Friday, December 12, 2014



Ashland, Massachusetts -- December 17, 2014 -- New55 Holdings, LLC, announced today that there will be necessary schedule changes to its New55 FILM project due to delays in materials.  New55 CEO Samuel W. Hiser said "While we are not late - yet - it does look like the team will be delayed by longer-than-expected lead times from key suppliers. Certain industries move slowly, and we have to wait for them to supply us with custom materials, some which have not been manufactured for over a decade.”

Co-founder Bob Crowley remarked, "The New55 project has been unlike any conventional business and as a result we have the freedom to talk about our problems publicly. The last six months have been very productive with several discoveries and many problems, some which have been solved." Crowley added, “Key problems facing the team, and the release of New55 FILM, also involve long supply waiting times for critical materials.”

The project reported that manufacturing has started with certain subassemblies and film supplies. Many components are now in stock, but there are some remaining materials that are being developed. Progress with the all-important receiver sheet has been steady but difficult, and will take more time and possibly more money than expected. 

The goal still is to begin the full production ramp and continue it through Q1 2015, but it will likely get off to a later than expected start. The team thanked supporters for their generosity and encouragement, as well as many interesting and useful suggestions. “Nearly all of the important assembly processes and tools that will be used in Ashland are in place and working, staff are trained, and important local services are in place.  The assembly areas have been nicely outfitted, and we have recently built an additional assembly station that will be used to accelerate the production ramp. Good progress has been made.” said Hiser.

20x24 Studio's recent move to Ashland, which is a key part of the plan, has progressed. "We are pleased they are now neighbors and we work together every day," said Hiser. "We are attempting to build a small, sustainable industry, so our mutual goals are long-term.”

Reports on Financial Matters and Fundraising

New55's store will "go live" on schedule and offer minor products to first learn how to operate the store efficiently and to help pay for additional work that will need to be continued through 2015.

"New55 has a significant tax liability. Crowd-funding has advanced, but tax methods have not, so we are in the position of having to pay ordinary income tax on the Kickstarter proceeds.  Fundraising in 2015 will also be income." explained Crowley.

Hiser and Crowley currently contribute as non-salaried volunteers.  Pre-tax withholding for Crowley has been accomplished by charging the project and withholding an amount to partially cover required taxes. New55 facility owner Soundwave Research is paid a variable monthly fee for rent, utilities, heat, accounting and bookkeeping services, access to tools and machines, consulting fees, and transferred labor. Soundwave has charged New55 “at cost” as a temporary measure to assist the project. Transferred labor consists of technical and engineering time from Soundwave, consisting of three regular employees and two additional paid consultants. 


Samuel W. Hiser


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Image collection of test coater for coating team

Although this is only a 12" coater it could be used for development of the next generation materials at a cost less than we might pay at a commercial coater.

  1. Made by Modern Metal Craft in Midland, Michigan.
  2. Built in 1990.
  3. Weighs ~1200 lbs.
  4. Nip and doctor blade
  5. Unwind and rewinds
  6. Variable speeds
  7. Pump
  8. Heated roller (may be used cold)
  9. Designed for paints, but can be used for coating other low viscosity materials.

DOW BENCH BLADE COATER (excerpt from manual)

Basically, the bench blade coater consists of side plates, a backing roll, two idler rolls, two unwind stations, a rewind station, a doctor blade holder, doctor blade, and variable speed gear motor which drives a chrome plated or stainless steel drum (12" diameter by 12" wide), which may be heated by recirculating a 50/50 blend of water and glycol.  Some users like to substitute peanut oil when operating at temperatures above 212 degrees F but less than about 250 degrees F. For high temperature applications (greater than 250 degrees F) it is recommended that Dow Corning Silicon Oil 710R be used.

The coating is applied to the paper from a puddle via a trailing blade. Blade pressure is accomplished via sliding weights attached to the hold-down arms. Coat weights are controlled by coating solids and the placement of the sliding weights on the hold-down arms (additional weight may be added to further reduce the coating weight if desired). Machine speed is dictated by color solids, coat weight, and drum temperature. Speeds of 30 to 40 feet per minute are typical for a 62% T.S. color dried at 195 degrees.

The coater requires 12" wide rolls of base stock wound on standard 3" diameter cores with a maximum roll diameter of 12". Colors of 10,000 cps or less can be easily handled, and in normal practice, a minimum of 10 grams of coating is placed in the nip and the machine started. The coater may be left running until all the coating has been used, thus avoiding messy clean-up. Much larger quantities of stock may be coated by continuously replacing the coating as it is being used. Plastic squeeze bottles (4 oz.) with eye dropper nozzles are suggested as a means of placing the desired amount of coating in the nip. The semi-dried coating film remaining on the doctor blade is removed with a single-edge razor blade.

The coated sheet, dried by the heated drum, and the IR Dryer and/or Hot Air Dryer if they are used, is fed out at the rear and wound into a roll. Coating two sides as well as double coating can be accomplished by proper placement of the coated windup roll in the secondary unwind station, which rotates in either direction. The paper supply shaft will rotate in either direction too.