Set up and run machinery within the print industry

Business Sectors (Suites): Machine Printing
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 30 Mar 2020


The aim of this standard is to provide the learner with the knowledge and skills to be able to set up and run printing machinery specific to the processes they have access to. It is intended for entrants into the industry who will operate single or dual colour (including perfecting) printing presses.

The processes pertinent to this standard are:

  • Lithography
  • Flexography
  • Gravure
  • Die Stamping
  • Screen Process

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Set up printing machinery

  1. comply with health and safety requirements and procedures at all times
  2. obtain specifications and requirements of the items to be produced following standard operating procedures
  3. obtain equipment and materials required to carry out the job following standard operating procedures
  4. check equipment is set up and in good working order following standard operating procedures and any manufacturer's instructions
  5. check all materials required are to specification and free from faults
  6. fit and position image carriers following standard operating procedures
  7. set substrate transport systems to run following standard operating procedures
  8. run substrate transport systems to check that the substrate feeds at production speeds following standard operating procedures
  9. set inking systems following standard operating procedures
  10. identify and correct print faults following standard operating procedures
  11. produce "pass sheets" to company standards
  12. get "pass sheet" approved following standard operating procedures**

Run printing machinery

13. keep up supply of substrates, inks and fountain solutions/solvents throughout runs
14. run presses following standard operating procedures
15. check quality standards are met following standard operating procedures
16. identify and correct print faults that affect the quality of images
17. identify and correct mechanical faults that it is your job to rectify
18. report faults which are not your job to correct or are not corrected by the action you take
19. report any shortfalls in production following standard operating procedures
20. remove waste following standard operating procedures
21. stack work following standard operating procedures

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

Set up printing machinery

  1. details needed for work
  2. the principles of the printing process
  3. how to set up the substrate transport and fit image carriers
  4. image carriers used
  5. inks and consumables used
  6. commonly occurring faults with substrate transports, image carriers and inks/coatings, what causes them and how to prevent them
  7. procedure to get "pass sheets" approved
  8. how to shutdown machinery in an emergency situation
  9. reporting procedures and sources of advice**

Run printing machinery

10. how to run machinery safely
11. when and what to monitor to keep to check quality of product
12. where and who to get assistance from for faults you cannot remedy
13. how to make adjustments to the settings to meet the job specifications
14. effects any adjustments have to the print quality
15. company quality procedures
16. how to shutdown machine in both operational and emergency situations


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Printing Machine Minders and Assistants, Printing Trades

SOC Code



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