Who trains the future film chemists?

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by tomalophicon, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Will there be another generation of engineers and chemists who specialise in photographic emulsions? How do these people train? Are there apprenticeships?
    I wonder if anyone will be interested in this line of work in the near future.

    The recent pile of threads about film's demise have made me depressed to the point where I have to post my own :whistling:
     
  2. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    We have just taken on 2 new apprentices, to join the 3 that joined us year before last and who are doing very, very well.

    They are engineering 'craft' and they are working in M14 the main coating machine and elsewhere as well as continuing their studies at college.

    Chemistry graduates are about, but they need further training before becoming emulsion chemists.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology LImited :
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Who trained the first emulsion chemists? No one, they learned by trial and error (probably lots of error). If there is ever a need for lots more emulsion chemists, they will appear.

    On the subject of trial and error, Edwin Land (Polaroid) didn't like to find a solution immrdiately. He liked to have lots of errors so he knew the process inside out. If you come up with an instant solution, you don't the the variables and limits of your process.

    I tend to specialise in the error side of things!



    Steve.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I'm trying to do it, and do it from the modern and older perspective, but there are few people interested in this craft. And, fewer still interested in teaching it. Many people don't even want to discuss it.

    PE
     
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    My first thought was...Photo Engineer, Ron Mowrey!

    8 people just got a crash course in emulsion making 2 weeks ago at the George Eastman House (GEH) and each one of us could probably comfortably do it by ourselves now. I'll admit, I didn't take this class because I immediately wanted to go home and make some prints, but rather to learn it while someone with the expetise is willing to share it!

    Ron is one of very few emulsion evangelists. :wink:

    Though, I know there are people Australia that are working on some pretty exciting things when it comes to emulsions.
     
  6. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Tadeki Tani has written some excellent books and articles on emulsion science. They are at a very low level concerning the mechanisms and involve a lot of physical chemistry. They do NOT teach you how to make an emulsion. Bob Shanebrook's book is an excellent inside look at film making at Kodak but it does NOT teach you how to make the film, the emulsion, the dispersions for color, nor does it teach you how to make the coatings.

    So, there are gaping holes in our knowledge.

    One of the things that I pointed out in the GEH workshop was the fact that there are NO modern descriptions of emulsion making and NO existing book is free of blatant errors. I handed out examples and discussed the pitfalls in the existing literature. This means that you cannot duplicate almost all published formulas due to errors or omissions.

    PE
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Mine too!
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    But then, explain how. One or two workshops a year will not do. Books and DVDs will not do.

    PE
     
  10. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Surely Kodak trains apprentices as Ilford does. How about Foma or the others?
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Kodak, AFAIK, is no linger training Emulsion Engineers. Remember too that R&D is different than R and D. Also, production is different than either. IDK about FOMA.

    PE
     
  12. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Photo Engineer: to me, that's the saddest thing I've heard regarding Kodak lately.
     
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Is this a pun?? I don't understand that.
     
  14. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Generally:

    Research is pure research not directed to any product.

    Development is work on an existing product to tweak it or to solve problems in the field from customers.

    R&D is directed to a new product and includes all phases up to introduction. It takes elements from pure research and includes them in the new product.

    For example, if one is training a new coating engineer (which Kodak is doing BTW) it is not R&D nor is it R and D. It is pure Manufacturing Technology, another subject that has not been discussed except in Simon's post. So, Kodak can stop R, D and R&D, but still be training Manufacturing Technologists and Engineers so that they keep on coating film. They may be training Development Engineers to keep making emulsions and etc..... This is a simple answer to a very complex situation.

    PE
     
  15. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    PE Is spot on, as always:

    We have R&D, we have product technology and then we have manufacturing technology each has is its own chemists and specialists and MT has the chemical and process engineers..

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited
     
  16. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Simon,

    I'm pleased you and the other directors are making sure black & white film and paper will be viable in the future.

    many thanks,

    Tom
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Are they (or were they) encouraged to suggest ideas for improvements in the process or suggest new processes?


    Steve.
     
  18. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Yup that is what they do, constantly.

    The main coating machine and its control systems are a hugely complicated beast, so as well as regular maintenance, preventive maintenance and upgrades they work on improving all aspects of the machine performance, they also work on the trial coating mashines(s) that mimic the large machine.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Steve;

    Heaven forbid that they should do something new. That costs money! :D

    JK. I really don't know, but they did come up with Ektar 100 and the new cubic + t-grain design.

    PE
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    What Simon just posted is pretty much what they do at EK. After all, just as in biology, the processes are similar world wide for film and paper manufacturing.

    PE