Agfa-Gevaert N.V. (Agfa) is a Belgian-German multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, and distributes analogue and digital imaging products, software, and systems.

Agfa-Gevaert N.V.
Company typeNaamloze vennootschap
Euronext BrusselsAGFB
ISINBE0003755692 Edit this on Wikidata
IndustryImaging and IT company
Founded1867 (Aktiengesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation)
1894, Gevaert & Co.
1964 (Agfa-Gevaert)
HeadquartersMortsel, Belgium
Key people
Pascal Juéry, CEO
Revenue€ 2,2 billion (2018) [1]
Number of employees
10,177 (2017)
ParentIG Farben (1925–1952)

The company began as a dye manufacturer in 1867. In 1925, the company merged with several other German chemical companies to become chemicals giant IG Farben. IG Farben would go on to play major role in the economy of Nazi Germany. It extensively employed forced and slave labor during the Nazi period, and produced the notorious Zyklon B chemical used in The Holocaust. IG Farben was disestablished by the Allies in 1945. AGFA was reconstituted (as a subsidiary of Bayer) from the remnants of IG Farben in 1952.

Agfa film and film cameras were once 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,[2] and its brands are now licensed to other companies by AgfaPhoto Holding GmbH, a holding firm. Today Agfa-Gevaert's commerce is 100% business-to-business.

History edit

Timeline edit

An Agfacolor slide dated 1937 from Paris, France
Slave workers work in a factory owned by the AGFA camera company, May 1943
  • 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.[3] 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 make the best Diplomats) by the German UFA film studios.
  • 1941 American assets of Agfa were seized by the U.S. 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.
  • 1939-1945 Agfa used forced laborers in large numbers, including concentration camp prisoners in the Munich subcamp (Agfa Kamerawerke) of the Dachau concentration camp and in the Dutch transit camp Kamp Westerbork. Forced laborers were also used for Agfa AG in the "Agfa camp" subcamp of the Munich-Stadelheim juvenile prison between 1943 and 1945. Parts of the Agfa company management were indicted after the war in the I.G. Farben trial before an American military tribunal.
  • 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.
  • 1970 Introduction of Agfacontour Professional Sheet Film.
  • 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.[4]
  • 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 colour 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[buzzword] 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.

Company structure edit

Agfa is headquartered in Mortsel, Belgium, with sales organisations in 40 countries. In countries where Agfa does not have its own sales organisation, 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 centres are based in Belgium, the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and China. Net sales for 2011 totalled 3,023 million euros.

Since January 1, 2019, two new entities emerged within the Agfa-Gevaert Group: Agfa HealthCare (ITCo) and Agfa (MainCo). Agfa HealthCare groups all IT-related activities of the former Agfa HealthCare business group. The newer Agfa includes the activities of the former Agfa Graphics and Agfa Specialty Products business groups, as well as the Imaging activities of the former Agfa HealthCare business group.[5]

Agfa Healthcare edit

Agfa Healthcare is a developer of medical imaging information systems, with main offices in Mortsel (Belgium), Ghent (Belgium), Waterloo (Ontario Canada), Shanghai (China) and Vienna (Austria).

Agfa division business groups edit

The activities of the Agfa division have been subdivided into three groups: Offset Solutions (the prepress business of the former Agfa Graphics business group), Digital Print & Chemicals (the inkjet business of the former Agfa Graphics business group and the activities of the former Agfa Specialty Products business group) and Radiology Solutions (the imaging activities of the former Agfa HealthCare business group).[5]

Products edit

Agfa Box 50 (ca.1949)

In 2004, Agfa-Gevaert withdrew from 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. They 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 Isolette
Agfa Agfamatic 300 Sensor
Various Agfa Movex 8 mm home movie cameras
Agfa Optima 1035 Sensor
AGFA Optima 335 Sensor
Agfachrome CT18 colour slide film, with packaging (1981)

Agfa produced a range of cameras which included:

SLR edit

Agfa slide projectors edit

Including, roughly in chronological order:

Agfa consumer and professional films edit

Black & White films:

  • Agfa PD16
  • Agfapan 25, 100 and 400
  • Agfapan APX 25, 100 and 400 (revivals of 100 and 400 emulsion were announced by Adox)
  • Isopan ISS (Super Special)
  • Isopan F (Fine Grain)
  • Isopan Ultra
  • 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
  • Agfachrome CT 18 and CT 21
  • Agfachrome series
  • Agfachrome R 100 S
  • Agfachrome 50 S and 50 L Professional
  • Agfachrome RS and RS Plus Professional series
  • Agfachrome RSX and RSX II Professional series
  • Agfachrome CT, CTx and CT Precisa series (excluding New Agfaphoto CT Precisa 100)

Colour negative films:

  • Agfacolor CN14, CN17, CN17M, CN17 Special, CNS and CNS2
  • Agfacolor series
  • Agfacolor XR series
  • Agfacolor XRG series
  • Agfacolor XRS Professional series
  • Agfacolor Optima, Optima II and New Optima Professional series
  • Agfacolor Portrait 160 Professional
  • Agfacolor Ultra 50 Professional and Ultra 100
  • Agfacolor Vista series (excluding New Agfaphoto Vista 200)

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, B/W, 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.

Scanners edit

Agfa produced many image scanners in the Arcus, DuoScan, SnapScan, StudioScan and StudioStar ranges. While they have all been discontinued and up-to-date drivers for them are not available from Agfa, Vuescan software supports many Agfa scanners on current computer operating systems.[8]

Agfa darkroom equipment edit

Agfa papers edit

Agfa photographic papers were of very high quality; lines included:

  • 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.[9]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Agfa-Gevaert publishes its full year 2018 results, Article dated 2019-03-13, retrieved 2019-04-01.
  2. ^ AgfaPhoto files for insolvency, Article dated 2005-05-27, retrieved 2007-03-04.
  3. ^ Ernst Bäumler: "100 Jahre Chemie", 1963, issued on the 100th anniversary of the Farbwerke Hoechst AG
  4. ^ About CCG Digital Image Technology Archived January 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine,, retrieved 2009-01-11.
  5. ^ a b "Agfa-Gevaert comments on its achievements in 2018". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  6. ^ alf sigaro Alfred+ Add Contact. "Agfa Selectronic 2". Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  7. ^ alf sigaro Alfred+ Add Contact (16 May 2007). "Agfa Selectronic 3". Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  8. ^ "Agfa Scanner Drivers". Hamrick (Vuescan). Retrieved 19 April 2020. Lists 29 Agfa scanners.
  9. ^

External links edit