Two comments here that may be useful.
Expiration dates are conservative, but you do take your chances when you are beyond that date. Also, an active company like Kodak or Ilford properly stores inventory at a set temperature and humidity for optimum keeping. If a plant shuts down, who tends to the proper storage of existing inventory?
If the land that a plant sits on becomes more valuable than the product it produces, then it is more useful to sell the land, especially if the market is collapsing. If repair or upgrading a machine is more expensive than the profit from th product it produces, the machine is run until it can no longer make usable product and then the company shuts down and goes out of business.
An example might be this, which combines the postulates in the paragraph above.
During WWII, the US bombed the Hachioji steel mills flat. After the war, they were rebuilt from the ground up with the most modern equipment. Through the war and after, US Steel in Pittsburgh operated with a plant built in the 19th century. As a result, after being rebuilt, Japan's steel industry was able to out produce US Steel and at a lower price. As production fell, the land became more valuable than the plant production, and today as you drive down 2nd avenue in Pittsburgh you see open fields, a new Mellon research center and some park and ride parking lots. The best steel mills in the US were built elsewhere where the land was less expensive and the plant was built to modern standards.
Kodak is in a similar position, and are selling off buildings or demolishing them to reduce tax burden and make some money. They retain a core of modern production facilities that can be tuned to meet forseeable needs, and they are able to store a reasonable amount of inventory.
Interesting post. Most of the modern steel-building infrastructure in the USA is down south and has been for a while.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Ultimately, Kodak and Ilford have been somewhat fortunate in that in both the UK and USA it's easier to downsize your workforce. There are seriously large costs for doing the same in Germany and several Central European countries.
That isn't to say that the laws in Germany and elsewhere aren't useful (they keep companies from swinging the axe to goose profits in the short-term) - but they seem pretty fatal for operations experiencing a secular decline, such as analog film and paper.
Ilford cut almost half their workforce when they reorganized under the management buyout. If they had not been able to do so, I doubt they would have made it.
I don't know if this was a factor for Forte or not. But 150 people sounds like a lot when say, Ilford, is only around 400-500 people.
The move of the steel industry down south was for cheaper land, lower wages and to rebuild the plants that were so old the only option was to tear them down instead of modernize on-site in Pittsburgh. Your comment an observation of the result which started in the 60s or a bit earlier.
Kodak takes a huge hit during a layoff. They pay a worker up to 2 years full pay depending on length of service, plus they pay for retraining in a new trade and they continue health benefits for a specified time. In addition, employees are given a place (office space) to prepare resumes for obtaining reemployment for about 90 days. This amounts to millions of dollars.
I wouldn't be surprised if the cost ultimately ran into the hundreds of millions.
But, Kodak was able to do this so long as they honored any contractual obligations (or negotiated an acceptable alternative) they had with their workforce.
In other words, there was no third party group that was going to prevent Kodak from taking this action if they had otherwise met their legal obligations to their workforce.
Yes, a real good question...
Originally Posted by uraniumnitrate
I've got a APX 400 box in 35mm in front of me as I speak which was purchased in a photographic supply store near Boston, MA in November, 2006. Accoridng to the box:
- It was manufactured in Leverkusen, Germany
- The film has an expiration date of 11/2010. Using Agfa's 65 month dating procedure (which Agfa USA told me about several years back) this translates to 6/2005
- The box has a "Agfa-Gevaert AG" label - not AgfaPhoto, which would have been operating that coating line in 6/2005
There is every indication that this box was meant for the USA market. Instructions are in English (and not the UK variety that uses superfluous u's after o's;) )
AgfaPhoto USA, by the way, no longer exists. It promptly sued the German AgfaPhoto and then went into quiet oblivion. It's gone.
B&H Photo Video got a shipment of 35mm APX 100 and APX400 in the summer of 2006 but they are now sold out of it and my order placed in November, 2006 has been cancelled by them, since the product is now listed as discontinued.
I haven't seen any 120 APX 100 since early 2006. And it never re-appeared.
Probably the last 120 size APX 100 is that offered by Maco as Roelli Retro, and sold at a premium price in wooden boxes. Maco may have had to cut and spool it themselves from master rolls. It is my understanding that there is quite a large inventory of this.
Originally Posted by aldevo
Just an update, since my order of 35mm APX100 is at UPS, and will be delivered tomorrow; B&H Photo have this film now:
Originally Posted by aldevo
If that link does not work, then scroll through their menues. The only AGFA B/W 120 rollfilm they have is APX400. However, I don't particularly like using APX400.
Anyway, I am getting 14 rolls of the 36 exposure APX100. If anyone is interested in expiration date information on the boxes, I would be happy to provide another post with that information.
A G Studio
Could you explain this?
Originally Posted by aldevo
Not sure there is much to explain.
Originally Posted by jstraw
When rumors came up in late-2003 that Agfa was about to discontinue B&W films in 120 sizes I rang up Agfa USA in Ridgefield Park, NJ. During the course of the conversation they put me in touch with a sales engineer who told me that 35mm film is given an expiration date that is 65 months from the time it's boxed. They didn't hesitate to give out the information.
Slightly off-topic, but...
Agfa's Healthcare group is still around in Ridgefield Park, NJ (they are part of Agfa-Gevaert). For that matter, AgfaPhoto is still around, just not the film operations. AgfaPhoto USA is history, though it's possible some of their employees work now for AgfaPhoto. Don't forget that AgfaPhoto is still very much in the minilab business.
Oops! I just checked my email and it was Adorama that canceled my order. Both APX 100 and 400 are available in 35mm from B&H. And APX 400 is available in 120 there, as well.
Originally Posted by HerrBremerhaven
Sometimes I forget there's a difference between Adorama and B&H. Same brusque customer service and prices identical to the penny...