Use ink drying equipment

Business Sectors (Suites): Machine Printing
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 29 Feb 2020


This standard is for people who use ink drying or ink curing equipment associated with printing machinery. Common ink drying/curing equipment includes: Ultraviolet (UV), Infra-Red (IR) and hot air.

Ink curing and ink drying are not the same: ink curing is a process in which light causes a chemical reaction within the ink causing it to 'cure'. Ink drying is a process where heat is applied to the printed substrate (often at very high temperature) in order to cause the ink to dry quickly or more quickly than it otherwise would.

Correct operation of ink drying equipment is critically important in printing processes that depend on ink 'curing' or assisted / accelerated drying. For example, insufficient energy applied via UV may lead to ink not curing properly, whilst excessive heat applied using IR driers can result in ink melting and sticking an entire stack of printed paper together.

Ink drying equipment is also associated with risk of fire, which is a not uncommon occurrence in printing machine drying units.

Some types of dryers also produce emissions that are harmful to health and to the environment, such as ozone and solvent emissions. Depending on the volume of solvent emissions, a permit may be necessary for the use of such equipment, and it is therefore important to check that equipment for limiting emissions to atmosphere are working.

This standard requires you to understand the operation and risks associated with drying equipment on printing machines, and to be able to use the equipment safely and check that the equipment is doing its job.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Set up ink drying equipment

  1. check drying equipment is safe and fit for production
  2. check coolant reservoirs contain sufficient liquid following standard operating procedures
  3. set drying equipment to operate at the temperature or intensity required to meet specifications
  4. set printing machine sand drying equipment to run at compatible speeds
  5. check that there is no build-up of material or combustible matter in or around the dryer following standard operating procedures
  6. check work areas are safe and ready for production
  7. check drying equipment has reached operating temperature and that all lamps or elements are functioning following standard operating procedures**

Maintain the quality of output from ink drying equipment

8. check output meets specifications
9. monitor the safe operation of drying equipment following standard operating procedures
10. identify and correct drying equipment faults which it is your job to rectify
11. identify and report drying equipment faults, which it is not your job to correct
12. check there is no build-up of paper or other residues that may give rise to a risk of fire following standard operating procedures
13. switch off the drying equipment if there is a risk of fire following standard operating procedures
14. remove waste following standard operating procedures
15. stack work using approved methods
16. check the internal temperature of stacks is within accepted range after drying following standard operating procedures
17. record production and quality assurance details following standard operating procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

Health and safety

  1. your duties and responsibilities for health and safety as defined by any specific legislation covering your job role
  2. manufacturer's health and safety requirements relevant to your job
  3. how to stop a machine in the event of an emergency**


4. with colleagues

Workplace policy and practice

5. workplace objectives, priorities, standards and procedures
6. the range of work carried out in the workplace *

Time and resources

7. how to maximise productivity

The operation of equipment

8. the principles of ink curing and drying
9. the risks associated with ink drying units and how to avoid them
10. your company's safety procedures for operating ink drying equipment
11. common faults which can occur when operating ink drying equipment, what causes them and how to correct them

The causes and treatment of common faults

12. raw material faults
13. processing faults
14. machine faults

Administrative procedures

15. recording and reporting
16. product labelling


17. any specific environmental legislation that covers processes in your company
18. control of pollution

Quality assurance and control

19. techniques for controlling quality

Problem solving

20. sources of information
21. techniques for assessing machine faults


22. the types and characteristics of paper, board and other commonly used substrates
23. the types and characteristics of inks and coatings
24. maintaining the quality of materials during storage and handling

Cleaning, lubrication and maintenance

25. the principal activities involved with machine cleaning, lubrication and maintenance
26. roles and responsibilities for cleaning, lubrication and maintenance
27. machine faults and how they can be rectified
28. the maintenance plans for machines which you operate
29. which components wear or become degraded over time
30. the choice and use of suitable cleaning agents and lubricants
31. what parts of the machine you are allowed to clean, lubricate and maintain


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

28 Feb 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Printers, Printing Machine Minders and Assistants, Printing Trades

SOC Code



machines; printing; lithographic; equipment; flexographic; operate; maintain; inks; coatings;