Maintaining print quality on general release

Thousands of copies of major 35mm feature films for showing to the public during a general release are produced at Rank Film Laboratories. The statistics associated with its operations are astonishing. For example, in the three weeks before the Christmas holidays, the Laboratories are expected to process and copy around 760 miles of film a day.

Production levels like these demand 24 hour a day, seven days a week machine running, so reliability is of paramount importance. Even in quiet periods, the company still processes between 200 and 400 miles of film a day. To help it fulfil its orders, the company selected Sprint Electric 3600XRI DC drives to control the film spool feed process.

Film runs through the machines at some 30mph and can be brought to rest in just 50ft (or about one second). With the machines running the film at such high speeds, and with the acceleration and deceleration times being experienced, it is critical to ensure that the film remains perfectly tensioned at all times. Defects caused by stretching or squeezing the film would not be acceptable given Rank’s high quality print standards.

Added to this are the lengths of product being wound, with up to 15,000ft, equating to over 2.8 miles, being transported in one run, using the machines built `in-house’ at Denham.

Sprint Electric Tel: 01903 730000