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DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...
Brandon Dube
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...

krementz wrote:
Brandon Dube: Ironic that you hail from Rochester

Rochester was the global center for film and cameras for a century. The best early digital imaging was developed in Rochester, as were major accomplishments in photocopying technology. They knew everything!

Their engineers and managers "cost controlled" everything, including research and development. They *knew* stuff.

Until cameras became difficult because some companies in a heavily bombed country got serious about cameras, "We still make the film!" the Rochesterians proudly proclaimed. Then green boxes started becoming really popular, even more than some yellow boxes.

"We make the $25,000+ digital cameras! Those people from away can't compete with
...Show more

I live in Rochester right now, but I am not from the area. Kodak did not wish to abandon film because it did not make economic sense. Film had a profit margin near 800%, digital (at the time) closer to 90% due to the radical change in R&D. Making this change does not make business sense. If you gambled on digital being the future and accepted the terrible profits in the early years, you won. If you gambled on film surviving, you (continued to be) enormously profitable until digital took over.

A significant amount of CNC optical manufacturing equipment is made in Rochester, e.g. Optipro and QED technologies. Optipro invented the ring tool geometry CNC platform, which has been replicated by Opto-Tech, Schneider, Satis-loh, and nearly all other CNC optical fabrication companies.

I also think your "heavily bombed" commentary is very distasteful.

Traditional grinding and polishing is automated. A motor drives the oscillation and rotation of the spindle. A worker is only required to load the spindles with lenses, and you have one worker matched to perhaps 10 spindles. This process is extremely efficient and supports a very high volume. CNC methods of manufacturing simply cannot compete in volume or per-piece cost.

E.g. sigma is manufacturing most of their lenses by the traditional method. Fully automated CNC is not available on the commercial marketplace and is a large competitive advantage for Canon. Machines do not call in sick and do not require healthcare coverage.

Mar 27, 2017 at 12:43 AM

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