Set up and control flatbed die cutting machines

Business Sectors (Suites): Pre Press
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 26 Feb 2021


This standard covers the configuration, operation and control of digital flatbed die cutting machines.

It applies if you operate a flatbed die cutting digital machine, in a large format digital printing environment and you are responsible for the final cutting of the printed product.

Flatbed die cutting machines can be used on many substrates including paper, board and metal using different cutting tools to suit the substrate.

You will be required to operate the machine from the selection of job from the dialogue box, selection of cutting tool to finished product.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Make flatbed die cutting machine ready for production

  1. prepare your work area and machinery so it is safe and ready for production in accordance with organisational procedures
  2. check that all the details and materials for the job are available
  3. select correct job from dialogue box and transfer correct file
  4. select correct cutting tool for the substrate
  5. select cutting height and width to suit image and substrate
  6. set cutting speed to suit cutting tool and substrate
  7. position substrate in the right place on machine bed
  8. activate vacuum on bed and extraction unit in line with manufacturer's instructions
  9. produce and inspect a sample against the company's quality standard
  10. report any machine faults that is not your job to correct in accordance with organisational procedures

    **Control the operation of flatbed die cutting machines

11. run the die cutting machine at the required speed, in a safe and efficient manner in accordance with organisational procedures
12. maintain sufficient supplies of materials throughout the run
13. check at regular intervals that quality standards and job specifications are met, including the quality of the cut and finishing accuracy
14. resolve any machine problems that arise on the run that affect quality or productivity in line with manufacturer's instructions and organisational guidelines
15. record accurate production and quality assurance details in accordance with organisational requirements
16. follow the correct procedure for the removal of waste
17. stack work in a safe way, using the approved method

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. your duties and responsibilities for health and safety as defined by any specific legislation covering your job role
  2. hazards and risks in the workplace, their assessment and the action to take to deal with them
  3. manufacturers' and suppliers' health and safety instructions/advice
  4. how to stop a machine in the event of an emergency
  5. the law as it affects printing: defamation, copyright and ownership of images, obscenity, incitement, forgery, data protection
  6. ethical and employment issues relevant to printing: confidentiality
  7. how to manage print with time-sensitive or restricted release dates
  8. how to manage high value products or print with a high risk of theft
  9. how to communicate with colleagues and suppliers
  10. workplace objectives, priorities, standards and procedures
  11. the range of work carried out in the workplace
  12. the working practices existing in the workplace
  13. the different types of resource, including labour, materials, machinery
  14. the relationship between resource usage and profitability
  15. how to maximise productivity
  16. how to transmit digital files
  17. file management procedures
  18. the operation of flatbed cutting machines
  19. the uses of flatbed die cutting machines
  20. the different cutting tools to suit different substrates including paper, board and metal
  21. the effect of different cutting heights, widths and speeds
  22. appropriate positioning for substrates
  23. the causes and treatment of common faults: raw material faults, processing faults, machine faults
  24. administrative procedures: scheduling, recording and reporting
  25. product labelling
  26. the legal requirements for the classification, storage, carriage and disposal of waste
  27. any specific environmental legislation that covers processes in your company
  28. the control of pollution
  29. the main features of quality assurance and quality control systems
  30. techniques for controlling quality
  31. the kinds of problems that may need to be solved
  32. sources of information
  33. techniques for assessing machine faults
  34. the range and characteristics of paper, board and other commonly used substrates
  35. the range and characteristics of inks, toners and coatings
  36. maintaining the quality of materials during storage and handling


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Printers, Printing Machine Minders and Assistants, Printing Trades

SOC Code



digital, print, pre press, substrate, flatbed, die, cutting, tools, machines