The last 12 months have seen huge changes in the microfilm marketplace. On November 1st 2022 EPM announced to the world that they were ceasing all microfilm trading operations from 31st December 2022. At the same time Agfa ceased all microfilm production operations. Genus purchased all of the remaining EPM European stock in two full lorry loads to keep supplying the EPM distributors with essential film while Fujifilm were increasing their production capabilities. Unfortunately, demand has far outstripped current supply and we have been having 6 month waiting lists. However, we are hoping that by the end of the year we should be slowly getting back on track with supplies and stock of Fujifilm microfilm on the shelf. At the same time, due to circumstances completely out of our hands, we had to completely relocate our whole UK based microfilm diazo production facility. I am happy to report that, again, by the end of the year we should be getting close to normal supply situations. I can only apologise for all of these delays but we were completely caught off guard by not only a massive increase in demand for silver microfilm but also the relocation of our diazo production factory.
As such we have had a number of conversations with worried clients about the on-going supply of silver and diazo microfilm, but also on the long-term viability of the microfilm market as a whole. That is why I wanted to write this blog at this particular time. It is all very well that the supply chain for silver and diazo consumables is starting to get back on track but what about the equipment to make microfilm in the first place? Without the equipment we can’t make create the microfilms.
That is why I am happy to report about the following new equipment entering our marketplace. That’s right, new equipment being designed, developed and introduced purely for the microfilm industry!:
Genus have always had our REAL range of duplicators – the Diazo RB20m and the Silver RB70m. I am pleased to report that, after a small redesign, we now have RB70m silver duplicators back in stock and we have another batch of 5 in production. The RB20m has also been redesigned and we are now in a position to manufacture again. In addition, we also now have the facility to refurbish your old silver and diazo GAF duplicators. Call us to talk about the options but relax in the knowledge that both diazo and silver duplication capability is here to stay.
Our Service Manager, Simon Bloomfield, and his merry team of developers, in between designing camera stands and film holders for our studios, have also been working on two new microfilm production products – a new 16 and 35mm manual and motorised inspection station with light box (pictured) and a brand new 16/35mm ultrasonic splicer. Neither of these products are completely ready for sale yet, but they are close.
In addition, we are delighted to report that there is a new digital 16/35mm/ Fiche/Aperture Card microfilm reader-only product about to enter the market (pictured). This device was developed specifically to allow reading rooms to replace their old and outdated Solar, Indus, MicroVue and Allen Library readers, with up-to-date digital technology. This digital read-only solution is also ideal for high level security clearance rooms for sensitive documents that can be read but not copied. Also, the colour camera allows you to view other types of film if required. As far as we know, this is the only digital reader available on the market. We also have our Cerberus 35mm roll film microfilm planetary camera for up to A0 documents.
In the last 6 months Crowley announced the launch of their new and improved UScan Advanced on-demand scanner, the new C-400 Advanced Aperture Card scanner and the two new Mini Mach units – one for roll and one for fiche. Watch this space for more exciting microfilm products coming soon from Crowley!
So, as you can see, there have been some recent and exciting new product development in the microfilm equipment marketplace. There is more coming soon and this is all in addition to the wonderful range of other microfilm production equipment that exists out there in the form of Archive Writers, Processors, Scanners and Cameras. With diazo and silver film supply starting to correct itself too, things are looking bright in the microfilm market.
If you know of any other pieces of microfilm equipment not mentioned above then please let me know and I will happily write a new blog.