Foma - the company

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by alanrockwood, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    What do we know about Foma as a company? My impression from discussions on the internet (which are not very common for this company) is that the company seems to be a bit reclusive in terms of reaching out and communicating with the community. They seem to keep manufacturing and selling film with relatively few product discontinuances, which is good. Can we assume that they are a pretty stable company and not likely to quit making film anytime soon?

    I wonder how many employees they have and also if they have any significant business risks these days, such as looming retirement of irreplaceable employees or likelyhood of losing the factory to real estate development, etc.
     
  2. halfaman

    halfaman Member

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    If Foma quit film is because they are out of business. Their line of product is film for various applications and the chemicals to process it, I heard that their most important business is X-Ray film.

    http://www.foma.cz/en/homepage

    An hungarian page I found says that Foma has 300 employees.
     
  3. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    I havent seen an X-ray machine that uses film in many many years. I had thought that they had all gone digital by now. Surely that market is in a state of collapse too? Or are developing countries still using film here?
     
  4. halfaman

    halfaman Member

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    I also see a lot of digital X-Ray machines, but for sure there are still a pretty ammount of film equipments around the world. My dentist for example keeps using the same film X-Ray, stingy bastard...:tongue:

    X-Ray film is also used in weldings to evaluate porosity, normally in pipings, I don't know if digital imaging has arrived there already.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    its also used to determine stress fractures in hulls of boats , and with art-sonservationists ( non destructive testing )
     
  6. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    Robert Vonk, who was a member around here APUG and I haven't seen in a while, visited Foma and had some first hand information about them. IIRC I saw that in Flickr.
    They do indeed seem to be stable and do some developments, seeing Foma Retropan 320. Last week I was reading about IR and turned out Fomapan 400 had some sensitivity, but it was gone more recently as they seem to adjust their formulations according to materials availability; Fomapan 200 suffered from that years ago.
     
  7. Ces1um

    Ces1um Subscriber

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    I can tell you most dentists here in Canada have gone to using digital sensors, mostly because of communication purposes with insurance companies. They also require about half the radiation dose of our most sensitive film. That being said, there are still holdouts - one of the dentists in my office still uses it. I wouldn't say the market is ready to collapse yet, but I can't see anybody still using it in 15 years.
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Technical x-raying went digital too. But still there are some applications were films are benefitial.
     
  9. blockend

    blockend Member

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    I hope they keep it this way. There's too much hype surrounding traditional products.
     
  10. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Subscriber

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    One FSU rangefinder and Nikon F3 enthusiast in Russia wrote on previous week request if they want to sponsor some well known and still active film forum in Russia.
    Response came quick. Kinda "Get lost, we are doing great without it".
    To me Foma is nice peace of landscape. Their grainy, bellow box speed films adds to the picture. :smile: Film doesn't have to be only prefect. And I like them for making emulsion powder.

    I'm surprised what some people still believe where is use for X-ray film. Long gone, in medicine and machinery.
     
  11. Wallendo

    Wallendo Subscriber

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    There are many hospitals still using a “hybrid” process with X-Rays. Films are taken, digitized, and them promptly recycled. Eventually, these hospitals will go all digital, but currently these sensors are still very expensive.

    Medical imaging is a field where digital imaging is superior to analog. Even though X-Ray films can be processed in a few minutes, digital images can be viewed in a few seconds.
     
  12. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    My dentist and podiatrist still use x-ray film. They are independent doctors, and converting would not be cost-effective. (My podiatrist said he might consider converting if he were still in his twenties and had enough time for ROI before retirement.) I was in an emergency room that used digital x-ray, but kept the film equipment on-hand as a backup.
     
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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    This hybrid process does NOT use films. There are already NO consumables. The advantage though is that one still can use the old X-ray devices.
     
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  15. lantau

    lantau Subscriber

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    Last year I had to have my foot x-rayed. I was treated by a surgeon at a new facility which hosts many independent practices from various medical fields. To get the x-ray done I had to go to the neighbouring practice (really just through a connecting door), which is doing medical imaging. They used a pretty large film(holder) to record the image. It's possible that they simply moved into this facility with their existing equipment, of course. But I really wonder if it is very advantageous to use large format sensor based equipment when you offer imaging any random part of the body, including some very large parts like lungs or the pelvis. For dentists with their tiny targets this would a different story.

    It might be a bit different in the US, where the appearance of using the latest devices is crucial marketing in the medical field.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    I went to the a local dental school a couple of weeks ago for an evaluation. The student running the evaluation said she prefers the quality of film x-rays, but the convenience of electronic sensors.
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    We seem to have moved far away from the OP's original post and onto trad Xray film v Digital Xray . I take it that so far we know next to nothing about Foma as a company. It doesn't interact with Photrio but then again neither does Tetenal, Fuji or KA for that matter. This isn't true about the "new Ilford" but clearly it doesn't interact either in the way the "old Ilford" did.

    pentaxuser
     
  18. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    last time I had a x-ray, the technician used what looked like a large holder, it even had a yellow Kodak Label, but told me that it was a type of digital sensor that went into their Kodak/Carestream system (different units had one or the other logo. the pictures come up in a few seconds after the "holder" was loaded so not sure of the technology.

    proably related to this technology. https://www.carestream.com/en/us/medical/products/radiography/carestream-drx-ascend-system
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  19. Wallendo

    Wallendo Subscriber

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    There may be some misunderstanding, but the process I described does actually use film. Many small hospitals still use film, especially with portable X-rays. I most recently worked in a hospital where this was the case. The main X-ray department did not use film. It was apparently more cost effective to maintain the development machine than to buy digital plates for each portable machine.

    Nevertheless, I doubt Foma will be making a lot of X-ray film in the future.
     
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There is film radiography, hybrid (filmless) radiography, and digital radiography.

    Film was abandoned at hospitals as early as 1995.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  21. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    actually the Digital Cassettes look like film holders, and are placed in a slot that Looks like a film processor, BUT actually contain a hybrid between a laptop computer screen and a phosphor grid. They are read out electronically and reset to an unexposed state. Since they are the same size and shape as a film holder, they can be used with existing x-ray units and only the reader device is changed. (replacing the film processor)

    Actual X-ray film is likly still in demand for Non destructive testing where the film may be part of the documentation of the part being produced. Small clinics in remote areas may also find using film for the dozen shots that they might need a month might still be more cost effective than even one of the digital "cassette" systems.
     
  22. fdonadio

    fdonadio Subscriber

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    Here in Brazil, the conversion to digital is going strong. I always try to talk to the x-ray people in hospitals to see if I can learn about equipment being trashed, supplies and other stuff I could use for photography. Most of the time, they say the traditional x-ray gear is gone and they don’t know where.
     
  23. Wallendo

    Wallendo Subscriber

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    I know the difference. I have worked with both types of cassettes. My job is much easier with the electronic cassettes, but I can guarantee you that film is still being used in US hospitals. I have discussed this with my radiology techs who have described their processes to me (after I complained about the longer turn around time). The hospital in question is a "critical access hospital" and the administration did not want to spend the money to upgrade.

    To me, the system is wasteful as the films are almost immediately recycled.
     
  24. Europan

    Europan Subscriber

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    Jindřich Puhlovský is a shareholder of Foma Bohemia.
    Jindrich Puhlovsky, Aktionär von Foma Bohemia und CEO.jpg
    An interview with him: https://www.csobpanorama.cz/vidime-to-cernobile/?print=print

    I visited Foma Bohemia in 1999, met with commercial director Dana Hojná.
    Today the company employs 250 people. Special orders are welcome, one can buy
    films in rolls up to 2,000 ft. or even whole jumbos.
     
  25. Vw1302

    Vw1302 Member

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    I was in Foma factory last year.. I live less than 100km far from Hradec Kralove, where the company is situated.. the photography part of the business is minor, the company has no intention to reduce production, but still they are dependant to some suppliers (producers of the base of rollfilm for example)... nevertheless their relationship with customer is very nice.. they support local amateur events, all you need is to ask.. :smile:
     
  26. trendland

    trendland Member

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    Just travel to east europe countrys and break your leg ! Soon you will see such oldfashined machines in smaler local hospitals.
    :D

    with regards
     
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