What does a Printing Pres Operator do?

Set up and operate digital, letterpress, lithographic, flexographic, gravure, or other printing machines. Includes short-run offset printing presses.

Jobs Roles

  • Adjust digital files to alter print elements, such as fonts, graphics, or color separations.
  • Adjust ink fountain flow rates.
  • Change press plates, blankets, or cylinders, as required.
  • Clean ink fountains, plates, or printing unit cylinders when press runs are completed.
  • Clean or oil presses or make minor repairs, using hand tools.
  • Collect and inspect random samples during print runs to identify any necessary adjustments.
  • Download or scan files to be printed, using printing production software.
  • Examine job orders to determine quantities to be printed, stock specifications, colors, or special printing instructions.
  • Feed paper through press cylinders and adjust feed and tension controls.
  • Input production job settings into workstation terminals that control automated printing systems.
  • Load presses with paper and make necessary adjustments, according to paper size.
  • Monitor automated press operation systems and respond to fault, error, or alert messages.
  • Obtain or mix inks and fill ink fountains.
  • Secure printing plates to printing units and adjust tolerances.
  • Start presses and pull proofs to check for ink coverage and density, alignment, and registration.
  • Verify that paper and ink meet the specifications for a given job.
  • Control workflow scheduling or job tracking, using computer database software.
  • Direct or monitor work of press crews.
  • Download completed jobs to archive media so that questions can be answered or jobs replicated.
  • Maintain time or production records.
  • Monitor environmental factors, such as humidity and temperature, that may impact equipment performance and make necessary adjustments.
  • Monitor inventory levels on a regular basis, ordering or requesting additional supplies, as necessary.
  • Set up or operate auxiliary equipment, such as cutting, folding, plate-making, drilling, or laminating machines.
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