How to become a Printing Machinist

Printing machinists set up and operate letterpress, lithographic, flexographic and gravure printing presses. They work on a range of printed products including packaging, stationery, greeting cards, books and newspapers, depending on the printing method used.

Personal requirements of a Printing Machinist

  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • good eyesight (may be corrected) and normal colour vision
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • able to carry out detailed work
  • mechanical aptitude.

Duties & Tasks of a Printing Machinist

Printing machinists may perform the following tasks:

  • make printing plates
  • fit printing plates or cylinders on presses, mix the inks that are applied to them and adjust the colour flow to the image
  • adjust the paper-feeding devices that separate and feed sheets through the machine
  • monitor machines and print quality
  • carry out minor repairs and routine maintenance
  • set up and operate 'in-line' finishing functions.

Working conditions for a Printing Machinist

Printing machinists work in both small businesses and large manufacturing companies, and with single and multi-colour printing presses.

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