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Servicing minilabs as a career


CianMcLiam
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Hi all,

I'm brand new here, so please be nice!

I have been offered a position as a service engineer working with minilab equipment. My background is in electronics and pc support/networking with over five years experience in the field with a mix of hardware/software and mechanical equipment. Are there any engineers out there who work with minilabs who can advise me on what I can expect if I take up this offer? As everything goes digital would this mean more electronic/pc support or is there still a lot of messy and awkward mechanical stuff involved? How are minilabs to service ie are they mostly modular with assemblies being replaced rather than tediously stripped down?

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated as I am very interested in this job as I am also a photographer and very keen on the whole digital imaging sector.

Thanks in advance!

Cian

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The way things are going in the industry at the moment , the scrap yards will be as full off old analoge machines as cars (well, almost). interesting times indeed.

The type of work will depend entirely upon what kind off business your new employer is in, and where. There are far more dry printers and inkjet printers within minilabs now, but a wet printer will allways be a wet printer, whether digital or analogue.

Best of luck with the new job !!!!!!!

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Thank you! The vast majority of the work will be with digital fuji frontiers and kiosks if that narrows it down enough. Although I have done a lot of mechanical type work before I do less and less of it now and dont really miss it. In fact my preference would be for the least amount of mechanical work and more electronic/pc hardware/software etc.

Cian

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  • 2 weeks later...

i have had my hands in chemicals and worked on a 101d mini lab , apart from the chemicals not a lot of room to work espescially on the electronic side of things, its not an easy job as lots of troubleshooting to do before fixing, but saying that not rocket sience

  

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I have had a minilab for several years and have had to call out engineers to come and fix my lab. i found a lot of them knew certain tricks on how to get in to tight spots etc.

As for chemistry handling, most fo them wore gloves if they knew they were going to handle chemistry for long periods of time. I think common sense should prevail in these situations dont you you think Mr Garison?

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Cian

I have to tell you that I have been in the Photographic Industry for 18 years, I do not know what sort of chemisrty Mr Garison was dealing with, however the Photographic chemisrty has never caused me a problem. But make sure you take the required safety measures, like gloves, goggles and overalls simple really.

To be a good Photographic engineer you need common sense and be able to listen to the customer by doing this you will be able to let them tell you what they have done wrong and how to fix the problem. (In most instances).

Not many people use the obvious skills when repairing equipment some guess and make silly statements.

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Be aware that you may need passwords and service disks to get into the machines to do fine tuning. Some parts, like focus tools for Noritsu machines are very fragile and expensive. It would be interesting to know if Noritsu or Fuji would be prepared to run training courses for "independent" technicians

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I hope that statement wasn't aimed at me Cloppac.What used to happen to me was i would wash my hands as soon as possible when I had finished or straight away if I was messing about in the chemistry.However I always forgot about the chemistry that ran down my wrist(hours later).It could just be me that had sensitive skin or the chemistry type(champion).

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all chemistry can harm, depending on peoples skin conditions, and protective gloves, barrier creams etc, should be used... I thought the chemistry was OK, as I had my arms in it many times, but  a few years back, out of the blue I got dermatitis (how do you spell that!) So precaution is going to be better than cure...

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Personaly, having played around with photographic chemicals for years I got a little blase about contact.

I have Hep 'c', unfortunately a gift from the NHS, which can make me a little sensitive to enviromental toxins. No problem untill Christmas, when we had a pipe burst on our old Gretag Master. Spending 3 or more hours up to the armpits (and knees) in stale chemicals is not a good idea. These chemicals penetrate the skin quite readily, and the liver is the filter.

Don't know which planet I was on for a few days, but 'don't like it' (as Matt Lucas would say). Next time we have a leak, I will take the time to suit & boot , and I would strongly recommend all to do the same.  Cleaning/ servicing machines for a living I would recommend strict adhearance to safety precautions at all times as over exposure leads to sensitivity.

     Just as an aside, take a look at the health and safety sheet on white spirit , one of the most widely available household chemicals that no one pays much attention to.

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