Crosfield Electronics / Fujifilm Electronic Imaging / FFEI

A brief history

2003 Colour management
Bill Koolen
2003 Colour management
Bill Koolen
Inkjet pagination / colour management
Bill Koolen
Inkjet ICC profiling
Bill Koolen
Computer to plate / ICC
Bill Koolen
Drum scanners give way after all the years
Bill Koolen
Risen from the ashes. FFEI's new 66,000sqft HQ and technology centre

John Crosfield formed Crosfield Electronics in 1947 to design and manufacture press control equipment. The first colour scanner, the Scanatron, which used CRT technology, was introduced in 1958. This took up nearly a whole room! The first of many Magnascan drum scanners, the 450, was launched in 1969.

Crosfield introduced the world’s first digital scanner in the mid-70’s. This was soon followed by Electronic Page Composition Systems capable of combining several images together. These later handled image retouching.  Very basic stuff by today’s standards but revolutionary in the late seventies and early eighties. Crosfield Electronics Ltd. became part of the  large and very long-established De La Rue plc group in 1974. For many years the company was located in Holloway Road, North London. Manufacturing was relocated to Peterborough in the mid-70s. The Head Office and Research & Development department moved to Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire in 1984, while the Training Dept. moved to nearby Watford.

In 1997 what remained of Crosfield became FFEI (FujiFilm Electronic Imaging), having for the previous few years been jointly owned by Dupont and Fujifilm. Manufacture of drum scanners ceased around 2003. In the last few years only a handful were built. In the heydays of the 1980s as many as 100 per month could be built in the Peterborough factory. About 85-90% were exported. Indeed the company won so many “Queen’s Awards for Export”, etc. that the reception area couldn’t display them all!  The Head Office in Hemel was scaled back to the former R&D building, with the former four floor office block being let to other businesses, and becoming “Catherines House”. Manufacturing of platesetters, etc. remained in Peterborough, which was very fortunate, as later events were to prove.

On December 11, 2005 disaster struck in Hemel Hempstead. The adjacent massive Buncefield Oil Depot exploded. This was the largest explosion in Europe in peace-time! Some of the very large Industrial Estate was almost obliterated. More than 40 premises were destroyed or seriously damaged. Fortunately it occurred at 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning, so there were no fatalities and few injuries. The former Crosfield building was badly damaged, with the FFEI Head Office being completely destroyed. Apparently this was one of the nearest buildings to the oil tanks. Staff were relocated to Peterborough and to other temporary premises. Later in 2006 FFEI Ltd. had a management buyout from Fujifilm.

In October 2008 new 66,000sqft, HQ and technology centre in Boundary Way was opened. Designed to centralise  R&D, production, customer service and sales operations.

This page was added on 14/05/2011.

Comments about this page

  • I worked at Crosfield Milton Keynes from 1981 to 1997 in what was an amazing manufacturing facility and with a great team of people.

    By Graham Burke (12/02/2019)
  • The first drum scanner was the ‘Diascan’ in 1965 – same size scan, then enlarged etc. on a Pavo technical enlarger.
    Great times at Crosfields from 1961-1971 as Publicity and then Marketing Manager. Great guys like Ray Box, Dave Winfield and so many others. Meet my wife there, now married for 51 years!
    Denis Havard, Plockton, Scotland.

    By Denis Havard (17/06/2017)
  • I had my best days as an instructor at holloway road with john stock, charlie evans, and keith lambert and steve oliver two old army chums.

    By bryan osborne (22/08/2016)
  • I worked for Crosfield France, in Lyon, 1984 to 1989 as a service engineer, and then as a local manager. Nice period to remember, we got £50 a day during training periods as daily allowance in London and after in Watford. One the best period of my life ! People were so happy compared with actual time. Contact me if your were there during that period

    By Roger (10/06/2016)
  • I started with Crosfield 1979 in the systems test at Peterborough, then moving on to HEDM designing and building test equipment for the production lines, leaving 1992 to start my own security company

    By Geoff Wood (18/11/2015)
  • I worked for Crosfield for 20 years. Starting in Peterborough, then International in Holloway, Hemel, USA and left in 1995 to start a new life. The Golden Years of my life. So many very focused, sincere, nice devoted people. Lucky to find another similiar company to start all over again. Perfect company.

    By Stuart Tilney (06/11/2013)
  • I worked at Crosfield, North London between 1974 and 1983, including my apprenticeship… and remember Kevin Fok in the CAD department! I now work for Ford Motor Co in Essex

    By Dave Stimson (31/05/2013)
  • I worked for Crosfield in North London between 1979 to 1982 and emigrated to Ottawa Canada. Thank you for your webpage. Kevin Fok 28/02/2013

    By Kevin C.B. Fok (28/02/2013)
  • my brother in law worked for the company in late 60’s to early 70’s where he then emigrated to Canada and the lovely Toronto where he still lives now in Ajax

    By john hewlett (04/10/2012)

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