Agfa-Gevaert

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"Agfa" redirects here. For other uses, see Agfa (disambiguation).
Agfa-Gevaert N.V.
Type Public
Traded as EuronextAGFB
FWBAGE
Industry Imaging and IT company
Founded 1867 (Aktiengesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation)
1894, Gevaert & Co.
1964 (Agfa-Gevaert)
Headquarters Mortsel, Belgium
Key people Christian Reinaudo, CEO
Revenue € 3,023 million (2011)
Employees 11,728 (Dec. 2011)
Website www.agfa.com
Agfa logo.
Agfacolor slide, Zakopane 1938

Agfa-Gevaert N.V. (Agfa) is a Belgian multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, and distributes analogue and digital imaging products and systems, as well as IT solutions. The company has three divisions. Agfa Graphics offers integrated prepress and industrial inkjet systems to the printing and graphics industries. Agfa HealthCare supplies hospitals and other care organizations with imaging products and systems, as well as information systems. Agfa Specialty Products supplies products to various industrial markets. It is part of the Agfa Materials organization. In addition to the Agfa Specialty Products activities, Agfa Materials also supplies film and related products to Agfa Graphics and Agfa HealthCare.

In the past, Agfa film and cameras were prominent consumer products. However, in 2004, the consumer imaging division was sold to a company founded via management buyout. AgfaPhoto GmbH, as the new company was called, filed for bankruptcy after just one year.[1] The brands are now licensed to other companies by AgfaPhoto Holding GmbH, a holding firm. Following this sale, Agfa-Gevaert's commerce today is 100% business-to-business.

Company structure[edit]

Headquartered in Mortsel, Belgium, Agfa has sales organizations in 40 countries. In countries where Agfa does not have its own sales organization, the market is served by a network of agents and representatives. At the end of 2011, the company had 11,728 employees (full-time equivalent permanent) worldwide. Agfa has manufacturing plants around the world. The largest production and research centers are based in Belgium, the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and China. Net sales for 2011 totaled 3,023 million euros.

Agfa is organized into three business groups as follows:

Agfa Graphics[edit]

Digital and analogue prepress systems, software, and consumables.

  • Computer-to-film and computer-to-plate equipment.
  • Prepress & publish workflow software.
  • Consumables: graphic film, analogue and digital printing plates.
  • Digital proofing systems.
  • Technical services.

Industrial inkjet systems and solutions.

  • Wide format printing systems.
    •  :Anapurna and :Jeti printer families: typically used to produce posters, banners and displays.
    •  :M-Press family: high-end flatbed presses, designed to replace traditional equipment for all possible screen printing jobs.
    • Wide format media.

Agfa HealthCare[edit]

Medical Imaging systems[edit]

  • Conventional radiography.
    • Screen films (conventional X-ray films).
    • Developing equipment.
    • Chemistry.
  • Digital radiography.
    • Integrated computed radiography solutions.
    • Integrated direct radiography solutions.
    • Hardcopy printers and film.

IT solutions[edit]

Developer of medical imaging information systems. Agfa Healthcare's main offices are in Mortsel (Belgium), Ghent (Belgium), Waterloo (Ontario Canada), Vienna (Austria) and Bonn (Germany).

Agfa Specialty Products[edit]

Agfa Specialty Products supplies products to a variety of industries.

  • Traditional film products
  • New developments
    • Synthetic paper (SYNAPS brand).
    • Materials and consumables for the production of ID-documents.
    • Conductive polymer materials (printing inks, pastes and emulsions) for the production of transparent electrodes used in compact electronic devices (Orgacon brand).
    • Industrial inkjet inks.
    • Membranes for the electrolysis of water (Zirfon Perl brand).

History[edit]

AGFA film holder - 1910's years
  • 1867 The company Aktiengesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation (Corporation for Aniline Production) was founded in Rummelsburg (now in the Lichtenberg borough of Berlin) as a manufacturer of dyes and stains. It became a public limited company in 1873. The founders were Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy (son of composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) and Carl Alexander von Martius.
  • 1894 The company L. Gevaert & Cie was founded in Antwerp, Belgium, arising from the workshop for the manufacture of photographic paper belonging to Lieven Gevaert.
  • 1897 Appearance of the Agfa trade mark.
  • 1898 Introduction of X-ray plates and film products.
  • 1903 Production of first cinematographic film.
  • 1925 As part of the consolidation of the German chemical industry, Agfa became part of IG Farben.[2] The photographic activities are combined with those of Bayer, including a camera factory in Munich.
  • 1928 Acquired Ansco, an American photographic manufacturer, whose products were sold under the Agfa-Ansco brand name.
  • 1936 Agfacolor Neu a pioneering color film for amateurs and professionals.
  • 1940 Agfacolor negative-positive color material is used for the first time for a feature film "Frauen sind doch bessere Diplomaten" (Women are the better diplomats) by the German UFA production company.
  • 1941 American assets were seized during World War II as enemy property and became General Aniline and Film Corp., whose photographic products reverted to the Ansco brand name.
  • 1942 Introduction of intensifying screen products.
  • 1945 When the Allies broke up IG Farben to reduce the size of German chemical industry, Agfa reappeared as an individual business. An Agfa plant located in what was to become East Germany became the foundation of ORWO.
  • 1952 Re-establishment of Agfa AG as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer in Leverkusen.
  • 1964 Merger of Agfa AG and Gevaert Photo-Producten N.V. with Bayer AG and Gevaert each holding a 50% interest in the new operating company.
  • 1972 Introduction of mammography film / screen products.
  • 1981 Bayer buys out Gevaert and becomes 100% owner.
  • 1988 Acquisition of Compugraphic Corporation (prepress systems).
  • 1990
    • Sale of magnetic tape business.
    • Introduction of Computed Radiography (CR) products.
  • 1994 Introduction of PACS products.
  • 1996 Acquisition of Hoechst's printing plate and proofing business.
  • 1997 Sale of the company's film recorder division to German CCG Digital Image Technology.[3]
  • 1998
    • Acquisition of Dupont's offset printing and graphic arts film business.
    • Sale of the company's Copier Systems business to Lanier Worldwide Inc.
    • Acquisition of CEA AB (X-ray film products).
    • Acquisition of Monotype Typography Inc.
  • 1999
    • Acquisition of Sterling Diagnostic Imaging (X-ray film and equipment).
    • Separation of Agfa from Bayer. Initial public offering of Agfa-Gevaert shares on June 1. Agfa listed on Brussels and Frankfurt stock exchanges.
  • 2000
    • Acquisition of Krautkramer, a producer of ultrasonic systems for non-destructive testing.
    • Acquisition of Quadrat, a Ghent based European producer of radiology information systems.
  • 2001
    • Acquisition of Autologic, an American producer of systems for prepress automation.
    • Acquisition of Talk Technology, a producer of medical voice recognition systems.
    • Acquisition of the German company Seifert and the American company Pantak, producers of industrial X-ray equipment for non-destructive testing applications.
    • Acquisition of a minority interest in MediVision, a developer and manufacturer of digital imaging systems for ophthalmology.
    • Agfa stopped its desktop scanners and digital camera business in September 2001. Agfa does not provide any further support.
  • 2002
    • Acquisition of Mitra Imaging Inc., a developer of medical imaging and information systems for healthcare.
    • Bayer sells its remaining 30% stake in Agfa.
  • 2003
    • Opening of new printing plate factory in Wuxi, China.
    • Sale of non-destructive testing business to General Electric.
  • 2004
    • Acquisition of Dotrix, a Belgian producer of digital color printing systems for industrial applications.
    • Acquisition of Lastra, an Italian manufacturer of plates, chemicals and equipment for the offset printing industry.
    • Sale of the consumer imaging division to a company founded via management buy out, named AgfaPhoto, and held by an investment company. After one year, AgfaPhoto files for bankruptcy.
    • Acquisition of ProImage, an Israeli developer of browser-based digital workflow solutions for the newspaper and printing industries.
    • Acquisition of Symphonie On Line, a French information technology company and developer of EPR (electronic patient record) systems.
    • Sale of Agfa Monotype Corporation, a provider of fonts and font-related software technology, to Boston based private equity investor TA Associates.
  • 2005
  • 2009
    • Acquisition of Insight Agents, a European developer and producer of contrast media.
    • Acquisition of Gandi Innovations, a producer of large-format inkjet systems.
  • 2010
    • Agfa Graphics and Shenzhen Brothers create the Agfa Graphics Asia joint venture to reinforce their position in the Greater China and ASEAN region.
    • Acquisition of the Harold M. Pitman Company a US supplier of products and systems for the graphic industry.
  • 2011 Acquisition of WPD, a Brazilian supplier of healthcare IT systems.

Agfa photographic products[edit]

Agfa Box

In 2004, Agfa-Gevaert withdrew the consumer market, including photographic film, cameras and other photographic equipment.

Because Agfa-Gevaert still produce photographic films for the aerial photography market, it is still possible to buy fresh, Agfa-produced photographic films for use in consumer cameras. These are sold by the Lomography Society and Rollei and are branded accordingly. This is because those companies purchase the aerial photography film from Agfa-Gevaert, and then cut and package it into consumer photographic formats.

As of 2012, such products carry a small Agfa logo discreetly on their packaging, but are not sold as Agfa branded products.

By contrast, Agfaphoto branded photographic films are not made by Agfa-Gevaert at all, originally having been made by the now closed Ferrania plant in Italy. Agfaphoto films are now produced by Fujifilm in Japan for Lupus Imaging Media.

Agfa Cameras[edit]

Agfa Compur-Rapid
Agfa Agfamatic 300 Sensor
Various Agfa Movex 8 mm home movie cameras

Agfa produced a range of cameras which included:

SLR[edit]

Agfa Slide Projectors[edit]

Roughly in temporal order, including:

Agfa Consumer and Professional Films[edit]

Black & White films:

  • Agfa PD16
  • Agfapan AP 100
  • Agfapan AP 400
  • Agfapan APX 25
  • Agfapan APX 100. A revival of this emulsion has been announced by ADOX[6]
  • Agfapan APX 400. The production of a virtually identical material was started in 2010 by ADOX[6]
  • Isopan ISS (Super Special)
  • Isopan F - Portrait film
  • Isopan F
  • Isopan Ultra
  • Isopan Super Special
  • Isopan Fine Grain
  • Isopan Record
  • Agfa Vario-XL (C-41 process chromogenic film)
  • Dia-Direct (reversal film)
  • Scala (reversal film)
  • Agfacontour Professional film

Colour Reversal (slide) films:

  • Agfacolor Neu
  • Agfa CT18
  • Agfachrome 50 S / 50 L
  • RSX series.
  • Precisa

Colour Negative films:

  • Agfacolor Negative
  • Agfacolor CN17
  • Agfa CNS
  • Agfacolor Pcket Special
  • Agfa Optima
  • Agfa Portrait
  • Agfa Ultra

While Agfa has retired from the photography branch, and the Agfaphoto brand was sold to a reseller named Lupus Imaging, the surviving Belgian industrial branch of Agfa continues to produce, among other things, w/b, colour negative and colour reversal materials for aerial photography. Some of these are cut to the usual 135 and 120 formats by Maco and distributed under the brand name Rollei. Specifically, these re-branded Agfa materials include Rollei Retro 80S, 200S and 400S, Digibase CN200 and CR200.

Agfa Darkroom Equipment[edit]

Agfa Papers[edit]

Agfa photographic papers were of very high quality and included brands such as:

  • Brovira
  • Portriga Rapid
  • Lupex

The production of material identical to the last generation of fibre-based and resin coated photographic Agfa Multigrade papers has been resumed by Adox.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ AgfaPhoto files for insolvency, dpreview.com. Article dated 2005-05-27, retrieved 2007-03-04.
  2. ^ Ernst Bäumler: "100 Jahre Chemie", 1963, issued on the 100th anniversary of the Farbwerke Hoechst AG
  3. ^ About CCG Digital Image Technology, definity35mm.com, retrieved 2009-01-11.
  4. ^ By alf sigaro Alfred+ Add Contact. "Agfa Selectronic 2". Flickr.com. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  5. ^ By alf sigaro Alfred+ Add Contact. "Agfa Selectronic 3". Flickr.com. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  6. ^ a b c adox.de

External links[edit]