Saturday, June 14, 2014

Paper in New55 FILM

New55 FILM is made mostly of paper. You would think that paper of the type, thickness, opacity and stiffness would be easy to get - there are so many papers in the world. But Fujifilm, Polaroid, Kodak etc all use(d) custom-made papers for their products. They could do so because they needed so much of it, and the paper industry is scaled for very large production orders.

We need more than a dozen kilometers of paper for our first run. This sounds like a lot, but it is puny compared to what the paper manufacturers want to run.  "OTS" means Off The Shelf, referring to commercially available things. We are fortunate that some 4x5 sheet films are OTS items, because the cost to develop and run new ones would be enormous.

Over the last four weeks I have spent nearly every day researching "lightproof paper" and "baryta paper" to see if I can find any OTS papers that fit our needs. I've visited paper mills and contacted others, and still do not have a complete answer to what we need. I'll continue to look for the perfect paper that is ready to go, but anticipate that we have to contract custom runs.

For the Reciever

A 7 or 8 mil, totally lightproof baryta paper is needed. One excellent company named Felix Schoeller of Germany made such a thing for Polaroid in the past, and we have contacted them. Since there is nothing OTS about this paper, I have found an alternative lightproof coating that can be applied to ordinary baryta paper if needed. But the extra cost of doing that is something I prefer to avoid. The Receiver paper has to be respooled and then converted to the right width for our Sleeve Machine.

For the Cover

Any color, as long as it is completely lightproof, thin, perhaps 5mil, and available converted to long rolls for the machines we are building. Another European company, James Cropper of UK, has made these types in the past.

The "Tongue"

Long rolls aren't needed as this is a die-cut part, but it still should be reasonably opaque, lubricious and stiff enough to allow support of the 4x5 film sheet, pod, and clip attachment.

This is not even a large roll of paper, by most standards

Paper Experts

I have not found a product engineer who is a paper expert, though I assume such a person exists somewhere in the paper industry. Each manufacturer has their own experts who know the details of what they make, but I would like to hire a person experienced in sourcing and specifying "technical papers, as a consultant. The right person will have direct experience with buying papers for industrial applications - preferably in North America.


A box and other papers are needed to put the product in including labels. I think we can get these easily, but it will take some work, and have a cost associated with it too.


Kristian Heitkamp said...

Have you considered backing paper from 120 roll film? They might be lightproof since there are roll film cameras that have these red windows in the back to check the frame number.
Okay – it's a red window but maybe this is an approach? (take it as a double layer than it might be surely lightproof)

Kristian Heitkamp said...

What is about 120 roll film backing paper? It should be lightproof since the red windows in the back of some roll film cameras let you check the frame numbers.
Should be off the shelve.

Kristian Heitkamp said...

What is about 120 roll film backing paper? It should be lightproof since the red windows in the back of some roll film cameras let you check the frame numbers.
Should be off the shelve.

Kristian Heitkamp said...

Also I do not believe, that the original Polaroid sleeve was plain paper. Surely it was plastic coated, like the backing paper of a Fuji Rollfilm. This also prevents the chemicals to bleed through the pouch.
But it also could be paper with a plastic coating – in the printing industry this is called film lamination (german: Folienkaschierung). Every commercial printer should be able to add this coating to every paper you deliver them. The also can create tools to die cut the wanted shape.
If you look at the backing paper of Foma films and sever it you might see that it is just very dark painted paper. But it is not only painted on the surface but the whole paper is soaked in black paint. I believe that the paint was added in the production process (solid coloured / dyed through).
This paper should be easily obtainable.
In Germany we have so called "Fotokarton" or "Tonpapier" which is about 150 g/squaremeter strong and looks a bit like the Foma backing paper. I think in english it is called construction paper.

Bob Crowley said...

Thanks for the suggestions. None of these materials are available off the shelf as far as I have found. If you know of the specific suppliers that would be most helpful. We have lots of construction paper, but it usually has a lot of pinholes.