilabs, they disassembled then rebuilt from the best parts, I guess using whatever brand of film they found to be most cost effective.

    Ian

     
  17. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Quite true..the average 35mm theatrical print is about 12,000 ft. long. Couple that with a print order of between 100 and 2000 prints of each film, amounts to quite a bit of film. I would imagine that Agfa Gevaert has more of a market in Europe and India for its release print stock. At one time (back in the 1980's) their release print stock was more stable and had lower fade than the then-current Kodak stock. I think Kodak now surpasses them in fade-resistance. This fade resistance was more important in the circulating library type of application for educational and training films in 16mm where a print would be used for years.
     
  18. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I fully understand that it would take time and financial backing. It is not a casual endeavor. The point I was making was that there ARE facilities still around that would gladly (for a price) engineer films to your requirements and coat and finish them. Some of those facilities, such as the Agfa Gevaert operations may actually have film stocks currently in production that would be applicable to pictorial photography markets, just requiring converting and packaging for that market. These products just might resemble now discontinued consumer products we have used in the past, as there is a common heritage between Agfa Gevaert and Agfa Germany.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Since prints are apt to be degraded during projection, they are built to be more expendable than the camera original. The print film has higher light stability and lower dark stability IIRC. This is to allow high intensity projection without loss of quality. But today's films are a lot better than previous films.

    That said, a huge proportion of Kodak's motion picture sale is in Vision print film (Eastman Color Print Film).

    I believe that in sheer bulk, the print film far outsells the camera original just due to the way they are used and Kodak has the highest share of both markets.

    PE
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes, this is possible.

    If I were to ask someone to make Kodabromide paper for me in their facility for example, I would budget a minimum of 1 year, perhaps 2 for the project and a minimum of $100,000 US before the first usable product went out the door.

    This assumes they have a full facility and I have a workable small scale single grade formula. It also only budgets for just the one contrast grade. To do more would require more time and money. That is what I would plan on with the expectation of having a good staff and lots of luck. With a good staff and luck it would come in sooner than that.

    Everything that failed would teach, but would be nothing but scrap.

    That said, a box of 100 8x10 sheets selling for $50 / box retail would take a lot of boxes to pay for the initial investment, interest and etc.

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst is inherent in what I have said above.

    I must add that that time scale does not allow sufficient time for real world keeping exposure and processing tests, and a lot of other ancillary real-time testing. It would be going out the door with many parameters untested or partially tested.

    PE
     
  21. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Well, the highest quality photo papers made nowdays retail for a price closer to $100 per box of 8x10 100 sheets. (Ilford, Oriental) It is only papers and films from countries that have low labor costs that sell products in the mid $50's.

    If you are just converting an existing product into a different size and packaging, little testing should be required. This seems to be the basis for much of what is being offered as new product these days from vendors other than Kodak and Ilford.
     
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I originally typed $100, but decided to reduce it to $50 due to the fact that a new "unknown" paper would have to have some selling point. In any event, the manufacturer gets a lot less than the selling price as you know.

    If you convert, there is no need for testing. This is correct. I assumed you were starting a new line of products or restarting an old line akin to the work of Mirko and M&P. Of course, I cannot comment on their schedules or work as I know nothing about it except what is posted.

    PE
     
  23. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    It seems to me that many of the so-called new products marketed by Roelli/Maco are in fact existing emulsions currently made by AgfaGevaert or FilmoTec, just converted and packaged in consumer sizes. This method of bringing products to market would still require $, as there would be minimum orders to meet, I'm sure.
     
  24. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    This is mostly true, though, as far as I know, the R3 film is especially made for Maco by Filmotec.