View Full Version : Trip to Ilford Mobberley factory on 2nd June 06
06-01-2006, 07:04 AM
Ben, is this actually at the knutsford services or in Knutsford itself? as I may stop off for some breakfast myself.
Yes, it's at the Knutsford Services, on the M6 between Junction 18 & 19, apparently.
Ben - Dave Miller and i are staying there tonight so we may see you in the morning
OK, might see you there first thing. If not I look forward to meeting you all at the Ilford site.
06-01-2006, 03:05 PM
I'm envious of you all as are many here on APUG I am sure . Have a great time. Hoping to hear all about it in the next few days.
06-01-2006, 03:20 PM
I know of some nice pubs in a very photogenic area just east of Manc. - in Saddleworth, if anyone fancies a few moments unwinding after a hard day at Mobberly
06-02-2006, 12:52 PM
Good luck and have fun....
PS Expecting a report in full color :)
06-02-2006, 01:16 PM
Good luck and have fun....
PS Expecting a report in full color :)
Well, I went, I saw and had a good day all in. The Ilford factory is bigger than you might think, certainly it was quite big when we were walking round. Simon was generous both with his time and there were goodies to share, they fed us too!
There was a lot to see, and the enthusiasm of the team who were showing us round was obvious - these were people who were proud of what they did and seemed to be turning that into a thriving business. Well done to everyone at Ilford for the day.
06-02-2006, 02:46 PM
I agree. Was there too and it was a brilliant trip. Many thanks to Leon for getting it off the ground and to all at Ilford for making us so welcome.
i can't believe the film/paper process is so complicated! So fantastic that people are prepared to work in dark or near dark all day so we can shoot a few snaps. I'll never look at a roll/sheet of film agin in the same way.
Nice to put faces to names too.
06-02-2006, 03:46 PM
What an excellent day! The great staff at Ilford went out of their way to give us a great insight, as well as a tasty lunch. Thanks to everyone who made it happen.
06-02-2006, 04:05 PM
Thanks to the prime movers, Leon and Simon Galley but the day was made by all at Harman who patiently showed us around and answered all questions. There was committment to the product and quality from top to bottom.
06-02-2006, 04:18 PM
Many, many thanks to all the people at Ilford (and there were a lot!) who took time out of their day to show us around, explain the processes and answer all our questions. They really bent over backwards to make us feel welcome.
A lot of effort went into this day both from Simon Galley and the people at Ilford and also from Leon who put in a lot of work organising it all.
The end result was a great day for everyone, and a real eye-opener. I really had no clue as to what goes into producing the films and papers that I use so casually. The number and variety of tests done on each and every roll of paper is staggering, and as for the amount of work done in total darkness and the sheer size of the coating machine...!
Add in a cracking lunch, a very generous 'goody bag' (thanks again Simon!) and a chance to meet up with about twenty other APUGgers... ...In case you hadn't worked it out, I had a great time!
Snaps from the day coming to an online gallery near you soon (on Delta 100)!
06-02-2006, 04:39 PM
Totally agree with everybody. An excellent day and many thanks both to Leon for organising and to Simon and his team. Very impressive stuff from a company that is obviously totally dedicated to their business.
And if anyone ever starts complaining that Ilford don't take QC seriously, then you'll have at least 20 people ready to shoot you down in flames!
06-02-2006, 08:41 PM
Just to add my thanks to Leon for organizing us and to Simon and all at Ilford/Harman for an interesting and informative day. They all made us very welcome (especially when you consider that they were preaching to the choir!) and are all obviously full of enthusiasm for what they do. Reminded me of one of the old-school companies you do not get very often nowadays where everyone knows everyone else and most have been working there since first starting work many years ago...
P.S. Yes indeedy, coating machines are BIG - even the small ones...
P.P.S. Did Simon mention the gas bill at all? I don't remember...
06-03-2006, 12:54 AM
I have to add my appreciation of Leon's and Simon's efforts as prime movers in organising our visit to Ilford's, as well as all the others that we were privileged to meet there. My overriding memory will be how enthusiastic, and helpful everyone was together their dedication to quality control at every stage of all processes. And yes; the size of their gas bill was mentioned occasionally.
Wonderful also to be able to put more faces to familiar APUG names, hope to see you all again one and all.
06-03-2006, 04:36 AM
To echo everyone else a big thank you to Simon, Ilford and Leon for organising this. My feet have finally recovered as the site is much bigger than a few of us expected!
One interesting area was R&D. This completely refutes any claims that Ilford either haven't got the R&D staff or that they aren't actively pursuing development of new products. The other thing that comes over again and again is the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff towards the company. As Bob said it's a quality that is rarely found in companies these days.
The production areas are fascinating with it's mixture of high tech and manual procedures and the QC procedures are very stringent at every stage of production.
There were also some interesting statements about the fine art market, an area that Ilford are heavily committed to. Photographers want to produce their images on silver gelatin and the fine art buyers want the same. The traditional products being produced for the hybrid digital/analog market are very exciting indeed.
It was nice to be able to finally meet some other APUG members and put some faces to the names. It's strengthened my resolve to get to the next UK gathering wherever it is held.
Once again a big thank you to Simon, Leon and everyone at Ilford.
06-03-2006, 05:06 AM
I've visited a number of chemical plants as part of my job, but it's the first factory I've come across that's also an art gallery! On many walls, in the offices, labs, along all the corridors are some amazing prints.
I've also got an idea for a prize for a new Ilford competition, how about a "trolley dash" around the warehouse! They'd have to give the winner at least 5 or 10 minutes though as the place is vast.
06-03-2006, 05:10 AM
I've also got an idea for a new Ilford competition, how about a "trolley dash" around the warehouse! They'd have to give the winner at least 5 or 10 minutes though as the place is vast.
As long as it's a fork lift trolley.
06-03-2006, 05:11 AM
I've also got an idea for a new Ilford competition, how about a "trolley dash" around the warehouse!
Good idea Mike; I will wave the start flag, and count you back over the finish line.
My feet still hurt. :(
once again, a big thanks to Ilford Harman for the efforts they went to in welcoming us, keeping us happy (nice cakes and generous freebies) and giving us all an amazing tour of the factory and it's workings. I cant really add much to what everyone else has said, other than it has reinforced my own reasons for using ilford products and given a greater understanding of why limited runs of dead and gone products are completely infeasible - when Simon says here that it's just not practicable, then it REALLY isnt practicable!
BTW - I'm not sure that what I did counts as "organising", I just picked up on a statement by Simon in another thread, held onto it for dear life, an ran all the way Mobberly, compiling a few lists of names on the way. But thanks for the thanks guys :)
06-03-2006, 07:16 AM
You have been the eyes and ears (and voice) for many more of us that could not be there..... A Very Big Thank You guys. This is really Great, and I have enjoyed hearing about your trip. Sounds like it was more than fun, and quite informative. Simon, we all appreciate what you and Ilford do for us...hopefully we return the favor, by using Ilford product.
06-03-2006, 07:32 AM
snip... and given a greater understanding of why limited runs of dead and gone products are completely infeasible - when Simon says here that it's just not practicable, then it REALLY isnt practicable!Coming from a manufacturing environment, I completely understand this part and the part when manufacturers have to raise their prices. Also, the 'quality' statement - maintaining a high quality level for multiple and different small runs takes enoromous effeort and costs. I think Ilford reducing their SKUs is a good thing for Ilford - yes it may be a bad thing for some of us, but a dead Ilford is no good to anyone.
I hope with this understanding, people may understand Kodak a bit more too. If you thought Ilford was big....
BTW - I'm not sure that what I did counts as "organising", I just picked up on a statement by Simon in another thread, held onto it for dear life, an ran all the way Mobberly, compiling a few lists of names on the way. But thanks for the thanks guys :)Well, I didn't end up going, but you did a great thing. Thanks.
06-03-2006, 11:24 AM
A note to say thanks to all at Harman and Leon for organising the trip.
I was very impressed with the size of the site and also the obvious dedication and loyality of all staff. You had the impression the company was (excuse the cliche) one big happy family.
I also very much enjoyed meeting so many people for the first time.