You missed the other post then #27. Most entrepreneurs who try to get into film and paper manufacturing don't realize how difficult and time consuming it is.
I liken it to cloning an animal. It is a long process with a steep learning curve. Errors don't count, and the final product has a finite lifetime. It spoils on the shelf.
It takes time and money and will likely not come to fruition on the time scale given. Thus the comment "don't hold your breath".
Remember the Wright Brothers? People thought they were nuts and they succeeded. Instead of looking a the negative all the time, fous on the positive. If there is a will people will find a way to make it happen. I will hold my breath because I know business and people. If someone thinks they can do they will succeed regardless of the obstacles. Maybe it takes them years maybe it doesn't, but it really doesn't matter as long as they sees profit in it they will find or if they have a personal reason to do it, they will find a way to do it, it is human nature.
Look a the challenge that was given in the last few years to be the first to put a man in space and win $1,000,000 ( I forget the same of the challenge but it was on the discovery channel recently ). A person in the US did it and launched the frist commerical shutle into orbit. People thought it couldn't be done and they accomplished the impossible and did it better than NASA. They were a non government agency that was privately funded and believe me that was much harder and more risk than making photo film or papers.
So it can be done, it isn't rocket science.
Originally Posted by Chazzy
That won't happen. Its gone for good.
Originally Posted by kjsphoto
Kevin, I don't disagree, but we are talking about an industry that is shrinking such that Agfa just went bust. Restarting it will be a major undertaking requiring a major effort with lots of funding, it won't be done from a bicycle shop.
Even Fuji admits that after shutting down the Velvia 50 (was that it?), anyhow they are restarting it but it will not be exactly the same film. Why? Because once a line shuts down, it cannot start and offer the exact same product. It is too complex.
1) How did they do it better than NASA?
Originally Posted by kjsphoto
2) They were a privately-funded outfit that relied on decades of research bankrolled, effectively, by NASA
3) How is this at all relevant to the continued production of analog products?
Commercial space travel would likely yield enormous profits. Continued production of analog photographic materials may not yield any at all.
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People thought it could be done, but let's look at the facts, they won a $10 million prize and spent more than $20 million. Paul Allen of Microsoft put up $20 million personally. Not exactly what I would call a profitable return on investment. You might notice that nothing has been done since except a few hints that they'll try to turn it into a business.
Originally Posted by kjsphoto
In construction we usually say, "Anything is possible. It's just a matter of time and money."
So if you can find a benefactor you might be in business.
As for positive thinking and success, I've seen a LOT of business, bars, restaurants, etc owned by motivated people fail. If it ain't profitable, it ain't staying in business. Motivation and hardwork are necessary, but not enough.
Originally Posted by Terence
This is, sadly, very true.
I've been involved in startups and can tell you...
1) People invest in stuff based on how much money they think they'll make from it, how soon they'll make it, and what the likelihood is of losing that money.
2) If you get the least bit wrong with delivering on the expecations for #1 - stuff tends to happen fast. And it isn't pleasant.
It's not a matter of making enough money to keep your head above water.
As you have the expertise in the field...
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
What would be the cost (best guess on order of magnitude) to re-start an analog photographic film line of, say, ISO 100 panchromatic film assuming the intellectual capital was present - but the physical capital was not?
This proposition would lose money. It would be a one note symphony.
Anyhow, you don't tell me capacity, sizes or anything so an estimate would be difficult.
In any event, assuming 35mm - LF, you need 2 supports, perhaps 3. One for 35mm, one for 120 and another for LF.
You will need chemical clearances and certification for all employees and a DEA license in the US. You will need about 50,000 square feet of plant space with a big cooler insulated against radiation to store product until shipping and you will need the plant to be divided into light and dark areas with foolproof light traps.
You need making, finishing, melting, coating, storing, slitting, chopping and packing areas. You need a huge air heater and chiller and humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
You will need a complete stock of rare and expensive chemicals such as heavy metals and sensitizing dyes which may cost about $100 - $200 US/ gram.
You need a staff of engineers and technicians. About 3 to run the machine and two professionals to back them up. You need about 10 to do the storing moving slitting chopping and packaging. You need the machines to go with all of this.
And, this does not include the R&D to start it up. It assumes you have all the knowhow in the people above, and own the proper formulas.
It is as complex as rocket science.
It will probably take over a year of financial support up front to get things going. Look at M&P restarting Lodima from a hand coated formula that worked! It has been nearly 2 years I think. IDK for sure and that was with a formula and a plant. They still, last I heard, have nothing salable.
That is why I express my pessimism over the schedule, nothing more.
My guess, starting from scratch is well over a million $ US and over a year. Starting with people, formulas and equipment all in place, at least a year. It would probably take in the hundreds of thousands in that case.
I estimate that getting Lodima up and running including all test coatings and the first run will cost between $50,000 and $100,000 and take about 6 more months from now. That will be close to 2 years or more with a plant and a formula. Of course, they may get lucky.
Thanks for the information. I certainly wasn't looking to do this myself or be an investor
I spent 6 months worth of weekends learning to brew beer. Ultimately, the best that could be said is that nobody perished from drinking the product. I've learned my lesson.
My early vocation was as a Materials Engineer so, I certainly wasn't looking to underestimate the task. Moreover, I worked in a laboratory during Graduate School. During that time we were tasked with what was ostensibly resuming work performed by a group that had lost funding six years before.
Even with recovery of all the intellectual capital - you guessed it - the sponsors were obliged to subsidize some pretty costly errors.
From a strictly fiscal standpoint, though, the start up cost isn't ridiculous. The run rate, though, would scare me. 13 people isn't trivial. If those are people in, say, Rochester - you have to figure total annual loaded costs of about $1.2 million. That's labor alone.
I doubt you could do this for very long in the USA. Not without a pretty good guarantee of a market.
The heavy metals would worry me any place you care to name. There are, for example, new regs in the EU that were adopted in 2006 to regulate the traffic of these in the member nations. That stuff usually can't be grandfathered. Even China is now showing signs of concerns here. At least, they are making lots of noise about this for electricity generation.