Saturday, February 25, 2017

Polychrome GMBH

Polychrome  GMBH          By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

Mr. Halpern attended DRUPA in1962. DRUPA is the largest printing exhibition in the world. It is held in Dusseldorf, Germany, every four years. There are many exhibit halls some of which are as large as the New York Coliseum. I did not attend this DRUPA but went to many after that. There, Mr. Halpern met Feist and Aurich who owned a company in West Berlin that made electrically etched aluminum offset plates. These were not presensitized. The printers coated them with the light sensitive coatings. He probably also met people from Ilford. Ilford was the major producer of photographic film in England. Shortly thereafter, I went with Mr. Halpern to Wet Berlin to visit the Aufa operation, which we then bought. With Ilford putting up 40% of the money and Polychrome 60% we established a German Company, Polychrome GMBH. Leonard Dore of Ilford was made the chairman of Polychrome GMBH. I visited the Ilford plant in London. This was the first time I saw the Spiral coater. I had previously been to plants doing photographic coating where the paper or film was carried on sticks through the drying tunnel. I also went to Ilford’s paper coating facilities near Manchester, England. I remember Manchester as being a dreary place with cobblestone streets; and to get heat in the hotel room one had to put a shilling in the heater. When I went to the bar for a drink I could not understand what the local people were saying, even though they were speaking “English.” I did not have this problem in London or Scotland.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Polychrome acquires Speidel

Polychrome acquires        by Mr. Bob Gumbinner


About 1965 we bought a company, Speidel, in Fernwood, PA, which made diazo papers. It was also one of the few companies still making blueprint and brown print paper. Andy Keene was the vice president and sales manager. We elected to the Polychrome Board two of the directors of Spiedel -- General La Brum and Bruce Baldwin.     We put a number of people in charge of Speidel among them were Nick Karabotz, who was in charge of our Philadelphia sales office, Ray Townley and Pat Heany who came from Ilford. When we moved the offset paper coating operation to Speidel, we put Ray Lauzon in charge. With the increasing popularity of he Xerox electrostatic process the market for diazo paper was decreasing. Therefore, when the plant workers asked for a large wage increase and went on strike, we sold the Fernwood plant in 1976.

KS note;   Speidel played a significant role in 1967.     We needed a solvent coater to coat newly developed subtractive positive plate,      Speidel was the only place to have a solvent coater; it was designed for a diazo film coating and the local engineers were quite worried whether it could handle much heavier aluminum roll.         I believe Mr. Gumbinner prevailed and we were able to coat enough plates for our 1968 Drupa exhibit, which from all accounts was a great success.
See more on positive plate introduction HERE.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Polychrome makes positive diazo

Polychrome makes positive diazo         By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

In conjunction with Fuji Film, we made a resin for positive presensitized plates. Delos Bown started producing this coating which was an ester of diazo oxide with a resin we made from acetone and pyrogallol. Because this ester had extra hydroxyl groups, it held moisture better than the competitive plates which more difficult to develop, especially if the positive transparency was used several times. When Dr. Bown developed an allergy to the diazo, the manufacturing of the positive sensitizer was moved to the building at Cellomer in Newark where the negative diazo was being manufactured. In the 1970s, we hired Al Deutsch, who had worked for GAF. He developed an ester of  the diazo oxide with a six carbon alcohol which made an improved resist for integrated circuit chips. I went to his wedding in New Jersey.

KS note;  

Please see other posts on Dr. Bown

Farewell Dr. Delos Bown       HERE
Dr. Bown Episode                  HERE
Dr. Delos Bown                       HERE

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Other Polychrome acquisition attempts

Other Polychrome acquisition attempts    By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

In the 1960s, we made two small acquisitions which we kept only for a short time. We acquired a company in New Jersey that made printed circuit boards to learn about copper plating in order to make bimetallic plates. When we sold this company, we retained Fred Raffenello who had many years experience with plating lines. He set up tanks to electro etch the aluminum plates. These were processed on he A-line. He also ran a copper plating operation which was set up in the Cellofilm Newark plant for bimetal presensitized plates.

The other company was a small machine shop in Fanwood, NJ where we built ovens for polymerizing the positive coating. Mr. Halpern and I also went to State College Penn. to look at a plant in State College, PA, that made surfactants and Fairmont Chemical in Newark, NJ that made diazos. Neither of these two negotiations was successful.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Polychrome makes sensitizers

Polychrome makes sensitizers         By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

On the Newark property of Cellomer, we had a building in which we made the negative plate sensitizer, formaldehyde-diazoparadiphenylamine complex. This was made by reacting paraformaldehyde with the diazoparadiphenylamine in concentrated sulphuric acid at 35°F and dropping it on ice to make a 2% solution of the diazo which was filtered. The diazo was precipitated by adding a saturated solution of zinc chloride. This was filtered and dried. By precipitating the diazo from the 2% solution with MS-40 we obtained an organic soluble diazo. We started to make Polychrome Fotomer subtractive plates by mixing this diazo with epoxy resins. To increase the length of the press run we tried a number of different formulations. Bill Rowe developed a polyester resin which when added to the epoxy resins and a polyvinyl formal resin gave us an excellent presensitized subtractive plate. One feature that we were able to obtain that our competitors didn’t was that when the coating was removed from the non-image area of the plate it did not particulate and gum up so that when the plates were develop by passing through a machine with a brush to remove the non-exposed coating we did not need to use a filter. When our plant in Clark was ready for occupancy, Bill Rowe moved his laboratory there since he lived in the next town, Westfield, New Jersey.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Polychrome acquires Cellofilm

Polychrome acquires Cellofilm     By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

In 1961, we also acquired the Cellofilm Co., located in Woodridge, NJ. The sales manager of Cellofilm, Stanley Eysmann, was appointed President. His father had started Cellofilm in the 1920s to remove the silver from used photographic film. We had bought the reels of the nitrocellulose from which the silver had been removed for the stencil coating solutions and most users preferred to buy it dissolved. One of the biggest customers used it to make plastic wood. It was also used in nail polish. Cellofilm also received rent for storing rolls of news film in brick vaults. In 1965, a plant to make the nitrocellulose solutions was established in Chicago a few miles from Midway to make these solutions. Later, Cellofilm obtained the exclusive rights to import nitrocellulose from Europe. Unfortunately, during a shut-down when the clean-up crew was sweeping the floor they did not wet it with water as instructed and there was a fire and several workers were critically injured.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Polychrome acquires Chromatone

Polychrome acquires    Chromatone          By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

The first company Polychrome acquired was a small manufacturer of printing ink, Chromatone. It was owned by Irving Simmons and was located in a loft in lower Manhattan. In a few years this was relocated to Lodi, NJ. We also started an ink making plant in San Francisco. In 1961, we bought the American Printing Co. in Cincinnati, OH, from the Young brothers. Irving Simmons was appointed Vice President in charge of the ink division.