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  1. #21
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnywalker View Post
    PE, it's not that I don't believe you. I have no expertise in this field. I do know it takes about 3 years for a world-class pulp mill to reach it's design capacity and quality (and 3/4 billion $). One of the differences between this and photo paper factory is that the pulp mill can sell off it's below-standard stuff at a reduced price.

    I think I understand why it would be difficult to make exactly the same product they were making before the shut-down. But how about a "new, good, similar" product? In spite of the difficulties you mention, it has been done before. I am not trying to argue with you when I ask what is different now?
    You are right in that theory says it is possible. And, it is possible.

    It takes time and money, as you also state and the rejected product cannot be sold.

    One of the big factors with film is this; formulas don't scale readily neither emulsion making nor coating. This is one of the big problems facing engineers in the industry. Also, they don't 'travel' well so making a formula in Rochester differes somewhat from one made in Windsor Ontario for example. Azo paper is a good example of that latter proven and well known fact.

    So, if I get a lab scale formula of 1 - 10 liters (or Kgs) and have to scale it to 1000 liters (or Kgs), it may take 10 or more tries to get it right. Along the way the coating scaleup problems enter into this as well and you have to be able to separate out coating from making problems. And, all of this takes time and money. The best example here is M&P trying to recreate Azo. The small scale trials seemed to work, and it is my understanding that they are on their third try now of the larger batch.

    So, given time and money, yes they will get there. It is just probably not going to happen on the time scale that they suggest, and as discussed above it is not going to be Agfa paper, merely Agfa like paper, just as M&P will not be making Azo, merely Azo like paper.

    I make an "Azo" emulsion, but I prefer to call it "Azo like", and if Kodak started to make the genuine material today, it would only be "Azo like" due to inevitable differences.

    At Kodak, we had a product that looked awful for 6 months and had to be aged before selling. It was one of very few that had to be aged. The elderly engineer who headed the product line died suddenly and the product would never age properly after that. It took them nearly a year to re-learn what this engineer did, and I don't think it was a secret either. He had assistants and apprentices, but they just didn't do it his way.

    Among other things, we had an instance of one persons usual cosmetics influenced the result her husband got in film making even though we thought we understood the product. Now that was a major detective project when the cosmetic product changed because the product changed.

    I hope that this gives you a bit better insight into why I feel that the schedule is optimistic and the products will, in the end, only bear the Agfa name. This also does not mean that they will be bad products, merely different.

    PE

  2. #22

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    ...formulas don't scale readily
    Neither for photo paper nor whisky!

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Koch View Post
    Neither for photo paper nor whisky!
    Johnny Walker would know the latter better than me.

    PE

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Johnny Walker would know the latter better than me.

    PE
    Actually, I used up more than my lifetime supply 8 years ago .

    Anyway PE, I've heard similar stories about old high grade paper mills (not photo). And I think I read something years ago about an employee of Campbell's Soup getting ready to retire, and they had to bring in an "expert system" consultant to figure out exactly how he made this particular soup before he left.

    Sounds like it's at least partly a matter of having deep enough pockets to get through a long start-up. I can only wish them luck.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guillaume Zuili View Post
    I know you do and I'm as afraid as you. Agfa represents all my photo background starting with Record Rapid and Portriga. It was my only brand and signature. So I hope for a miracle...!
    Well if you think that's sad, think of us poor bastards who cut our teeth on Velour Black.

  6. #26
    r-s
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    You are right in that theory says it is possible. And, it is possible.

    It takes time and money, as you also state and the rejected product cannot be sold.
    Oh, I betcha it could be sold.

    There'd definitely need to be a catchy category for it, something like "Ultra-Premium-Uber-Photo-Grade" -- and if the defects weren't discovered until after the silver was sloshed onto it, well, a wee bit of fixer and a trip through the wash/dry/rotary-drier cycle and it'll be good as new. Or better, if you've got a good enough corps of admen!

    "Photoxica Magnifico Inkjet Paper! Made on the exact same machinery, using the same materials as the world-famous Photoxica Magnifico Museum-Grade Photograpic Silver Art Museum Paper! And only twice as expensive!"

    Paging Willie Loman... please pick up your sales kit at the smokin' hot courtesy phone!

  7. #27
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    I knew things would be lookin' up, great news!

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