Black and white silver gelatin photograph of the control room (or more commonly known as the 'Monitor Room') from which the operation of the emulsion coating machine was conducted in the Building 3 Emulsion Coating Department at the Kodak factory complex, Coburg, circa 1964.
Photo-sensitive emulsion in gel form made in the Building 2 Emulsion Making Department was transferred in 'kettles' to Building 3 where it was coated on to the film or paper base master rolls using this machine. The coated master rolls were then transferred to the various finishing operations throughout the factory complex.
The coating machine, which occupied most of the Building 3 area, consisted of four sections. One section comprised an unwinder and winder with magazine storage and splicers enabling the master rolls to be handled continuously at the input and output respectively. The coating section was where the liquid emulsion was drawn down from the kettles and laid down on to the base (film or paper). In the chilling section, emulsion was set to a gel consistency and in the drying section, the wet emulsion was dried in a very controlled manner to avoid mechanical disturbance and desensitisation.
The transport of very wide master rolls required accurate steering devices and controlled torque drive rollers throughout this machine. Many other proprietary devices controlled parameters such as emulsion flow, emulsion laydown, emulsion to base adhesion and electrostatic minimisation. Air conveyance systems in the chiller and dryer kept the wet emulsion surface from touching any mechanical drive rollers. The coating machine was operated under strictly controlled cleanroom and darkroom conditions to avoid triggering photo development within the emulsion. Allied equipment such as fan motors, air conditioning steam and chilled water lines and valves, circuit breakers, etc, were all located outside the cleanroom environment in order to limit entry of dirt and for easy access by tradespeople.
Since the operators worked in almost complete darkness, they were relieved of most instruments and controls checking so that they could safely devote their whole time to the product and the machine. The Monitor Room contained all instruments and most controls for the coating machine. The monitor (supervising operator) commanded the whole operation from his desk shown on the right of the photograph, with alarm panel, footage counters and an intercom system with which he was in communication with all operator workstations. Along the long wall panel on the left of the photograph were instruments and controls for dryer air pressures, dryer wet and dry bulb temperatures, steering frame widths and suction drive rollers speed and torque. On the wall panel at the rear were the instruments and controls for the drawdown and flow of the emulsion to the coating head. These controls were monitored by a second operator in the room.
Kodak manufactured and distributed a wide range of photographic products to Australasia, such as film, paper, chemicals, cameras and miscellaneous equipment. Its client base included amateur and professional photographers, as well as specialist medical and graphic art professionals who used photography, x-ray and other imaging techniques.
This photograph is part of the Kodak collection of products, promotional materials, photographs and working life artefacts collected from Kodak Australasia in 2005, when the Melbourne manufacturing plant at Coburg closed down.
Description of Content
Photograph of a control room where instruments and controls are mounted along a wall panel running down the left side and at the back of the room. A desk with an alarm panel and electronic readouts and an intercom system is evident to the right of the photograph.
Black and white silver gelatin photograph printed on medium weight paper, landscape format.
Donation from Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Ms. Kate Metcalf - Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2005
Courtesy of Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd.
Place & Date Depicted
Photograph, Black & White
Back, typed: 'Control Panel of Drying System of/Film Coating Machine'
Type of item
Image Dimensions - Photograph
242 mm (Width), 193 mm (Height)