Case | HBS Case Collection | September 1986 (Revised February 2007)

Solagen: Process Improvement in the Manufacture of Gelatin at Kodak

by Dorothy A. Leonard and Brian DeLacey

Abstract

Kodak must decide whether to make a major investment in a production facility designed around a new technique for producing the gelatin critical to so many film and paper products. Currently, gelatin making is an arcane art, unchanged in 150 years and heavily dependent upon the sensory skills of experienced foremen. The new process, in a pilot stage now, is a chemical reaction which reduces the process time for one step from 6 months to 48 hours and which is much more "scientific." However, the old plant is fully paid for, the new process is only one potential avenue for improvement, and demand for gelatin is falling.

Keywords: Arts; Buildings and Facilities; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Experience and Expertise; Engineering; Investment; Time Management; Production; Research and Development; Semiconductor Industry;

Citation:

Leonard, Dorothy A., and Brian DeLacey. "Solagen: Process Improvement in the Manufacture of Gelatin at Kodak." Harvard Business School Case 687-020, September 1986. (Revised February 2007.)