Set up and control non-automatic finishing machines

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


This standard is for print finishers using non-automatic finishing machinery. They will be expected to set up and operate the equipment whilst running production jobs. Non-automatic finishing machines include:

  1. wire stitching machines
  2. drilling machines
  3. punching machines
  4. riveting machines
  5. perforating machines
  6. thread stitching machines
  7. eyeletting machines
  8. rotary perforating machine
  9. laminating equipment

This standard consists of two elements:

  • Set up non-automatic finishing machines
  • Operate non-automatic finishing machines

This is what the standard covers:

  1. identifying the job requirements
  2. checking that the non-automatic finishing machines are working properly
  3. checking that safety devices are working properly
  4. running the non-automatic finishing machines safely
  5. adjusting settings, where necessary to maintain the required standard
  6. checking that work meets the required standard
  7. identifying faults and taking action to deal with them
  8. unloading and stacking the finished product

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

Set up non-automatic machines

  1. check that you have all the job details you need
  2. check that you have enough materials of the right type to meet job requirements
  3. report when the materials provided are not correct or sufficient in accordance with organisational procedures
  4. set up the machine in accordance with organisational requirements, so that:
    finished work consistently meets the requirements of your job instructions
    finished work consistently meets the quality of the approved sample
    material is processed without damage, marking or distortion

  5. check that samples produced by the machine match the required standards

  6. make any necessary adjustments to enable standards to be met
  7. report when standards cannot be met in accordance with organisational procedures
  8. prepare your work area so that it is safe and ready for production
    Operate non-automatic machines and monitor quality

9. operate non-automatic machines so that it is safe and efficient and at the required speed in accordance with organisational procedures
10. keep up sufficient supplies of materials so that runs continue as long as necessary to meet job requirements
11. check at regular intervals that your company's quality standards are met
12. identify causes of faults in production which result in:
marking of material during processing
finished product failing to match the approved sample

  1. adjust machines, using approved methods and equipment, to correct faults which it is your job to remedy
  2. use agreed procedures to report faults which it is not your job to correct
  3. check that machinery is safe to operate, once faults have been corrected, in accordance with organisational procedures
  4. record the production and quality assurance details, checking information meets organisational procedures
  5. follow the organisational procedures for the removal of waste
  6. stack work 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. regulations such as those covering manual handling, noise at work, personal protective equipment, safe handling of equipment and materials, and the safe use of computer equipment
  3. workplace policies and written operating procedures relating to written health and safety policy statement, provision, use and processes of workplace equipment, training, prohibited equipment, young persons, safe systems of work
  4. the way you actually do your job, more particularly the activities and techniques and the way that materials and equipment are used
  5. typical hazards and risks in the printing industry and those that relate to your own job
  6. risk assessment techniques and the action to take to deal with them
  7. codes of practice relevant to your role and where to obtain information on them
  8. manufacturers' and suppliers' health and safety instructions and advice for operating machinery, guarding machinery and data sheets for substances harmful to health
  9. the requirements for personal presentation including personal hygiene, suitable clothing and accessories, fitness for work, such as not under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication, smoking policies in the workplace
  10. how to stop a machine in the event of an emergency
  11. the purpose of non-automatic finishing
  12. the information and materials required to meet job specification
  13. safety devices found on non-automatic finishing machinery, their purpose and how to check they are functional
  14. how to set up and adjust non-automatic finishing machinery to meet job requirements
  15. the causes of common faults and how to rectify them including marking of material during processing or finished product failing to match the approved sample
  16. the causes of faults with raw materials, processes and machinery used in your business and how to identify and treat them
  17. techniques for controlling quality including inspection, testing, sampling and use of input and output controls
  18. the impact that faults, in the process you are involved with, have on later processes and the quality of the end product
  19. types of problems that may need to be solved including machinery - electrical, mechanical, electronic, settings, component wear and tear, consumables needing replacement, materials - defects, shortages, incompatibility, systems, organisation and lack of skills or knowledge
  20. sources of information for solving problems including manufacturer's documentation / troubleshooting guides, colleagues, tutors / trainers / mentors and reference material – in house or external, such as the internet
  21. techniques for assessing machine faults including observation, listening, inspection of product, reports from colleagues / log reports, touch or smell (if safe to do so) and testing, such as electrical, mechanical, electronic
  22. the types of paper, board and other commonly used substrates including commonly used uncoated, coated, embossed papers and boards
  23. the grammage, thickness, opacity, brightness/whiteness, strength, dimensional stability, gloss of paper, board and other commonly used substrates
  24. how to maintain the quality of materials and protect them from damage, humidity and temperature during storage and handling
  25. how to label and identify materials


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



post press, print finishing, machinery, non-automatic