This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
OPERATION OF AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSORS
US ARMY STILL PHOTOGRAPHIC SPECIALIST MOS 84B SKILL LEVEL 1 COURSE
OPERATION OF AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSORS SUBCOURSE NO. SS0520-5 US ARMY SIGNAL SCHOOL FORT GORDON, GEORGIA Three Credit Hours
GENERAL The Operation of Automatic Film Processors subcourse, part of the Still Photographic Specialist Skill Level I course, is designed to teach the knowledge necessary for performing tasks related to the operation of automatic film processors. Information is provided for general operation of this type of equipment and on specific models such as the Versamat 11C-MW. The subcourse is presented in two lessons each corresponding to a terminal objective as indicated below. Lesson 1: PREPARE CONTINUOUS FILM PROCESSOR FOR OPERATION TASK: Describe the function, internal systems, preparation safety precautions for the automatic film processor. procedures, and
CONDITIONS: Given information about the function, preparation for operation, and safety precautions associated with the automatic film processor. STANDARDS: Demonstrate competency of the task skills and knowledge by responding to the multiple-choice test covering function, internal systems preparation procedures, and safety precaution for the automatic film processor. (This objective supports Processor for Operation.) STP Task 113-578-3044, Prepare Automatic Film
Lesson 2: OPERATE CONTINUOUS FILM PROCESSOR TASK: Describe the operation of the automatic film processor. CONDITIONS: Given information about systems and operating procedures of the Versamat 11C-MW Processor. STANDARDS: Demonstrate competency of the task skills and knowledge by responding to the multiple-choice test covering operation of the automatic print processor. (This objective Processor.) supports STP Task 113-578-3045, Operate Automatic Film
TABLE OF CONTENTS Section TITLE PAGE.......................................................... TABLE OF CONTENTS................................................... INTRODUCTION TO AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSORS........................... Lesson 1: PREPARE CONTINUOUS FILM PROCESSOR FOR OPERATION........... Learning Event 1: Describe the Function, Capability, and Operation of the Automatic Film Processor....................... Learning Event 2: Describe the Major Systems of the Automatic Film Processor........................................ Learning Event 3: Identify Basic Areas of Safety................ Learning Event 4: Identify the Steps Necessary to Prepare Film Processor for Operation.................................... Practice Exercise............................................... Answers to Practice Exercise.................................... Lesson 2: OPERATE CONTINUOUS FILM PROCESSOR......................... Learning Event 1: Describe the Versamat 11C-MW Film Processor....................................................... Learning Event 2: Describe the Major Systems of the Versamat 11C-MW Film Processor........................................... Learning Event 3: Locate and Describe the Functions of the Controls and Indicators with Versamat 11C-MW Film Processor..... Learning Event 4: Describe the Preoperational Inspection, Daily Start-up, and Shutdown Procedure.......................... Practice Exercise............................................... Answers to Practice Exercise.................................... Page i iii vi 1 1 3 14 14 17 18 19 19 22 29 31 36 38
*** IMPORTANT NOTICE *** THE PASSING SCORE FOR ALL ACCP MATERIAL IS NOW 70%. PLEASE DISREGARD ALL REFERENCES TO THE 75% REQUIREMENT.
Whenever pronouns or other references denoting gender appear in this document, they are written to refer to either male or female unless otherwise indicated. iv
THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK
INTRODUCTION TO OPERATION OF AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSORS This subcourse contains two lessons on the operation of continuous film processors. These processors are becoming more common in Army laboratories throughout the world. Your understanding of their operation will help make you a better still photographic specialist. Lesson 1 deals with the preparation of a processor and Lesson 2 explains how to operate the processor.
LESSON 1 PREPARE CONTINUOUS FILM PROCESSORS FOR OPERATION TASK Describe the function, internal systems, preparation procedures, and safety precautions for the automatic film processor. CONDITIONS Given information about the function, preparation for operation and precautions associated with the automatic film processor. STANDARDS Demonstrate competency of the task skills and knowledge by responding to the multiple-choice test covering function, internal systems preparation procedures, and safety precaution for the automatic film processor. REFERENCES NONE Learning Event 1: DESCRIBE THE FUNCTION, CAPABILITY, AND OPERATION OF THE AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSOR 1. In an attempt to produce standardized products of top quality at high speeds, many types of automatic processors have been designed and tested. It would be impractical to teach the operation of each individual type of machine. However a basic understanding of the fundamentals common to these processors will be helpful. Many of these fundamentals can be applied to any type of machine a soldier may encounter. In this lesson you will become familiar with the Versamat 11C-MW Continuous Film Processor. 2. The function of a processing machine is to transport film through various solutions for a specific length of time. This function must be repeatable. 3. Continuous film processors are designed for the rapid processing and drying of black and white film, color negative and positive transparency slide film. Continuous processors can process both roll and sheet film. Keep in mind that no one machine can process both black and white and color film. Continuous processors are designed either for black and white film only or color film only. A color processor could process black and white film if it were modified. However, this would be wasteful in time and money. There are also new processors coming on the market that will process safety
both film and paper. medium to the other.
These require a change in chemistry when going-from one
4. The processor is designed to be installed outside the darkroom, with the film entrance inside or against a light-tight opening into the darkroom wall. This allows darkroom personnel to feed unprocessed film directly into the processor without exposing it to light. 5. The operation of a processor is as follows: a. Film is fed into the feed entrance (fig 1-1(1)). b. Film enters the developer tanks (fig 1-1(2)). c. It is carried to the tank bottom and back to the top (fig 1-1(3)). d. It then goes onto the fix tanks and the remaining tanks in the same manner (fig 1-1(4)). e. The dryer section receives the film from the squeegee assembly and transports it downward and then upward between air tubes, which direct hot air onto both sides (emulsion and base) of the film (fig 1-1(5)). f. The processed and dried negative or transparency then passes into a receiving bin (for sheet film) or onto a take-up adaptor (for roll film) (fig 1-1(6)).
Basic operating procedure of a film processor 2
Learning Event 2: DESCRIBE THE MAJOR SYSTEMS OF THE AUTOMATIC FILM PROCESSOR 1. Film drives and transport systems.
a. Probably the most important area of machine design is the film drive system. The film must be transported through the solution tanks at a constant speed. The operator must be able to adjust this film drive speed as the situation warrants. Also, the speed must be reproducible. In other words, if a particular type of film is to be processed at speed of 10 feet per minute, a second roll at 20 feet per minute and a third at, again, 10 feet per minute, the first and third rolls, (both processed at 10 feet per minute) must produce identical results. b. An ideal transport system would be one in which the film is moved through the processing machine without the film being touched by the processor; it could never be damaged. Research is being conducted on a liquid bearing transport which would do exactly that: move the film through the processor without contact between them. An ideal drive system would provide a uniform rate of speed throughout the system, one in which there would be no slack or stress on the film at any point. Finally, an ideal drive system would also be exact, one in which the speed of travel could be set with considerable accuracy. Many film drive and transport systems approach these ideals, particularly in the areas of uniformity and accuracy. Drive systems generally consist of a motor, a variable speed transmission, and a drive chain which produces rotation of the transport rollers, usually through a system of clutches. c. The type of transport system found in a processor is dependent on the size (width) of the film to be processed and the desired quality of the end product. In processors designed for narrow film widths, the film is generally transported by gangs of rollers. If the film being processed is perforated, sprocket drives may be employed to transport the film. In other cases the rollers are flanged and the film is guided between the flanges. If misalignment of this type of roller occurs because of a worn shaft or bearing, the film could climb the flange causing crimped edges, creases lengthwise along the film or, in severe cases, film breaks due to the film running off the roller. d. On the other hand, processors designed for larger (wider) sizes of film usually have single roller transports instead of ganged rollers. These single, wide rollers depend on proper alignment for accurate film tracking. Because of their width some lateral movement of the film is possible, allowing the film to "find its own path" through the processor. This lateral movement, however, increases the possibility of side strain on the film. If the rollers become misaligned, one edge of the film may rise up off the roller resulting in damage to the film. e. Another factor to be considered is the diameter of the individual rollers. Smaller diameter rollers use considerably less space, allowing more of them to be placed within a small area. The disadvantage of smaller rollers is that they exert more strain on the film as it bends around them. The
converse is true of the larger diameter rollers: they exert less strain on the film but occupy more space in a processing machine. Some processors have rollers of different sizes and it is important for a technician to know these sizes and their locations. This will frequently make it easier to pinpoint the cause of a mechanical processing defect. For example, if an abrasion appears approximately every three inches on a roll of film, the cause could be a small (one-inch diameter) roller. If, on the other hand, the defect is found every nine inches, the smaller rollers could be eliminated as the cause and the larger (three-inch diameter) rollers would be inspected. 2. Machine Threading Systems.
a. Leader Type. Most processing machines are pre-threaded with a leader which may be thick or thin acetate, mylar, or in some instances, clear film, thereby rethreading the machine for the next processing run. b. The threading pattern used most often with wide film (over 70mm wide) is the "over-under system." Normally when this pattern is used, the emulsion side of the film touches only the bottom rollers which are always wet with the processing solutions (figure 1-2). However, one processor now being used is operated with the film emulsion down which means the emulsion side touches the top rollers and the base side touches the bottom rollers.
c. Another threading system is the "loop" type. In this system, the film is threaded in a loop around the rollers and only the film base touches the rollers (fig 1-3).
Loop type threading
d. Leaderless Machines. These machines do not require threading with a leader, but transport the film through the machine by another means. This transport method is a double row of rollers that are closely spaced to each other, and to the opposing row. The film is first spliced to a stiffening tab, usually called a "bullet." The bullet with the film attached is inserted into the machine and is transported between the rows of rollers and through the machine by friction. More will be said about this type of transport system later (fig 1-4).
Leaderless transport system
a. The purpose of an agitation system is to move the processing solution within the tank so that fresh solution is always brought into contact with the film. Continuous processing machines employ numerous types of agitation systems. b. Immersion. The immersion method of agitation is perhaps the oldest and most widely used system. In this system, the film travels through various tanks containing solutions and receives agitation solely from its movement through the tank. Another way of stating it would be that instead of solution being brought into contact with the film, the film, instead, is being brought into contact with the solution. The immersion system is the least expensive and, obviously, the easiest agitation method to maintain. Figure 1-5 shows a typical immersion processing tank. c. Spray System. The spray processor consists of empty tanks through which the film passes. As film moves through the tanks, solution is sprayed against the emulsion. Spray heads are often mounted on both sides of the film so that spray pressures are equalized and film will not be pushed to one side (fig 1-6).
Figure 1-5. Schematic of a typical immersion processing tank
Figure 1-6. Schematic of a typical spray processing tank
(1) There are two main spray processing configurations. One sprays fresh solution which is used once and then drained away. The other employs a sump in which the solutions accumulate to be pumped through the spray system
onto the film and back to the sump. Both systems are in common use. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. When spray processing, the oxidation process is speeded up, since the exposure of developer to air is accelerated. This is why some systems use the developer only once, after which it is drained. (2) In systems where the solution is used again, the machine is equipped with a replenishment system to offset the effects of oxidation. In either system, it helps to use a developer formula with a high preservation content. There are some complex systems in which the air within the machine developing tank is evacuated and replaced with nitrogen gas. Nitrogen gas does not support oxidation, and developer used in a nitrogen environment may be recovered and used again and again. d. Spray-immersion. This is a third agitation system and as the name implies, a combination of the preceding two. In a spray-immersion system the spray bars are submerged in the solution so that the film receives agitation from both the spray action and immersion in the solution. e. Gaseous Burst. Another method is called the gaseous burst system. In this system a photographically inert gas (nitrogen) is bubbled through the solution from a perforated grill in the bottom of the tank at short intervals. The gas bubbles rising through the solution keep it in motion to bring fresh solution into contact with the film. Another method is called turbulation. This is a system where the solution is pumped out of the tank, usually near the top, and back into the tank, usually near the bottom. Keeping the solution in motion again provides fresh solution to the film surface. Many processors use several of these agitation methods at the same time. f. There are advantages and disadvantages to each major chemical system. The spray concept gives excellent rapid processing. However, adjustment of the spray fan to minimize streaking is critical. In the spray processor, the cabinet doors may be opened making all cabinet areas accessible for cleaning. Since solutions do not remain in the cabinets, there is no drastic buildup of chemical byproducts in the machine. Deposits which are formed can be removed by wiping with a sponge. In an immersion type system, the operator cannot reach the bottom of the tanks and must rely upon chemical cleaning agents to remove chemical deposits. When the spray machine is used, milliliter of solution can be filtered before it is repumped into the machine. Developer, however, is oxidized rapidly and requires a large amount of replenishment. The rapid exhaustion of the developer, and consequent high rate of replenishment, makes the spray processor expensive to operate. g. Other considerations are the man-hours required to mix this replenisher and the storage space the replenisher occupies. Most processors used by the Army are immersion machines. 4. Recirculation Systems.
a. Recirculation systems perform four important functions in processing machines. The recirculation system:
(1) Filters the solution. (2) Controls the temperature of the solutions. (3) Provides a logical place to add replenisher to the solutions. (4) Provides a certain amount of agitation to the solutions. shows a typical recirculation system. Figure 1-7
Typical recirculation system
b. Filtration. Solutions are generally filtered before they are reintroduced into the machine. Continuous filtration of this type, at least during machine operation, is generally regarded as preferable to batch filtration. This filtration is usually accomplished through the use of screen or cartridge filters. The particle size passed by the filter is of prime importance. Most processors use filters that filter out all particles larger than 10 microns. Wash water must be filtered to the same degree as the chemical solutions. Instruments used on the solution filter system should include pressure gauges on the inlet and outlet of the filter to indicate the pressure drop across the filter system. The pressure drop will signal when the filters are becoming clogged and need cleaning or replacing. c. Temperature Control. One of the most critical elements of the color photographic process is solution temperature. Temperature must be controlled
for consistent and reproducible results. The developer is the most critical solution and should be held within ± 1/4 to 1/2°F (± 0.1 to 0.25°C). Other solution temperatures are less critical, but should be controlled to within 2°F (l.1°C) of the developer temperature. In black and white film processing the temperature of the developer is not as critical as in color processing. The temperature can range from 65°F to 75°F and the other solution temperatures should be controlled to within 2°F of the developer temperature. d. Heat Exchanger. The heat exchanger incorporates refrigeration coils and electrical heating elements. The developer and fixer solutions are pumped through separate exchangers. The chemicals are adjusted to the proper temperature, and reintroduced into the processing machine. A temperature sensing probe, located within the processing machine tank, monitors solution temperatures and transmits this information to the solution thermostats. If solution temperature is too high, the refrigeration compressor is turned on. This drives the refrigerant through coils within the heat exchanger and cools the solution. If the solution in the tank is too cold, the heaters located in the heat exchanger are turned on. This heats the solution. The operator sets the solution thermostats at the desired temperature and the solution temperature is automatically controlled. e. Replenishment. Replenisher is generally introduced to existing solutions in the recirculation system. It is mixed with the partially exhausted solutions and, therefore, does not enter the machine in its raw, undiluted state. If raw replenisher were added directly into the solution tanks, uneven development and/or fixation could occur before the replenisher mixed with the solutions already present. f. Agitation. The agitation systems used in continuous processors have already been discussed at length. Some of these systems, specifically the turbulation method, the spray-immersion method, and the spray method in which the solution is reused, rely on the processor's recirculation system to pump the solution out of the tank, treat it (filter, heat/cool, and replenish), and pump it back in. 5. Replenishment System. The purpose of replenishment is to maintain the activity of the solution at a constant level throughout processing operation. This becomes necessary due to the fact that as solutions are used their activity decreases. Replenisher may be added to solutions in one of two ways. a. Topping off. (1) After a certain amount of film is processed, a quantity of solution is removed and another quantity of replenisher is added. The quantity of replenisher is usually greater to allow for carryover and evaporation. For example, a processing tank holds 8 gallons of developer. After processing a roll of film, only 7.8 gallons remain, the .2 gallon has been carried out by the film or has evaporated. Additionally, the remaining 7.8 gallons is partially exhausted.
(2) To replenish using the topping-off method, .3 gallons might additionally be removed from the tank and replaced with one-half gallon replenisher solution, bringing the activity and the physical level of the solution back to its original state. (3) While this is a fairly simple method of replenishment, it does not adapt well to continuous processors. If a long (500 - 1000 ft) roll of film is being processed, the solution activity would gradually decrease during processing. As a result, the end of the roll would receive less development than the beginning. b. Bleed System. (1) In order to maintain the activity at a constant level during processing, the bleed system is used. In this system the replenisher solution being added forces a proportional amount of used developer solution out of the tank through an overflow at the top. This method, therefore, provides continuous replenishment during processing, and, if the replenishment rates are properly established, the gamma of the film at the start of processing and the gamma at the end will be the same. (2) The replenishment rates used are dependent on many factors. Among them are: the chemical composition of the solution, the type of film being processed, the size (width) of the film, the machine processing speed (time), and the overall density of the film. If a film is overexposed and produces a dense negative, it will use up developer more rapidly than a normally exposed film. Since this is frequently not known until after the film is processed, adjustments may be necessary after processing or during the next run. If a film is underexposed (thin negatives), normal replenishment would be excessive and, again, adjustments will be necessary. 6. Squeegees.
a. As the film is transported from tank to tank, solutions are carried over which will cause contamination or dilution. A squeegee is used to remove most of the fluid from the film surfaces to minimize carryover. It is also very important to remove excess water from the film before it enters the drying cabinet. b. There are three general types of squeegees: blade, roller, and air. Their use will depend on the complexity of the particular processor. (1) Blade squeegee. This type consists of two rubber blades which resemble miniature windshield wipers mounted so that the film passes between them. (2) Roller squeegee. Depending on the processor, this type will have two or more rollers to remove the liquid as the film passes between them. (3) Air squeegee. The film passes between two closely spaced nozzles with high pressure jets of air being directed at the film.
c. Since the first two types of squeegees come into direct contact with the film, it is imperative that they be kept absolutely clean. A chemical deposit or an abrasion on the squeegee will seriously damage the film. The air squeegee, although it never touches the film, must also be used with caution. The compressed air must be clean and free of oil used in many types of compressors. d. Washing the film is done in the last two tanks of the processor and the movement of the film in water provides adequate agitation. 7. Drying Systems.
a. The drying of film is a complex, two-fold operation. So that moisture may be removed from the thickness of an emulsion, it must first migrate to the surface and then evaporate in the air. The rate at which this takes place depends upon the thickness of the emulsion, the amount of hardening it received, the density of the developed image, the temperature, relative humidity, and movement of ambient air reaching the film. b. The air is heated to expand it, to lower its relative humidity, and to accelerate the evaporation of moisture. These factors are directly proportional to the temperature. The temperature must be held within certain limits. If it is too low, evaporation is slowed and drying marks result, and if it is too high, the emulsion may become brittle and crack. The exact limits are governed by the kind of material being dried, how it was processed, and the type of dryer being used. c. The reason air should be kept moving is that air at the surface of the wet emulsion soon becomes saturated and will not take up additional moisture. The saturated air must be replaced by unsaturated air if drying is to continue. Of course, even still air is in constant motion, and an emulsion will dry eventually, but the drying will most likely be more rapid at the edges than in the center. Thus, any considerable change in the drying conditions that persists for comparatively long periods of time will leave visible lines at the wet-dry borders. This condition is apt to occur in certain types of dryers. d. Parallel-flow dryers utilize a series of reverse-bend ducts to conduct warm dry air across the film as it moves through the drying cabinet. Figure 1-8 shows schematically a typical arrangement. (1) In order to prevent the drying marks mentioned above, parallel-flow dryers should be operated at rather high air velocities. The temperature should not be excessive, and the relative humidity of the air should not be too low. (2) The exact conditions must be adjusted to the climate in which the dryer is being used. Different settings would be required for coastal areas than, for example, the desert. e. One of the most common methods of drying is called impingement drying. In this method, jets of air are applied at right angles to the
emulsion and base of the film simultaneously. The schematic, fig 1-8b, shows the relation of the film to the air plenums in the drying compartment of a continuous processor. (1) Air is heated to temperatures ranging between 100°F and 150°F (37.8° to 65°C) and is directed against the film at velocities of from 5000 to 6000 feet per minute. An efficient squeegee must be used since surface liquid remaining on the film will result in non-uniform drying. (2) As with any other type of dryer, the condition of temperature and velocity must be adjusted to the local climate. Otherwise, the film will dry more rapidly at the edges causing drying marks. (3) Some types of film tend to become excessively brittle when dried rapidly by this method. This is due to reduced relative humidity rather than overdrying.
Learning Event 3: IDENTIFY BASIC AREAS OF SAFETY 1. There are three basic areas of safety: chemical, electrical, and mechanical. When working with a continuous processor you will be confronted by all three areas simultaneously. a. Chemical. When working with photographic solutions, always assume that they will be harmful. Never try to determine the contents of a bottle by sniffing. If in doubt, safely discard the contents according to the local SOP and obtain one you are sure of. When mixing chemicals, wear appropriate protective clothing and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Remember AAAALWAYS ADD ACID OR ALKALI. That is, add acid to water. NEVER add water to acid. b. Electrical. Electrical equipment always presents the possibility of shock. Make sure the electrical equipment is properly grounded. If in doubt, have it checked by qualified personnel. c. Mechanical. Processing machines are filled with gears, chains, drive shafts, and other moving parts. Keep hands away from these parts while the machine is running. Be especially careful of loose-fitting clothing and long hair. Either remove loose clothing, or roll up sleeves, tape them tight and wear a hat or some other device to keep hair away. 2. Remember that safety is a continuing job. If you find an unsafe condition report it to your supervisor. It's always better to be safe now than sorry later. Learning Event 4: IDENTIFY THE STEPS NECESSARY TO PREPARE FILM PROCESSOR FOR OPERATION 1. The first step is to flush all rollers and crossover assemblies with warm water to remove any foreign matter. Then wipe down the wet tanks using a damp sponge. 2. Remove the side panel to gain access to the plumbing section. Remove the panel by lifting up on the stainless steel edging and disengaging the bottom of the panel from the processor. Then pull the panel from the processor. Inside the plumbing section are five tank drain valves that must be closed. 3. Connect the replenisher lines from the storage tanks to the inlets on the front of the processor. Make sure the proper line is connected to the proper inlet. See figure 2-10 for the proper inlet location. 4. The processor is now ready for the installation of the roller racks and crossover assemblies. Place No. 1 rack into the first developer tank by sliding the rack into the tank until it seats firmly. Under NO circumstances should you try to jam the racks into place. After the rack has seated, check to make sure the roller rack drive gear engages the worm gear on the drive
Processor, Versamat 11C-W overall view
Numbered racks and crossovers 15
shaft. Install the rest of the rack assemblies and then install the crossovers. Each rack and crossover is numbered or identified as to its position. Figure 2-11 shows the correct positioning. 5. You are now ready to install the roll-feed adapter (or magazine assembly) and roll film take-up assembly if they are required. 6. The processor should be filled with chemicals using the required developer and fixer. It must be filled to the proper level using an external source. The replenisher system is not designed for initial filling of the chemical tanks. Once the tanks are filled, check the replenisher system for operation. To do so, proceed as follows: a. Make sure the lines are connected to the inputs and the storage tanks are filled with solutions. b. Turn the replenisher switch to the MANUAL position. c. Open the bleed valve inside the plumbing chamber to remove the air from the lines. When the solution flows, close the valve. d. Open flow meter control valves and allow the solutions to flow through the flow meters to the tanks. e. Adjust the flow meters to the desired replenishment rate. f. Turn the replenisher switch to the OFF position. 7. Replace the side panel for the plumbing compartment and allow 5 to 10 minutes for the developer and dryer assembly to come up to the required temperature. Turn on the cold and hot water and adjust the mixing valve to the recommended water temperature (slightly less than the recommended developer temperature). The water temperature is indicated by a thermometer on the mixing valve. Before the initial processing operation, check the developer temperature with a process thermometer to ensure the machine thermometer is correct. After the initial check and correction, this check is performed periodically during the maintenance inspections.
PRACTICE EXERCISE 1. 2. What is the function of a processing machine? ____________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Continuous film processors are designed for rapid processing and drying of what types of film? ______________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Where in the laboratory are film processors installed? ___________________ __________________________________________________________________________ What two film transporting methods are used in continuous film processors? __________________________________________________________________________ What are the two threading systems used in a leader-type processor? ______ __________________________________________________________________________ What threading system is most often used with 70mm or wider film? ________ __________________________________________________________________________ What is the purpose of the agitation system? _____________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ What are the three types of agitation systems? ___________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ What gas is used in the gaseous burst system? ____________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ What is the purpose of this gas? _________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Temperature control in color processing is very critical and must be controlled for consistent results. A. 12. True B. False
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Chemical, electrical, and mechanical are the three basic areas of ________ __________________________________________________________________________
ANSWERS TO PRACTICE EXERCISE 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Transport film through various solutions Black and white film, color negative and positive transparency slide film Outside the darkroom Leader and leaderless Overunder and loop threading Overunder system To move the processing solution so that fresh chemistry is always in contact with the film Immersion, spray system, and spray immersion Nitrogen To keep the solution in motion A Safety
LESSON 2 OPERATE CONTINUOUS FILM PROCESSOR TASK Describe the operation of the automatic film processor. CONDITIONS Given information about systems and operating procedures of the Versamat 11C-MW processor. STANDARDS Demonstrate competency of the task skills and knowledge by responding to the multiple-choice test covering operation of the automatic print processor. REFERENCES None Learning Event 1: DESCRIBE THE VERSAMAT 11C-MW FILM PROCESSOR 1. Semiautomatic continuous processing machines for film and/or paper are utilized throughout Army laboratories where large amounts of intelligence or motion picture work are performed. One of the processors most likely to be encountered in the lab is covered in this lesson. 2. Versamat 11C-MW. The "Kodak Versamat" film processor.
a. This processor (fig 2-la) is an automatic, rapid-processing machine designed to handle black and white roll film in width from 16mm to 241.3mm (9.5 inches) in any lengths and cut film ranging from 101.6mm by 127mm (4 by 5 inches) to 279.4mm by 355.6mmm (11 by 14 inches). The Versamat can also process two rolls of 70mm or 90mm, or three rolls of 16mm or 35mm film simultaneously. b. Operating speed of the processor ranges from 2 1/2 to 25 feet per minute. On some models of the Versamat processor, a modification of the drive system is necessary to increase the speed to 25 feet per minute. c. Figure 2-1b is an inside view of the major parts of the Versamat 11CMW.
Figure 2-1a. 3. Operating principles.
Processor, Versamat 11C-MW overall view
a. The Versamat is self-threading and does not need a leader to pull the film through the machine. Instead, the film is transported through the processor by a series of roller-driven assemblies called racks. However, when processing roll film, a tab of thick-based material (acetate, mylar, or processed X-ray film) must be attached to the head of the roll of film to guide it through the processor. This leader tab is referred to as a bullet (fig 2-2). b. Once the exposed film is placed in the feed end of the Versamat processor, the film transport system automatically takes over. The film is
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10
Number 1 developer tank Number 2 developer tank Number 1 fixer tank Number 2 fixer tank Number 3 fixer tank DEV thermostat pilot lamp Developer thermostat Weir block Dryer food light switch Dryer thermostat Figure 2-1b.
11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
Dryer thermostat pilot lamp Damper control knobs Dryer temperature gauge Overflow Fixer inlet (A-type chemistry) Fixer inlet (B-type chemistry) Number 1 wash tank and rack Number 2 wash tank and rack Squeegee assembly Dryer flood light
Versamat major parts by the racks, which are
conveyed through the various processing solutions located in each of the seven stainless steel tanks.
(1) The rack leads the film to the bottom of each tank, through a turnaround, and back up. These racks also serve the purpose of providing effective agitation so that byproducts of development can be removed and fresh developer solution brought to the surface of the film. Once the film reaches the top of the rack, it travels to the next rack by means of a crossover assembly.
Bullet with a 35mm roll of film attached
(2) The crossover also acts as a squeegee by removing most of the liquid adhering to the film's surface. The film passes from the feed end through all seven processing tanks in this manner. The operator may, however, bypass any tank by using a Skip Rack Crossover. (3) The final tank before the dryer compartment is a cascade spray wash which removes any remaining solutions from the surface of the film. Immediately after the last wash tank, the film passes through a roller squeegee assembly which removes most of the surface water. (4) From here the film enters the dryer compartment and is directed downward between a series of rollers. Once it reaches the bottom it passes through another turnaround assembly and back up, again between a series of rollers. While the film is in the dryer compartment warm air is directed at both sides from a series of air tubes. The processed and dried film then passes into either a receiving bin (for sheet film) or a take-up adapter (for roll film). Learning Event 2: DESCRIBE THE MAJOR SYSTEMS OF THE VERSAMAT 11C-MW FILM PROCESSOR 1. Description. The Versamat 11C-MW film processor is constructed as a lighttight, self-contained film processor. It has a leaderless drive system, a replenishment chemical system, and an impingement dryer system for complete processing during one operation. The processor has seven wet tanks--two for developer, three for fixes, and two for cascade spray wash. A vertical roller rack in each tank leads the film to the bottom of the tank and back to the top. The film then goes to the rack in the next tank through crossover rollers. From the wet section the film is passed to the dryer through a squeegee
assembly. Here, the film is transported downward and then upward between air tubes that direct hot air onto both surfaces of the film. The processed and dried film is then passed to a receiving bin, or a roll film take-up system. The processor measures 58 inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 54 inches in height. Maximum weight of the unit, without processing solutions, is 1200 pounds. Although no more than 11 square feet of floor space is needed for installation of the processor unit, additional space may be needed to accommodate the floor-mounted, 30-gallon replenisher storage tanks. To operate and service the Versamat processor, a space requirement of 2 feet is necessary on both sides and at both ends of the unit. 2. Systems Description. The major systems of the Versamat 11C-MW processor, described below, combine to perform the necessary stages in film processing. a. Main drive system. The main drive system consists of a single, variable speed motor, sprockets, drive shaft, chains, and gears which drive the entire transport system. The system is activated by a rocker switch on the control panel, and the speed is varied by a speed control potentiometer. The set speed is automatically kept constant by a drive control. b. Developer recirculation system. The developer recirculation system, (fig 2-3), continuously pumps the developer from the developing tanks through a filter, heat exchanger, thermostatically-controlled heater, and back to the tanks. An ON-OFF switch operates the pump and energizes the thermal control system. NOTE: The fixer solution is not recirculated in the Versamat processor.
Developer recirculation system 23
c. Water circulation system. The water circulation system on the Versamat 11C-MW (fig 2-4) operates from regulated pressure, through a water mixing valve and flow meter. It provides fresh water to the deep wash and spray tanks through the jacket side of the heat exchanger. Water temperature for the wash water and heat exchanger is regulated by a thermostatically controlled valve in the mixing valve.
Water circulation system
d. Developer and fixer replenishment system. The developer and fixer replenishment systems (fig 2-3 and 2-5) pump developer and fixer to the processing tanks from the storage tanks. The replenisher pumps can be operated continuously or automatically controlled by a detector roller system. Both systems are energized by a rocker switch, AUTO-ON-MAN. NOTE: The weir blocks shown in figure 2-5 control the direction of flow for the fixer. e. Air circulation system. The air circulation system is designed to circulate heated air through the dryer section of the processor. The air is heated by thermostatically controlled heaters. A blower, located beneath the processing tanks, forces the air through the system. Make-up air is added through a grill at the dryer end of the processor, and an equivalent amount of moist air is discharged through the dryer exhaust to maintain proper relative humidity in the dryer. Approximately 250 cubic feet per minute of
Fixer replenishment system
air is replaced. The blower and heating element power is controlled by a switch on the control panel, and a thermostat in the dryer section regulates the temperature. f. Drainage system. The drain used for the Versamat must be a 4-inch, open drain capable of handling 4 gallons per minute during normal operation, or 8 gallons per minute when draining the tanks. g. Roller transport system (fig 2-6). The transport system consists of a film detector assembly, seven racks, eight crossovers, a squeegee assembly, and two crossovers, transport rollers, and turnaround in the dryer. Each roller rack consists of a series of chain-driven rollers mounted in a staggered path. The rotation of the rollers moves the film through the processor. As the film reaches the bottom of the rack, a turnaround assembly turns the film 180°. When the film reaches the top of the rack, a crossover assembly conveys the film to the next rack. This process continues through each rack assembly until the film is transported to the dryer assembly. In order to transport film in continuous lengths, the surface speed of the rollers is slightly increased in certain locations in the processor. This enables the transport system to prevent any slack that could be built up due to normal film swelling. Slight increases of speed occur in the following locations:
* * * * * *
Squeegee assembly Dryer entrance crossover Dryer down-path Dryer turnaround Dryer up-path Dryer exit crossover
Roller transport system
h. Dryer transport system (fig 2-7). The dryer transport system consists of an entrance and exit crossover, two vertical rows of belt-driven rollers, a turnaround, and air tubes mounted between the transport rollers. The air tubes direct air onto both surfaces of the film. Guide pins mounted on the air tubes direct the film from one roller to the next.
Dryer transport assembly
i. Electrical system. The electrical system of the processor requires an input power of 120/208-volts, 3-phase, 4-wire service. The electrical design, however, allows conversion to either 115/230-volt, 1-phase, 3-wire or 230-volt, 3-phase, 3-wire service. If it is necessary for you to convert
the power connection from the normal service, consult the applicable technical manual for correct hookup requirements. j. Standard Equipment. Standard equipment includes:
(1) Basic processor with racks (2) Film guide assembly (3) Crossovers and turnarounds (4) Film bin (5) One splash guard (6) Two weir blocks (to direct fixer flow) (7) Four stainless steel floor plates k. Accessories. (1) Roll-feed sizes. (2) Roll-feed takeup--used with roll and adapter to take up the film as it leaves the processor. (3) Developer bypass--allows the bypass of the first developer tank when only one tank is required, as for shorter development time. (4) Skip rack--allows the bypassing of any intermediate rack as dictated by the film requirements. (5) Two 30-gallon compression fittings. (6) Two replenisher). strainers replenisher (one for tanks complete with dust one covers for and The Versamat can be used with the following accessories: adapter--permits processing of roll films of various
(7) A thermostatically temperature gauge, tubing and processor.
controlled clamps for
mixing valve, strainers, and connecting replenisher tanks to
(8) A combination film magazine.
Learning Event 3: LOCATE AND DESCRIBE THE FUNCTION OF THE CONTROLS AND INDICATORS ON THE VERSAMAT 11C-MW FILM PROCESSOR. 1. Controls and indicators. Before you operate the Versamat processor, you must understand the location and functions of the controls and indicators. During the following discussion, refer to Figures 2-8 and 2-9. a. Dryer fan switch. The dryer fan switch operates the blower and applies power to the dryer heater circuit. When the dryer thermostat calls for heat, a pilot lamp illuminates. b. Main drive switch. The main drive switch, protected by the 12-amp fuse, applies power to the main drive motor and speed control circuits. The motor starts immediately, but there is an approximate 3-second delay before the transport system begins to drive. This allows the motor to reach operating speed and the other electrical components to warm up before operation. c. Replenisher pump switch. This switch controls the power to the replenisher pumps. The switch has three positions, MANUAL, OFF, and AUTO. In AUTO, the replenisher pump is energized by a microswitch under the detection roller as film is fed between the rollers. The AUTO mode is used primarily in processing sheet film. In the MANUAL position the replenisher pumps operate continuously for processing continuous lengths of thin base film. The replenishment assures a fresh flow of chemicals to the machine. To prevent unnecessary waste of chemicals, turn the pump switch OFF immediately after the processing is completed.
d. Speed indicator light switch. This switch is provided to illuminate the speed indicator and the developer and fixer flow meters. Illumination is provided as long as the switch is ON. To prevent fogging undeveloped film, preset the speed before processing begins. e. Speed indicator. The tachometer speed indicator records the number of feet per minute (fpm) the film is traveling through the processor. f. Speed control knob. film transport system. Rotating the knob clockwise increases the speed of
Drying cabinet control panel
g. Accessory outlet. The accessory outlet operates in conjunction with a timer circuit. The outlet can be used to plug in a recommended safelight, or a statice liminator over the processor. Also located on the front of the processor are the flow meters, developer temperature thermometer, water inlet, silver recovery connector, drain outlets, replenisher inlets and the air exhaust. h. Dryer lamp switch. The dryer lamp switch (fig 2-9) controls the flood lamp, which provides illumination for the dryer cabinet. i. Dryer thermostat. The thermostat controls the minimum required temperature in the dryer cabinet. There is also a safety device (backup thermostat) that rings a bell and turns off the dryer heaters if the temperature exceeds 160°F. The normal range of temperature selection by the thermostat is up to 155°F. When the heaters are ON, a pilot lamp illuminates. j. Dryer thermometer. The thermometer indicates the temperature of the air in the dryer cabinet, in centigrade, fahrenheit, or both. k. Damper controls. The damper controls can be positioned from 0 through 8 to control the amount of air admitted to the air tubes. Position 0 is fully closed, and position 8 is fully open. 2. The only other control you need to adjust is the developer temperature control, located under the plumbing splash guard. The control knob sets the thermostat to the desired developer temperature. Learning Event 4: DESCRIBE THE PREOPERATIONAL INSPECTION, DAILY STARTUP, AND SHUTDOWN PROCEDURE 1. Operation. Begin the operation of the processor by checking the squareness of the feed tray. You place a sheet of 8 by 10 inch film on the tray and then push it forward until it is in contact and square with the feed and detector rollers. To square the tray, loosen two wing nuts under the tray and move the tray as necessary. a. The Versamat has detector rollers that sound a buzzer if two thicknesses of film or a damaged film is fed into the processor. If the buzzer sounds during an operation, pull the film from the rollers to prevent a possible failure later in the processing cycle. b. The bottom detector roller, shown in Figure 2-10, activates microswitches to activate the double thickness alarm (one switch on each end of the roller) and the replenisher system (center switch). As the film passes between the rollers, the center switch closes, turning on the replenisher pumps. When the film exits the rollers, a bell signals that the next film may be fed into the processor. If two thicknesses of film enter the feed rollers, a switch on the end of the roller closes, turning on the warning buzzer. During MANUAL operation of the replenisher system, the center switch is removed from the circuit and the pumps run continuously.
Detection rollers and micro-switches
c. Check for proper film movement by inserting several 8- by 10-inch test films into the processor and observing the film movement through the processing section, squeegee, and dryer. The test films check the transport system for tracking of the film through the racks and crossovers, check the dryer for proper drying temperature, and remove any dirt that may be on the rollers. d. The processor is now ready to operate in a definite series of steps. Study these seven steps so that you can recall them without difficulty. (1) Turn on the main power switch and outside water source. (2) Turn on the dryer fan, main drive, and developer recirculating pump switches. Press the replenisher pump switch to the desired operating mode AUTO or MANUAL. (3) Consult processing data sheets to determine the processor speed, water temperature, dryer temperature, developer temperature and replenishing rate for the particular film you are using. (4) Set the developer and fixer flow meters to the recommended flow rate by adjusting the replenishment control valves.
(5) Allow the developer and dryer to rise to the desired temperature before beginning to process. (6) Make sure the film edges are square with the edges of the film feed tray; then advance the film until it is drawn in by the detector rollers. CAUTION: Do NOT feed film of less than 5 inches in length. Figure 2-11 shows the proper film feeding procedure for cut sheet film. Always feed the film into the processor with the emulsion up.
Film feeding procedures
(7) Whenever possible, feed all narrow films side by side to avoid overreplenishment of the solutions. CAUTION: To ensure proper transport of roll film, use a stiffening tab, such as a sheet of clear acetate or a piece of heavy leader. For 16mm or 35mm films the tab should be 7 inches long and 2 inches wide. With 70mm or 90mm films, the tab should be 7 inches long and cut as wide as the film. Use 1-inch wide pressure-sensitive tape to fasten the tab to the film. Use a butt splice and make sure the adhesive side of the tape is not exposed.
e. When you process roll film, be sure to place it on the roll feed adapter (or in the magazine) so it will feed through the processor emulsion up. If you plan on multi-strand processing, allow a 5-minute interval between the strands to keep them properly positioned in the in the processor so they won't overlap. Thread the film strands through the roll film takeup so that they wind onto the takeup spools evenly without damaging the edges of the film. f. When the operation ends, turn off the replenisher switch, remove the cover, and wipe any "splashed" chemicals from the crossover assemblies and other exposed surfaces. g. Always feed film into the processor emulsion side up. The center microswitch also actuates replenisher pumps into the auto mode of operation as the leading edge of the film enters the detector roller assembly. 2. Versamat SOP Checklist: a. Preoperational Inspection. (1) Check for obstructions in gears, chains, belts, etc. (2) Check racks and crossovers for proper seating and clean them. (3) Check all dry rollers. (4) Check dryer compartment for cleanliness. (5) Check content. silver recovery cartridge for proper operation and silver
(6) Check solution levels in processor and replenisher tanks. (7) Make sure all switches on the control panel are in the "OFF" position, the speed control is at "0" (full counterclockwise), and the wash tank drain valves are closed. b. Daily Startup (1) Ensure all switches on the control panel are in the "OFF" position, the speed control is at "0" and the wash tank drain valves are closed. (2) Turn on the water and adjust the flow rate to approximately 0.5 gallons per minute at a temperature 5° F less than the developer temperature being used. (3) Turn on MAIN POWER. NOTE: The MAIN DRIVE switch activates the water pump for the wash tanks. As a precaution, to keep this pump from "running dry," never turn the main power on unless the water
is on and the on and the last wash tank is half full. (4) Turn on DEVELOPER RECIRCULATION switch. (If the developer temperature is to be raised a considerable amount, the remaining steps may be delayed until that temperature is reached.) Check DEVELOPER THERMOSTAT control for proper temperature setting, adjust only if necessary. (5) Turn REPLENISHER PUMP switch to "manual" and adjust flow rate of replenisher to required setting. (Flowmeters are set at eye level from the bottom of the float.) Turn switch to "automatic." (6) After the number 2 wash tank (last tank) is half filled, turn on the MAIN DRIVE. (7) Adjust SPEED CONTROL to 5 fpm, and make sure that all moving parts are moving freely. (8) Turn DRYER FAN on and adjust DRYER THERMOSTAT to desired setting. CAUTION: Always turn dryer fan on before setting dryer thermostat. (9) When DEVELOPER HEATER GLOW LAMP goes out, check developer temperature with a thermometer of known accuracy. Make minor corrections to DEVELOPER THERMOSTAT as necessary. CAUTION: Use a dial thermometer for this purpose. NEVER use a mercury thermometer to check temperature in a processor. If the thermometer should break, serious contamination will result and the entire tank may have to be replaced. c. Daily Shutdown. (1) Ensure that speed is at 5 fpm. (2) Turn DRYER THERMOSTAT off and remove top and side covers from dryer. To speed dryer cooling, remove dryer entrance air tube. (3) Turn REPLENISHER PUMP switch off. (4) Turn DEVELOPER RECIRCULATION switch off. (5) While dryer is cooling, remove all crossovers and rinse in water not over 120°F. Wipe down top rollers on racks. (6) When dryer temperature has reached 100°F or less, turn DRYER FAN off. CAUTION: Turning dryer fan off while dryer temperature is over 100°F may damage dryer transport rollers by warpage.
(7) Reduce speed to 0 fpm and turn off MAIN DRIVE. NEVER turn the water off before turning the main drive off. Doing so will damage the water pump. (8) Turn off MAIN POWER. (9) Turn water off. (10) Open wash tank drain valves if processor is to be shut down for overnight or longer. (11) Wipe down all surfaces of machine and replace crossovers. (12) Replace Versamat side covers and dryer top cover. Always leave top cover slightly ajar to allow fumes to escape and prevent condensation and crystallization of chemicals on those rollers above the solutions. CAUTION: Observe all safety precautions. PRACTICE EXERCISE 1. The Versamat 11C-MW is designed to process B&W film as well as color negative film and positive transparency film. a. 2. True b. False the
The Versamat 11C-MW uses a leader to transport the film through processor. a. True b. False
What are the major systems of the Versamat 11C-MW? There are a total of 9. _______________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________
Match the control or indicator with the proper function. ______ 4. ______ 5. ______ 6. ______ 7. ______ 8. ______ 9. ______10. ______11. ______12. ______13. ______14. ______15. Speed indicator light switch Dryer lamp switch Dryer thermometer Replenisher pump switch Speed control knob Dryer thermostat Dryer fan switch Developer recirculation switch Accessory outlet Developer temperature control Damper control Main drive switch a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. l. Applies power to the blower motor and heater circuit Applies power to the drive motor Selects the mode for replenishing the solutions. Controls the recirculation of the developer solution Controls the illumination of the speed indicator. Varies the speed transport Allows the safelight use of a
Controls the illumination of the dryer cabinet. Indicates temperature Controls temperature the the dryer dryer developer
Controls the temperature
Controls air flow in dryer is
The following statements are either true or false. If the statement correct, mark it true; if the statement is incorrect, mark it false. ______16. ______17. ______18. ______19.
The detector rollers on the Versamat sound a buzzer if damaged film is fed into the processor. The center microswitch activates the replenishing pumps when in the manual mode of operation as film feeds through the processor. Running cut film through the processor allows you to check the system for proper tracking of film. You consult the processing data sheets to find the processor speed recommended for a given film.
ANSWERS TO PRACTICE EXERCISE 1. 2. 3. False False Main drive system, developer recirculation system, water circulation system, developer and fixer replenishment system, air circulation system, drainage system, roller transport system, dryer transport system and the electrical system. E H I C F J A D G K L B T F T T
4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.