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dave_whatever
17-Nov-2013, 03:46
Hi all

I was lucky enough to get on the tour of the Ilford facility on friday, which is only 1.5hrs drive from where I live. One guy had travelled from Norway! Anyway, I have written a report of the day here with a few thoughts. I hope this is some interest to a few people here.

http://bit.ly/1ayqtK0

Cheers
Dave

P.s. any spelling mistakes spotted let me know, I'll correct them......

Lffbug
17-Nov-2013, 05:58
Great write up, thanks for sharing!

onnect17
17-Nov-2013, 05:58
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

diversey
17-Nov-2013, 08:24
Well done, will buy some ilford film today.

Pete Watkins
17-Nov-2013, 09:40
I hope that they're paying you for this. Ilford is dead, this is Harman. 200 staff left out of 2000 is bugger all to boast about.
Pete.
ps What about POP paper?

dave_whatever
17-Nov-2013, 10:42
Why the negativity Pete, 200 is better than 0 isn't it? Unless you've got a time machine to go back and de-invent the digital camera then we're stuck with that reality.

Randy Moe
17-Nov-2013, 10:55
Thank you.

I sure hope they have extremely good fire control systems. I was on the Fire team at our million sq ft factory and the strangest things can burst into flame and require instant response. I personally put out several fires long before the rest of the volunteers showed up.

I wish Ilford all the luck in the world and long may they prosper.

Buy more film!

Sal Santamaura
17-Nov-2013, 11:03
I hope that they're paying you for this. Ilford is dead, this is Harman. 200 staff left out of 2000 is bugger all to boast about...What about POP paper?


Why the negativity Pete...Because Pete's a compulsive Ilford basher. He knows HARMAN pays you as much as it pays me (nothing) to honestly comment on its products and commitment. He also knows full well that there will be no Ilford printing out paper and he knows why. Nonetheless, he seems unable to refrain from trashing a company very likely to be the last best supplier of first-tier quality monochrome film and paper.

That really doesn't answer your question "why," but it at least let's you know that this is an old, tired song. I suggest paying it no attention.

Pete Watkins
17-Nov-2013, 11:10
Oh dear!
They could produce POP in 1928 but not now.
They destroyed Kentmere (who were producing POP, and other superb products) and made the typical pathetic EURO claim that it was down to H&S.
Kentmere staff were just got rid of (yeah, call it redundancy, but they were put on the Dole, through no fault of their own! In a time when jobs were at a prenium, especially in the North West of the UK).
Harmon are just a sad bunch of rip off merchants! If your concience allows you to support a company with these principals just carry on!
They will never match Kodak mono products in a milion years and personally I prefer Foma.
Pete.

dave_whatever
17-Nov-2013, 11:39
All I said was "Macbeth"......

Pete Watkins
17-Nov-2013, 12:09
Who?
Pete.

ndrs
17-Nov-2013, 12:34
Thanks Dave! I was thinking about writing something similar, mainly to anchor all the information better in my memory. Now I don't need to do this any more.
The tour was worth every minute and penny I spent on my three day trip there and back.

Andres

Peter Mounier
17-Nov-2013, 14:22
Wow, that is a pretty cool tour report! I would love to see that someday. Thanks for posting.

Andrew O'Neill
17-Nov-2013, 19:05
It sounds like Ilford currently face a similar challenge with an ingredient of one of their current films being subject to new legislation which will make it illegal to produce as of 2015. I won't panic anyone by saying what the product is as it seems they've been producing as much of it as they possibly can in advance to go in the deep freeze, and are working hard to find an alternative to keep production going in the future.

I wonder what ingredient that could be?

AtlantaTerry
17-Nov-2013, 19:41
I wonder what ingredient that could be?

I wonder if Ilford wanted to make that public. Their PR/marketing folks could be having a fit right about now.

Sal Santamaura
17-Nov-2013, 20:08
...They destroyed Kentmere (who were producing POP, and other superb products) and made the typical pathetic EURO claim that it was down to H&S...HARMAN purchased Kentmere, it didn't destroy Kentmere. Their explanation why POP was discontinued appeared in a March 2009 press release as follows:


"HARMAN CONSOLIDATES KENTMERE RANGE:

Leading photo-imaging company, HARMAN technology Limited announces new product development and new supply arrangements for KENTMERE along with three unavoidable withdrawals.

When HARMAN technology Limited acquired KENTMERE PHOTOGRAPHIC in 2007it was always HARMAN's intention to maintain the existing KENTMERE monochrome range.

Recognising the enormous popularity of certain products, it pulled out all the stops to replicate many of the range's coating formulations at its state-of-the-art production facility at Mobberley. It has also used its expertise and infrastructure to increase batch-to-batch continuity and worldwide product availability - and has just launched KENTMERE film along with the existing paper products into the North American market through its US distributor WYNIT Inc and its Canadian distributor AMPLIS.

However, despite its good intentions and its considerable successes, such as the continuation of popular products like KENTMERE VC SELECT , HARMAN's best efforts have in part been thwarted by harsh commercial realities.

Following a decision, which has not been taken lightly, three KENTMERE products are to be withdrawn because they have proven themselves impossible to produce in a way that's either acceptable or economically viable. Contributing factors to this regrettable situation include global supply issues, changing legislation and an increasingly difficult trading climate, not just for HARMAN - but for all manufacturers.

The products concerned are :

KENTMERE CENTENNIAL POP ( Printing Out Paper )

Whilst demanded in relatively small volumes, HARMAN recognises that KENTMERE CENTENNIAL POP has a passionate following throughout the world and so announces with regret that this product can no longer be made.

The most significant reasons for this include the need for extremely elevated temperatures during the mnaufacturing process. There are also chemical additives involved in the coating that HARMAN does not wish to use from an employee health and safety perspective.

To adhere to the required production methods safely, and certainly in a way that at its bare minimum complies with UK health and safety legislation, would necessitate an enormous investment into HARMAN's factory. This cannot be justified due to the low volumes sold. HARMAN did look into the possibility of manufacturing elsewhere but feels it would be unethical and hypocritical to manufacture in a different country where employee health and safety requirements are perhaps less rigorous.

KENTMERE KENTONA

Current stocks of KENTMERE KENTONA - the unique, warmtone, glossy, chloro-bromide, fibre-based paper - are very good, but manufacturing of this product has now ceased as its emulsion cannot be replicated at HARMAN's plant.

The market has long requested a variable contrast version of KENTONA and HARMAN is pleased to announce that its product development department is now working on this as part of the launch of THREE NEW PAPERS within the KENTMERE FINEPRINT VC range. It is anticipated that this new warmtone, glossy paper will be available later in 2009.

THE KENTMERE ART COLLECTION

This range was withdrawn by KENTMERE prior to its acquisition by HARMAN technology Limited because the base substrates involved were no longer being manufactured. Despite extensive research, KENTMERE failed to find a comparable base suitable for quality photo coating.

Whilst HARMAN remains open to appropriate bases becoming available, the length of time since the production of these products means the chances of an economic re-launch at any time in the future is unfortuanately very small.

Speaking of the changes, Steven Brierley, Marketing Director at HARMAN technology Limited said. " The tremendous success we have enjoyed in seamlessly integrating KENTMERE into our business and increasing its availability worldwide has been somewhat tinged by the need to withdraw three products. If anyone was going to maintain them it was going to be HARMAN with our state-of-the-art coating and finishing facilities and our photo-imaging expertise which now stretches back 130 years. We apologise to those customers affected and reassure them that we did explore every feasible alternative before coming to this decision".


...Kentmere staff were just got rid of (yeah, call it redundancy, but they were put on the Dole, through no fault of their own! In a time when jobs were at a prenium, especially in the North West of the UK).
Harmon are just a sad bunch of rip off merchants! If your concience allows you to support a company with these principals just carry on!
They will never match Kodak mono products in a milion years and personally I prefer Foma.
Pete.

It seems that your aversion to complying with strict health and safety requirements has lead you to a lower-tier sensitized material supplier in another country. That doesn't support manufacturing jobs in the northwest UK. Please explain when, where and who has ever been robbed by HARMAN. Kodak's layoffs over the years make HARMAN's look miniscule by comparison. In my opinion, Ilford films are very much the equal of their Kodak competitive products; Ilford actually produces and sells fine monochrome paper, a market Kodak abandoned years ago.

Personally, I prefer first-tier quality sensitized products over the variable output from an old manufacturing facility like Foma's.

Regular Rod
18-Nov-2013, 13:25
Oh dear!
They could produce POP in 1928 but not now....

You surely need to pause and consider that this applies to many things...

Gilders used to make ormolu in the 18th Century, do you condemn their descendants for no longer producing it!

RR

dave_whatever
18-Nov-2013, 15:55
I wonder if Ilford wanted to make that public. Their PR/marketing folks could be having a fit right about now.

To be honest, if you read the right webpages and can put two and two together the info is out there, its nothing that isn't already in the public domain. In fact when mentioned on the tour at least one visitor already knew about it. They might not have made any kind of noise about it directly though. But given how seriously Ilford are taking it vis a vis ensuring good stock levels and r&d on reformulating the product If I was a user of it I wouldn't be unduly worried.

ShannonG
19-Nov-2013, 22:19
I Really like your write up great job!!! Ive been a big fan of Ilford for years and your write up gives me a sense of security that they will still be around for a long time.It was cool for me to see this today as earlier in the day I printed 7 11X14 prints on Kentmere from a 4X5 Delta 100 neg.I al so have in the freezer several boxes of Ilfarom Gallerie Grades 1,2,annd3 5X7 up to 16X20 that i got from a old retired collage professor ,its old but still prints up very nice.My studio freezer has a lot of Ilford paper and film in it. thanks again

Andrew Plume
22-Nov-2013, 05:15
Because Pete's a compulsive Ilford basher. He knows HARMAN pays you as much as it pays me (nothing) to honestly comment on its products and commitment. He also knows full well that there will be no Ilford printing out paper and he knows why. Nonetheless, he seems unable to refrain from trashing a company very likely to be the last best supplier of first-tier quality monochrome film and paper.

That really doesn't answer your question "why," but it at least let's you know that this is an old, tired song. I suggest paying it no attention.


it is, as you say, Sal, an online discussion that has appeared before

as a side issue to, err..........."this discussion", and being in a different position than those who have posted in reply to this thread, I've met Pete numerous times, whether one agrees or disagrees, what he constantly demonstrates is a 101% passion and commitment to UK Plc and a strong belief in (wherever possible) manufacturing here and the allied work force

regards

andrew

IanG
22-Nov-2013, 07:06
Kentmere is still in business (http://www.kentmerepackaging.com) and expanded their packaging business which had already become the major part of their production after Ilford bought the coating side primarily for their inkjet products.

Ian

Andrew O'Neill
22-Nov-2013, 08:46
Link no worky

Sal Santamaura
22-Nov-2013, 09:15
...commitment to UK Plc...It would be impossible to go further with the specifics of this "discussion" and not violate the rules against politics. Suffice it to say that anyone familiar with the history of these exchanges would probably be very surprised about how much Pete and I agree on fundamentals. It appears I'm just more willing to accept the realities of how our world has ended up in terms of silver halide product suppliers and don't want to jeopardize what's left. In my opinion, if Ilford disappears, it won't be replaced.

For those outside the UK, a search reveals that "Plc" refers to publicly traded companies.


a strong belief in...the allied work force...Searching isn't so straightforward in this case. As best I can determine, "the allied work force" is a corporation providing temporary workers. Is that what you meant?

IanG
22-Nov-2013, 13:11
Commitment to a UK PLC is every American photographers choice buy Kodak Alaris or Ilford films and we Brits profit either way (and you pay less for the privileged) as both are British owned companies :D Plus we make materials for the Japanese as well.

A side note about Kentmere they have actually expanded their core packaging business after Ilford bought their coating side which in reality was little more than their product range & customer base.

Ian

Harley Goldman
22-Nov-2013, 16:05
Nice tour write-up. Thanks for posting it.

I am a big fan of Delta 100.

Roger Thoms
22-Nov-2013, 18:28
I enjoyed it too, thanks.

Roger

angusparker
22-Nov-2013, 22:29
Thank you for a great trip report.