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 for 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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