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Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Sean, Sep 18, 2015.
This machine must be a BEAST...
Considering the 3,000 rolls minimum daily production, working two shifts (16 hours) straight, it would perforate and pack (into a cassette) one roll of film every 19.2 seconds. Doesn’t sound too fast for me...
I have learned so much about film finishing over the past year or so. And I've also about the wider industry in general, and the true state of its existence in 2018.
When it comes to making retail-ready film, I have a pretty solid understanding of two specific topics: Who Has What, and Who Does What for Whom.
Knowing what I know about these things, I'll just say that you are correct, finishing is "clearly a pain point."
We have calculated the total production capacity of our converting lines based on historic data sheets, as well as the state of the machines themselves.
Our total potential capacity is blue sky territory. If we were to ever max it out, we could certainly afford to commission a second set of machines. Etc.
We're not thinking about downsizing as much as throttling.
We expect to run the lines at partial speed, for around 150 days a year, with just one daily shift of 3-5 people.
Even at these levels, the capacity far exceeds our own direct needs.
We will offer this excess capacity as a contract service.
If there comes a time when we need more capacity, we loosen the throttle a bit. Etc.
We are already working on our 120 line, which is the easiest for us to install and restart. (I think I've mentioned this before, but if not, there it is)
Bringing our finishing in-house needs to be done step by step and without overtaxing our resources, but also as fast as we can.
As I said above, it is "clearly a pain point."
Well but it has to perforate, edge-mark the film, spool it into a cassette and pack that cassette, i guess. And as you can´t perforate film at infinite speed i assume that such a machine does perforate etc. more than one 35mm-stripe at a time. And if 3,000 rolls only are minium it must be a BEAST... a very hungry one.
I think thats awesome as a lot of people allready are asking for 120.
I don’t think so. A roll every 19.2 seconds is pretty slow by my standards — which are based on my limited experience in industrial equipment. Oh, and most industrial equipment are huge and hungry beasts, based on my experience.
Is the film spooled in daylight? I just noticed that the "tail" was already exposed (completely black). If it is spooled by hand, 1k films per week is not a small number.
This is really sweet news! As someone who missed the whole Kickstarter as a digital-only guy at the time, I'd love to be able to buy 35mm Ferrania and give it a whirl. Better yet... love to use some 120. My MF camera (Rollei SLX2) has a motor drive, and hope that won't be a problem, but in 35mm.... sweet hand crankin'. Will be looking. Curious notes on XTOL development that you recommend 1:3 dilution in a Jobo which generally seems to spec "Stock" or "1:1 Dilution". Clearly when you open, it'll require buying enough film to test and get it right for each of our own processes.
You want to perforate long rolls as the operation takes place in complete darkness or very subdued green light. Bell & Howell perforators such as Ferrania is equipped with run at up to about 20 strokes per second. Typically single strips are perfed, rarely two together. The energy necessary for punching through double thickness is more than the double.
20 strokes, each punching 4 perfs, would be 1 1/4 feet a second. it takes 5 1/2 feet (plus an inch) to make one roll of 36 exposures. so lets say 5 seconds a roll. 3M engineering may have been able to hot-rod the process.
Movie Film is shown at 24 frames (each 4 holes) a second so such speeds are quite within the realm of normal engineering possibility.
And it is not unheard of for perforating to be accomplished as a separate process with a un-edge-printed but perforated "Pancake" delivered to the packing section. (roll of film on a core) that would allow for several perforators to work in the process. (several years ago, EFKE sold an EFKE 400 which was packaged on their line with their edge printing but made from HP5 or AgfaPan 400 Pancakes)
BOTH ROWS of double perforated film generally MUST be done at the same time to ensure that they are lined up in the correct position in relation to each other.
OH and FWIW, Kodak has patented a newer style of perforator that can work MUCH faster by not stopping and starting the film.
That’s the T perforator of the late 1940s.
Costs are always an issue for any business - but film finishing is FAR more complicated for reasons that I just cannot get into.
Our film is not spooled in daylight or by hand, but the process is not so far removed from "rolling your own" at home. The machines are far bigger, semi-automated and in full darkness.
The tails are exposed because each one is checked by hand for evidence of defects. If there is a defect anywhere in the roll, it will be across the entire roll due to some issue in coating.
Of course, our fully automated line does the quality check and kicks out bad rolls at a speed no human could hope to match. If you've ever watched an episode of "How It's Made" you've probably seen this in action.
Thanks Dave! I actually had the chance to see a real high speed film finishing line, from perforator to packaging. Pretty impressive.
Film finishing cannot go too fast. If you do, you run the risk of static electricity. This is even with conductive coatings and backing. Rem jet does not appear to have that problem.
To avoid it, the machines go slower, and several work in parallel as one master roll is slit and then fed to those machines. IIRC, Kodak had about 15 of these in operation at any one time.
That´s what i assumed. I hadn´t thought of static buildup but i´m sure one can´t perforate at infinite speed. A movie projector of course does transport 24fps (and some of the IMAX-films run even faster, i think 48fps or 60fps?) but transporting film by 24fps should be easier than perforating at 24fps.
I wasn´t thinking of a 70mm wide stripe being double perforated and slitted afterwards, but just several 35mm wide stripes being fed at the same time into the machine to achive such high numbers of cartridges per hour/day.
Anyway, as we seem to agree that this machine must be a beast , let´s hope Ferrania will be able to tame it soon. Would make a nice title for an update: "Taming of the beast" or something like that.
How was your trip to NYC? Hope that's a prelude to something!
It would be wrong to assume there’s more static charge build-up with perforating than with a film running through a camera. Intermittent perforators have long rails to guide and center the strip between punch and die, the pilot pins entering eight holes at the same time, and the punches themselves, all these metal parts deduct possible static charges. Camera magazines are much more prone to static, especially those made from plastic or older ones lined with a fabric based on synthetic fibre. Sometimes non-metallic gears and drive belts in camera mechanisms can hinder static discharge. Printers and projectors are often earthed, cameras only rarely.
Probably depends on their minimum charges/volumes for this sort of service.
The substrate material might have an impact on the issue as well.
The going rate for a production run of an emulsion is between $50,000 and $100,000. Costs for other services are comparable.
I wonder how what amount of film that relates to.
The broad spread is due to the minimum amount of emulsion that can be made and the width and length of the roll coated.
Could you enlighten us on roughly how much film area or rolls of film this would relate to?
Trying to figure out if you are being overcharged??
$50,000 for finishing ten thousand rolls would obviously be out of line. (I assume we are still talking about finishing costs.) $50,000 for ten million rolls is probably out of line as well. Somewhere in between those numbers is probably about right. If I were to take a wild guess based on no knowledge of the business, I would guess it probably works out to be about $0.15 to $0.30 per roll, so $50,000 would do about 166,000 to 333,000 roles. Hopefully it would cost less than this per roll.
If the total cost of manufacturing and finishing a roll gets much above $1 there is probably no viable business model, and the break point could be lower.
Anyway, to repeat, I'm only making wild guesses, but the rule of thumb in some business sectors is that cost of manufacturing should be no more than 1/3 of the selling price, and one also has to figure in the cut taken by the middle man and the retailer as well as other expenses.
I thought PE was talking about the charge to run the coating line. The cost of Finishing film would probably be quite different for 35mm and 120, let alone any of the other sizes. Also the Backing paper would be a separate item, as the stuff Kodak stocks happens to say "Kodak" so they would only be able to use it for their own products.