BASIC OPERATOR TROUBLESHOOTING
With all the automated processing equipment used
in Naval imaging today, it is important for you to have
a working knowledge of basic trouble-shooting
procedures. By having the ability to analyze a situation
and perform some trouble-shooting steps, you are able
to isolate problems that occur with imaging equipment.
Your ability to locate a faulty condition quickly can play
an important part in shortening the equipment
downtime. Trouble-shooting procedures are useful for
automated processors as well as cameras, enlarging
equipment, and so on.
As equipment is used, the parts wear out, even with
complete and competent maintenance. As this
deterioration occurs, more variation occurs in
functioning systems (the evenness of the air from one
side of an air squeegee to the other, for example).
Additionally, the larger, the more complex, and the
older the piece of equipment, the higher the probability
that it will malfunction.
To function correctly and efficiently, you must care
for and maintain equipment properly. Maintenance
should be performed consistently and according to
established procedures. On complex equipment there
are many adjustments that must be performed. Most of
these adjustments are not difficult, particularly if you
follow detailed 3-M system instructions and
instructions supplied by the manufacturer.
Troubleshooting a continuous film processor, for
example, is an action that evaluates the performance of
the processor in terms of both operation and product
quality. Each function on a system must operate the
way it was designed. If it does not, some signs will
become evident. The most common signs are detected
Hearing. This sense is used to detect
malfunctions that produce unusual sounds. Noisy
malfunctions may include the improper meshing of
gears, worn or improperly lubricated bearings, and
loose or improperly lubricated drive chains. Some
types of equipment have alarm systems or buzzers to
warn the operator that a problem exists.
Sight. At times, malfunctions are indicated long
before they affect product quality. These malfunctions
include those displayed on the processor control
indicators (temperature, replenishment rates, and
speeds) and by indicator lights. Other signs of trouble
might include movements, such as a rising lift rod or
even the presence of smoke. The first step to take in
trouble-shooting circuits after securing power is to
inspect the circuit visually. Check for loose
connections, loose wires, abraded wires, and loose
fittings. An overloaded circuit is a serious problem; at
times, the electrical demand on a circuit can cause
circuit fuses to blow or circuit breakers to trip. In some
cases, incorrect sizes of fuses or circuit breakers were
used and the wires overheated and burned off the
insulation. This condition can cause shorts and grounds
that become potential fire or electrocution hazards.
Furthermore, some malfunctions can only be detected
by visual examination of the finished product. These
malfunctions include scratches, developing streaks,
drying streaks, and so on.
Touch. At times, the sense of touch is the best
way to detect malfunctions. This is particularly true
when total darkness is required to prevent image loss or
with moving equipment parts enclosed in some type of
housing. Usually, defective bearings or bushings or the
need for lubrication of these parts that are concealed in
a metal housing can best be detected by feeling for a
buildup of heat or unusual vibrations.
Smell. The sense of smell can be used to
identify a problem with a piece of equipment. Smoke,
hot electrical connections, and so on, may be identified
more readily by smell than by sight.
Troubleshooting a processor or any other type of
equipment is not a difficult task. Usually, the
manufacturer identifies the most common operating
malfunctions, their probable cause(s), and the