View Full Version : Kodak closes paper plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Jacques Augustowski
27-May-2005, 08:32
Unfortunatly Kodak shuts down its B&W paper factory in São Paulo, Brazil they have already fired 250 employees. I think this was the last factory in the world who produced Azo. Sad, very sad.

John Kasaian
27-May-2005, 11:19
I feel bad for the 250 people who lost jobs! It is sadder still that some folks will lament that their favorite paper might be out of production without concern for those whose family's income depended on it's production.

Oren Grad
27-May-2005, 12:36
In the AP wire story, the Sao Paulo factory was described as producing color paper for the Latin American market. Other operations had already been transferred to Manaus, Brazil or to US facilities.

In other words, this factory closure represents a consolidation of production facilities. It doesn't necessarily mean anything about the availability of particular products.

Aaron van de Sande
27-May-2005, 13:11
I would be very suprised is Kodak hasn't standardized all their equipment so that one of their products would be made at any of their factories. I really don't think that geography=product.

tim atherton
27-May-2005, 13:17
"I would be very suprised is Kodak hasn't standardized all their equipment so that one of their products would be made at any of their factories."

Ha - what, a monolithic dinosaur like that - I doubt it...

So what plant in Brazil was/is AZO made at?

Aaron van de Sande
27-May-2005, 13:24
They moved AZO manufacturing a couple years ago. I don't think it is as hard as you think.

Daniel Grenier
27-May-2005, 14:10
I don't know that Azo users (like myself) need to worry too much - if at all. Michael A Smith just posted this on another forum:

"There is enough Azo already made to last many years. And for a number of years we have been working on an alternative. We expect fruition soon. I cannot say more at this time."

Lots of it for years to come and an alternative if we ever run out. No worries.

Philippe Gauthier
27-May-2005, 14:58
As far as I know, Azo is now made in Canada.

tim atherton
27-May-2005, 15:14
I thought it was moved to Canada first, then Brazil? (and didn't they already close the Canadian paper plant...?)

Philippe Gauthier
27-May-2005, 20:17
Possible. I'm probably not the only one losing track of all these changes.

28-May-2005, 14:18
Michael Smith tells me that the last master rolls of Azo were made in Canada and that that operation has now been dismantled. No decision has been announced as to when or where Kodak will set up another production run of Azo (if at all). It had been envisioned that the operation would be transferred to Brazil, but it was never done. I'm sure that after he contacts Kodak next week, Michael will have the straight skinny for us.

The good news is that the Canadian production run produced a lot of paper. Six years worth. So we're still a long way from panic mode.


Bruce E. Rathbun
28-May-2005, 21:25
As an avid Azo printer I have been concerned for the past year over the future of Azo. Kodak has been slowly pulling the traditional silver based plug right from under our noses. My first lesson from Kodak was the loss of Kodalith fine line developer. That was during a project of fine line conversions that I was working on. Strike I. Next came the loss of T-Max in 5x7 format years later. The discontinuation of 5x7 came two days after I had received my new 5x7 view camera. Strike II. Now Azo is in peril? Past history has taught us all that Kodak can and will drop even the most popular product to save a buck. No matter the cost to the consumer. Even if Azo sales tripled overnight I seriously doubt that increased sales would have any impact. The foundation of the modern day Kodak has been built upon the bottom line. Not to mention that many ___ of dollars (fill in the blank) have been spent for digital R&D. Is strike III looming on the horizon?

With any luck Michael A. Smith will have a large influence on the outcome of Azo. I have talked with Michael on many occasions concerning the future of Azo. During our discussions the talk over a replacement for Azo is always on the top of the list. If Azo is too difficult to produce Kodak will indeed consider a cheaper replacement. Kodak may not be the smartest maker of film but they are not totally brain dead. Azo sales tend to support and go hand in hand with the sale of large format film. Unless Kodak is willing to get out of the silver market for good, the continued production of Azo (or a replacement) is an almost sure thing. Or is Kodak strike III in my future?

One thing is painfully obvious here. The choice for contact printing on silver based is for me the only choice. After spending 18 years printing on Ilford paper, Azo was like a miracle. Not to slam on Ilford as Warm Tone Multigrade is great paper. Just not to contact print when compared to Azo. The range of tone, sharpness of Azo paper and ease of printing even the most difficult negatives converted me in one printing session. The flexibility to reduce contrast with Amidol along with the ability to change the tone of the print were the two best selling points. If Azo were to drop off the production line there is no way I would go back to silver based contact printing. All of my negatives would be printed on Platinum Palladium. When one door slams shut another must be yanked open.


John Z.
30-May-2005, 23:39
Well said Bruce. I concur! I support AZO 100%, but who knows if the economic decisions that will be made a few years down the road by Kodak will be influenced by the likes of us buying all the AZO we can. Kodak has gone through some tough economic times in the last few years, and had to make many tough economic decisions.

Like you, I think we all have had strikes along the way; I remember buying a large box of Plus X film for my 8x10 camera, and was told by the dealer upon delivery that it was now discontinued. If you know a film will be gone, it has no value to test it and do the necessary experimentation.

I have a feeling we can keep AZO alive in some form, by some manufacturer.