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Photo Engineer
03-28-2012, 11:39 AM
Actually, that is close to how it is already done, and what has already been described here but the differences are probably larger than you envision and the changes are larger as well. For example, support changes as well as emulsion, and layer order and layer ingredients change far more than you seem to envision. Also the speed is far far higher than you think.

All of that would have to be "normalized" somehow.

And, B&W could not easily be added to that model.

Drive up to the workshop at GEH next week and I will explain it to you in more detail! ;)

PE

kb3lms
03-28-2012, 11:43 AM
If I could, I would!


Oh, I'm certain I've oversimplfied it. I was trying to paint a simpler example to make my point. Hell, maybe I'm just stating the obvious. :laugh: I might be wrong but it seems a lot of people in these forums don't really understand about modern lean production methods. I'd think the days of batch production at Kodak and making up big master rolls to sit on the shelf till they get slit are long gone. If they arent long gone then no wonder Kodak is in the predicament it's in because they'd have a sh%%load of money tied up in persihable and perishing inventory which eventually would have to be written off.

My guess, though, is that a good chunk of that $950 million they got is going towards R&D to work out the differences between the film variations and make them as close to the same as possible. And that would be a major reason why Ektachrome suddenly disappeared. Not a high runner any more, but more importantly, it doesn't fit into the production model. Fuji's got E-6 production all worked out to a flawless science so get out of that market and stick them with it: it's dying anyway.

Any work such as this would be highly secret. If you came us with a way to slash production costs and eliminate perishable inventory you wouldn't want that getting out to the competition.

Kodak may be largely mis-managed but they (the staff) are not stupid.

Photo Engineer
03-28-2012, 12:22 PM
The competition is already doing small scale runs. They never went big like Kodak. Fuji has problems similar to EK. And, at EK the small machines have, for the most part, been dismantled. If I were to have made decisions, I would have mothballed small machines and kept them ready for this time. I would have kept pilot and R&D formulas ready for this time. Then I could have re-started J9 (the 11" machine) and improved quality to equal salable product. At that time, I could have slide coated all color neg and color paper up to 11" wide and with a crew of about 4 in the old research labs. I could have used the pilot emulsion lab in the same building to make small scale emulsions for this small scale production.

Yeah, I have it all figured out, but - no way to do it! ;) Oh, and probably no people to do it either, and the equipment and formulas are probably gone. Chemistry is an issue as well.

Ahhh well.

PE

kb3lms
03-28-2012, 12:52 PM
I don't think the idea is to use the small machines, though. I'm thinking the idea is to produce any amount, of any emulsion, at any time, at full scale. Almost a make to order scenario. I'm not saying this is easy - but I'm thinking this is where they are at or going. Basically the whole gamut of products can be hammered down the same pipe. Anything that doesn't fit that process is history.

If it is true that FPEG is the one segment of the company making a profit, then they had to have something up their sleeve to get $950 million. Citigroup did not loan them that money to end up with a bunch of polluted property at the corner of Lake Ave and Ridge Road.

OK, I gotta get out of here or I'm gonna be perishable inventory! :laugh:

keithwms
03-28-2012, 01:18 PM
Ron, why not preserve the current throughput and just stockpile. Probably wouldn't cost that much to cold-store a couple years' supply.

Ian Grant
03-28-2012, 01:21 PM
It would be interesting to know what coating facilities are left at Kodak UK.

It's not inconcievable that Kodak could have some smaller runs of emulsions coated by a competitor like Ilford (for B&W) or Agfa (colour or B&W) in Europe. It's also known that these ideas have been discussed at the highest levels well before Kodak's current crisis, the Perez management would have liked to abandon film starting with B&W.

Remember that Ilford made some Fuji B&W film emulsions at one point and that some Japanese B&W papers have been made in the UK as well.

Ian

Sirius Glass
03-28-2012, 01:30 PM
Ron, why not preserve the current throughput and just stockpile. Probably wouldn't cost that much to cold-store a couple years' supply.

Then what? The coating machinery would have be to refurbished before starting up. What would happen to the highly skilled employees? They would have been laid off. The line would not be started up again and they would be the end of that portion of the production system.

keithwms
03-28-2012, 01:36 PM
Well I was assuming that *some* coating machinery is still intact and operational. I am not proposing to bring anything out from mothballs....

Nevermind.

Photo Engineer
03-28-2012, 02:02 PM
One machine at Rochester for film. At least one mothballed, and several may be mothballed. IDK. One at Colorado for paper and one in England for paper. That is it AFAIK. The 52" machines are slide / curtain and have given minimum speeds. On one of those machines, and given the current market, one shift at 5 days per week is literally an oversupply of product for the entire world.

You cannot stockpile a perishable product!

As for narrow vs wide, an extrusion hopper at 11" running at "normal" speeds will supply demand quite well for sizes from 35mm to 11x14 for many products in danger of being discontinued. You see, the model that was proposed above is not entirely accurate. Some products only take a few minutes to coat to produce a years worth of production.

Encyclopedia Britannica ceased production in 2012, as they only sold 8,000 copies in 2011. How long a run on the presses did that take? How long was the prep time? Same thing for film. Prep time is loooong! Run time is very short. But, manpower in both phases is rather huge for film production. Read Bob Shanebrook's book.

PE

Steve Smith
03-28-2012, 04:21 PM
As for narrow vs wide, an extrusion hopper at 11" running at "normal" speeds will supply demand quite well for sizes from 35mm to 11x14 for many products in danger of being discontinued.

That is just about the size of Ilford's pilot run machine. When I saw it, I immediately thought that it would be possible to run a profitable but very much scaled down business using just this machine should the need ever occur.


Steve.

Sirius Glass
03-28-2012, 06:07 PM
Well said!

Prof_Pixel
03-28-2012, 06:14 PM
Chemistry is an issue as well.


As with the bring back Polaroid "Impossible Project", hardware might be possible, but chemistry is the real rub.

Christopher Nisperos
03-28-2012, 06:18 PM
Social and financial responsibility knows no boundary by decade. Time has shown over thousands of years, how the rules work. Things are no different now. The 1870's, 1920's and 2000's in the US all fit the same pattern. It takes the same solutions to crawl out of the ditch. Krugman is right. FDR was too.

Young bucks love to blame gray hairs and believe that the rules are different for their younger generation but guess what, they are still the same.

The merger mania, vulture capitalism, incessant tax cuts, spending cuts and pension cuts began right after a certain US presidential election in 1980. The trend has lead directly to our current situation.

The pension problem started by corporations seeking permission to underfund the pensions. Each year they went back and asked for lower and lower limits until they got so deep they flat did not want to pay the money back. They claim duress, then bankruptcy, to eliminate their responsibility and "emerge a fresh, revitalized company".

Kodak is just following the recipe laid out by United Airlines, General Motors and hundreds of others. In the end they will sell off the rights and equipment and it will be up to the buyers to determine if we still get to buy film. Perez and his minions will retire to the Hampton s with the spoils.

Sounds about right to me, Bill. I came in late on this thread (@about #160), so I'm not sure if I'm off-subject or not .... As well, haven't even dropped-in regularly to APUG for quite awhile, so sorry if this post ends up opening a can of worms and becoming an unintentionally cowardly hit-and-run act.. because I might not be back here for awhile to defend my point of view.

You see, to me, the retirement and health care fund "vanishing acts" which have been re-occurring in the U.S. recently (due largely —as Bill Lynch rightly, IMHO, point out— to economic policies implemented by a "certain US president of the 1980s" whom I'll call Bonzo, the Banker's Buddy or BoBaBu, for short) smacks of what the French call, "pompier-pyromane" tactics (pyromaniac AND fireman). Bobabu created the problem in the first place, and now the new generation of bobabu boys are benefitting from the solutions!

I live in France, where the retirement and medical system is largely government controlled (and you can buy supplementary coverage from private companies, of course). The system is certainly not perfect and employers have to pay heavily into it, but you know what? From my point of view (I'm not retired but I do benefit from medical and dental coverage) it's not only "not so bad", but it's damned good: top quality care; reimbursement for medicines; 100% coverage for major illnesses (cancer, etc.). The only big downsides —to me— are the "c'est la vie" attitude of some doctors here (but that's a manageable problem), and the standard issue of long waits, but that's not always. Employers benefit from it, too, from the standpoint that their employees tend to stay quite loyal (similar to EK employee motivation while they mistakenly imagined that their golden year health care benefits would follow them to the end of the trail). Anyway, I'm no expert on the subject, but one thing's for sure about the French system: nobody's retirement payments or health coverage here are going to end just because their past employer went bust!

The point is, these bobabu boys —whose ilk have pulled the rug out from under swell guys like Ron Mowrey at EK and also royally screwed folks at Enron— are the same ones who are yelling and screaming today about the "evils" of the universal health care plan which they have gleefully put in peril at the moment. To me, they have some nerve. Seems they want their cake, eat it too .. get extra icing and ice cream ...and then have their mouth and elsewhere wiped. After which, they want to be paid so that they can begin anew. Bobabu boys... basta!

Can of worms duly opened.

:

Shootar401
03-28-2012, 06:30 PM
If they brought back Kodachrome in 120 I'd go in the hole $2K easily without regret. I'd even snatch up some EXR.

Photo Engineer
03-28-2012, 06:36 PM
The Kodak pilot lab machine was 21" wide. IDK if it is still there. Coatings from that machine were labeled FW coatings (you would think that meant Full Width but it did not) and experiments on production machines were called FE (you would think the word "experiment" was buried in that but it apparently was not). Anyhow, there is probably no 21 machine nor is there likely any 11" (J9) machine. I know that some of the single layer coaters are still running, but there is no pilot lab for emulsions in the research building. And, the Manufacturing Assurance Center (MAC) is gone.

PE

wblynch
03-28-2012, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the shout-out Christopher but we've already been 'talked to', so we need to get back on topic. :)

Poisson Du Jour
03-29-2012, 12:46 AM
Interestingly, this APUG thread has been picked up by Kodak Comeback on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kodak-Comeback/216644905094660

Brian C. Miller
03-29-2012, 11:08 AM
If they brought back Kodachrome in 120 I'd go in the hole $2K easily without regret. I'd even snatch up some EXR.

The real question is, would Kodak ever bring back any slide film at all? I honestly don't think so. E6 sold less than B&W film (1% of the consumer film production?), and Kodachrome sold less than E6.

Kodak should just kill off C41, and produce ECN-2/3. Seattle Film Works (now defunct) used it for their stuff, and produced decent prints. I've seen the comparison shots on the Twin Lens Life blog, and the Vision technology is just stunning. Sure, sheet film on a 5mil base would be a touchy to use (would do it with 4x5 but not 8x10), but I'd be delighted with the results.

I don't expect any more major film research to happen. Fuji has a couple of C41 films (Reala, 400H) and a couple of slide films (Provia, Velvia). Kodak has four C41 films (Ektar, Portra 160, 400, 800). I don't even expect any research to happen to move an emulsion from one base to another, i.e., a 35mm emulsion to sheet film.

Ken Nadvornick
03-29-2012, 11:46 AM
Interestingly, this APUG thread has been picked up by Kodak Comeback on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kodak-Comeback/216644905094660

Uh oh... That's scary.

:sick:

Ken

nickrapak
03-29-2012, 01:12 PM
Interestingly, this APUG thread has been picked up by Kodak Comeback on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kodak-Comeback/216644905094660

Just to let everyone know, that's not an official Kodak page, so that doesn't mean anything as to official recognition.