Maintain printing equipment in working order

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


This standard is for individuals who work with print and print related equipment. It is not for people who are training as maintenance or plant engineers.

It comprises 2 elements:

  1. Plan and implement a programme of maintenance
  2. Maintain machinery in a clean and safe operating condition

It is aimed at operators who have a responsibility for:

  • keeping the machine clean
  • identification of component parts that may be defective
  • identification of component parts suffering from excessive wear
  • diagnosing and rectifying machine faults
  • replacing component parts (within their scope of work)
  • implementing a planned preventative maintenance programme
  • maintaining records of maintenance and part replacement
  • making sure that machines are safe to run

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Plan and implement a programme of maintenance

  1. obtain complete schedule of maintenance for machinery following standard operating procedures  
  2. identify the recommended intervals for maintenance and lubrication following standard operating procedures
  3. check maintenance plans are implemented and kept up to date, as far as is possible, within the time allowed by your company for lubrication and maintenance
  4. keep records of maintenance work undertaken following standard operating procedures
  5. examine equipment for defective components or excessive wear at intervals required by your company
  6. keep records of faults that occur or are developing, and that action is taken to deal with them
  7. change component parts following standard operating procedures  
  8. maintain lists of parts or consumables likely to require periodic replacement and identify those parts required at short notice
  9. check any parts or consumables identified as being required to be kept 'in stock' are available in required quantities
    Maintain machinery in a clean and safe operating condition

  1. check risk assessment and safe systems of work are in place before beginning any cleaning
  2. use cleaning methods, avoiding harm to the environment and following the manufacturer's instructions
  3. dispose of used cleaning agents and waste materials following current environmental/waste disposal legislation
  4. prevent any build-up of debris in and around machinery by regularly removing and cleaning following standard operating procedures
  5. check machines are clean enough to prevent marking or damage to products

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. manual handling
3. noise at work
4. personal protective equipment *

Workplace policies and procedures

5. health and safety policy
6. provision and use of workplace equipment regulations
7. training
8. prohibited equipment
9. young persons
10. written operating procedures for equipment use and processes, including safe systems of work *

Hazards and risks in your own job, their assessment and the action to take to deal with them

11. relevant regulations on the safe handling of equipment and materials, codes of practice issued by the Health and Safety Executive or the Printing Industry Advisory Body
12. guarding of machinery
13. typical hazards and risks in the printing industry
14. risk assessment techniques *

Manufacturers' and suppliers' health and safety instructions/advice

15. operating instructions for machinery
16. data sheets for substances harmful to health *

Personal Presentation

17. personal hygiene
18. clothing and accessories suitable to the particular workplace
19. fitness for work
20. smoking policies in the workplace *

How to stop a machine in the event of an emergency

21. using stop buttons
22. lifting guards *

Problem Solving

23. machinery - electrical, mechanical, electronic, settings, component wear and tear, consumables needing replacement
24. materials - defects, shortages, incompatibility
25. systems
26. organisation
27. lack of skills or knowledge

Sources of information

28. manufacturer's documentation/troubleshooting guides
29. colleagues
30. tutors/trainers/mentors
31. reference material – in-house or external *

Techniques for assessing machine faults

32. observation
33. listening
34. inspection of product
35. reports from colleagues/log reports
36. touch or smell (if safe to do so)
37. testing *

Cleaning, Lubrication and Maintenance

38. principal activities involved with machine cleaning, lubrication and maintenance *

Roles and responsibilities for cleaning, lubrication and maintenance

39. engineers
40. manufacturer's agents
41. machine operators
42. machine assistants *

Machine faults and how they can be rectified

43. types of faults
44. skills needed to repair particular types of faults

The maintenance plans for machines which you operate

45. manufacturer's specifications/recommended maintenance plans
46. company plans/arrangements for maintenance

Which components wear or become degraded over time

47. filters
48. bearings
49. belts
50. chains
51. machine or process specific components

What is meant by the phrase 'safe system of work' and how it applies to

52. cleaning, lubrication and maintenance activities
53. codes of Practice issued by Health and Safety Executive or the Printing Industry Advisory Body *

Documented procedures to be followed

54. isolating equipment before commencing cleaning and maintenance
55. replacement of all guards after cleaning and maintenance

The choice and use of suitable cleaning agents and lubricants

56. manufacturer's specification/recommendations
57. environmental considerations
58. toxicity/health issues
59. disposal of contaminated cleaning materials
60. parts of machines you are allowed to clean, lubricate and maintain
61. Preventive versus Predictive Maintenance


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;