Need Help Flex Material jamming in the processor

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by jd callow, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Good day both you colour folk.

    I am having problems with Fuji Flex (similar to Kodak's Dura flex) jamming in my processor (Hope 24"). Smaller sheets cut from a roll (11x16) are no problem, but larger 16x24 are jamming at the entry to the drier or coming through with folded corners, crumpling, etc...

    Paper runs fine.

    Tomorrow I am going to clean out the wash tanks and check the rollers. I have also moved the paper to a warmer area hoping that that will make it more flexible.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I have had this problem on Fujimotos (?) and low end Coletas, but was unable to figure out a solution. On better machines it would run fine.
     
  2. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    John,
    Paper (or plastic) curl sounds lke the culprit here. Especially coming off a roll. Are you running emulsion up or down? I would start by calling Fuji and confirming the processing recomendations for the flex material. It has been a long time since I read that kind of stuff, but as I remember you had to adjust both the temp and fpm (from RA4 paper) to run within what's recomended. If all that stuff is with ok it is time to get creative.

    Where it exits the wash rack and enters the dryer I assume the leading edge of the sheet rides against a crossover that guides it into the dryer. Take the covers off, remove the crossover between the BL and wash tank and feed a dead sheet in so you can watch it enter the dryer. (This has to happen at proc temp as curl is temp and humidity dependent) Is it entering the dryer cleanly. If not you may need to monkey w/ the crossover or even bodge something if it is hitting the other side of the slot. Good luck.
    Celac.

    P.S. Cold temps (and probably the extreme dry they bring) do make paper curl worse. I worked in a place where I had this proved to me by recalcitrant paper that stubbornly refused the gentle ministrations of the vacuum easel.
     
  3. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Celac,
    Fuji Flex is plastic. Similar to the transparent materials, but they don't require a slower speed.

    I cleaned out the water tanks and rollers. The rollers aren't as tight as i'd like, but the last thing I want to do is rebuild them. The manual cites dirty water and rollers as a possible cause.

    The material was emulsion in on the roll. It curves toward the emulsion. The processor likes the paper fed emulsion up (curling away from the emulsion). This is probably the crux of the issue. Emulsion up or down, curl up, down or sideways the 'paper' jams.

    I will follow your advice. as a last gasp solution I will remove the last rack and manually wash and feed the paper into the drier.

    Thanks

    jdc
     
  4. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    John,
    Well yes, all "flex" is plastic but "plastic curl" just doesn't sound right. :smile: I wonder how the flex differs from the trans (other than in opacity) as to require different processing, maybe its just that trans emulsion is thicker. I hope you can find a solution as the hand wash and feed option sounds like a misery. Have you tried pre-cutting the stuff from the roll and leaving it to flatten. (or maybe pressing it) After all the stuff in the boxes starts life on a roll and ends up pretty flat. I will call the guy who we use for processor service tomorrow when I get in to work and see if he has any ideas. Good luck.
    Celac.
     
  5. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi John

    Sorry I didn,t see this earlier I took the day off Wed

    Try cutting the corners in a arc on the lead edge of the paper, we have the same problem with ciba and flex.Is the roll near the end, if so very curly.
    You can also try humidifying the room to soften the paper it is curly and very dry. Detroit probably has less humidity than Toronto

    Did you notice a slippery feeling in the wash tank on the sides. This could be algea build up between your runs. Do you Drain the Wash tank between Printing Sessions??

    Finally check the bearings and the gaps between the rollers on the problem rack. sometimes they become loose or broken and allow too much play in the rollers.
    Since flex is stiffer than regular RA and slippery when wet you have to really be anal on all areas of this process.

    best
    Bob
     
  6. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    'Warming' the paper and checking/helping the progress of the material made the difference. I waited until the paper left the bleach pulled the lid and watched it enter the the drier. As it hit the last roller of the last wash rack I rolled the top roller -- it was jumping (bad bearings or alignment) -- which may have helped the feed.

    Now the problem is that the blacks are deep blue. On normal paper the blacks are dead black. I went to fuji and the recommended replenishment rates for this material may be higher than what I have my processor set to.

    Or the material is past it. This would be a shame.

    The last wash rack needs to be re built or tended to. I have never done this and I am not looking forward to it, but such is life.

    I don't empty the water when I 'll be printing over consecutive days, only when the processor will be sitting idle for a day or two. For the last week I have been printing every day.
     
  7. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi John

    Blue blacks.... time for a chemical dump or at least 40-50% volumne of tank in both the dev and the bleach.
    I use this paper alot along side endura and crystal archive n.. no need to change the rep rates IMO.

    good luck with the bearings and dump
     
  8. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi John

    You will know if you have an algea problem, the inside of the tank and eventually the rollers covered with a mucus snot like subtance.
    have fun
     
  9. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What if I'm getting good blacks with paper? Still dump the chems?

    No slime or algea in the wash, but I'll be dumping it daily to be sure.
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi John

    we run control strips to evaluate the chem.
    Basically a visual of the strip compared to the reference will tell you quickly if there is a problem with your balance.

    It may seem to be overkill but these controls will help you over a long period of time. we do not run them everyday if we are hitting the minimum workflow.
    If your blacks are good and you see no staining on the paper white I would imagine you are all right.
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Bob,
    I know about and have used control strips. I would like to kid myself that I can tell a lot just looking at a print (and looking at the blue blacks screamed bad dev but I hoped a wiser person would say it might be something else like GW Bush:wink: ). I'll see if there are any controls strips in the local photo shops, pror to dumping the chems.

    Thanks Bob and Celec.

    The bitch about this is that the print I need to make has been sold via APUG-Gallery.com. The image on Flex just blows the socks off of paper and I wanted my first sale from this site to really rock.
     
  12. Shane Knight

    Shane Knight Member

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    Hello John,

    I am not sure of your location but during the winter it can get pretty dry. I would pay special attention to the humidity of the room where the processors are located. As the humidity drops, the paper curls. I would reccomend to run a small humidifier. That should help keep your paper from jamming in your machine.

    If the above as been repeated already....sorry.

    FYI -- I would not print on Fuji Flex, even if a gun was put to my head. This material fades very quickly. This paper was not designed for long lasting applications. I start using it back in 2000 and I have fading prints.

    I went back to Ilfochrome.

    Anyway -- Good luck!!!

    Shane Knight