Site: Chromatron Plant Ltd.
100 Shyolkovskoye Shosse
Date Visited: October 27, 1993 (Part of Rosich tour)
Report Author: R.R. Rice
Dr. Victor N. Katsap
Chromatron is a manufacturer of CRTs for various applications. Now an independent facility, Chromatron was part of a ten- facility amalgamation at one time. This amalgamation, which was called MELS (Moskovsky Elektro Lampovyi Zavod), evidently produced television receivers and computer monitors. Chromatron was a production bureau that manufactured at least 1,000,000 tubes for domestic TV. Some arrangement with RCA existed in the past, but details were not given. The production volume is now down to 600,000 tubes for TV receivers. The plant also produced 100,000 special-purpose display tubes, but that number had dropped to 20,000 at the time of the WTEC visit.
The plant is twenty-three years old and consists of several buildings. Last year, a new production building was finished and has been almost fully equipped. It is not yet in operation.
Rosich and Chromatron formed an alliance under which Chromatron planned to manufacture quantoscopes and components for light valve projectors. At the time of the WTEC visit, Rosich already had at least one floor of the main building that was being used for development laboratories and pilot fabrication of both the quantoscope and the light valve devices.
Chromatron makes a 23" tube with a 110 deflection angle. The plant also manufactures 12", 16", 17", 21", and larger tubes. Its equipment will now allow processing of up to 26" tubes. The company's representatives admitted that their 23" tube is obsolete, and said that eight other companies also made these same 23" tubes. They said that small screen TV receivers were very popular and that the demand had been strong. The selling price for a 14" tube with deflection yoke is about 40,000 rubles with taxes included, and the price for a 16" tube is about 44,000 rubles. No tube that would function as a western quality high resolution computer monitor was apparently made there.
Chromatron appears to lag far behind the West with respect to the CRT technology embodied in the plant's standard products. Though enjoying the advantage of very low labor costs, significant capital investment and the infusion of modern CRT technology would be required to allow Chromatron to compete in world CRT markets.