Profession lithographer

Lithographers make and prepare metal plates to be used as the original in various printing processes and media. Plates are usually laser-etched from digital sources with computer-to-plate technology, but can also be made by applying types of emulsions to the printing plate.

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Personality Type

  • Artistic / Investigative
  • Realistic / Conventional

Knowledge

  • Screen printing inks

    Various types of screen ink, such as solvent, water, water plastisol, and UV curable ink solutions.

  • Photoengraving

    Processes for engraving metal film masks to be used to protect and coat plates for various printing processes. Cut the masking material and select the correct colour using the photomechanical method.

  • Offset printing

    Technological printing process where the ink is spread onto a plate with etched images, then to a rubber blanket, and finally onto the target medium, usually paper. This method is used for mass printing on large scales.

  • Printing plate making

    The different techniques used to produce the plates that will be mounted on rolls for the flexographic or offset printing process such as laser engraving or the technique consisting in placing a film negative over a plate exposed to ultra-violet light.

  • Printing materials

    The materials, such as paper, film, metal foils, and glass, on which texts or designs can be transferred by applying ink through direct pressure or with intermediate rollers.

  • Printing techniques

    The techniques and processes to reproduce text and images using a master form or template such as letterpress printing, gravure, and laser printing.

  • Print stripping

    Printing technique in which the printed pages are arranged into specific patterns in order to create efficient printing plates. This has to be planned correctly so that the printed material can be folded to produce the requested brochures or books with the correct pagination and to be cut down after printing.

Skills

  • Maintain lithographic printing plates

    Produce and store plates used in lithographic offset printing by running a previously imposed and ripped file to plate or exposing and developing the plate using hand tools or machines.

  • Follow production schedule

    Follow production schedule taking into account all requirements, times and needs. This schedule outlines what individual commodities must be produced in each time period and encapsulates various concerns like production, staffing, inventory, etc. It is usually linked to manufacturing where the plan indicates when and how much of each product will be demanded. Utilise all the information in the actual implementation of the plan.

  • Operate laser plate maker machine

    Maintain and handle laser plate making equipment, which converts electronic data to plates without the use of photographic film. Use erasers and needles to perform minor deletions, additions or corrections to complete these materials.

  • Perform image editing

    Edit various types of images such as analogue and digital photographs or illustrations.

  • Scale copies

    Use proportion wheels to scale the layout and resolution of images up or down.

  • Follow safety precautions in printing

    Apply safety and health principles, policies and institutional regulations of working in printing production. Protect oneself and others against such hazards as chemicals used in printing, invasive allergens, heat, and disease causing agents.

  • Ink printing plates

    Cover the plate with a thin coat of water and apply oil-based inks with a rubber roller, repelling and sticking the ink to the image area. This image can then further be transferred to paper in various printing processes.

  • Read job ticket instructions

    Understand instructions from the cards accompanying job orders and set up or run the machine based on these statements.

  • Set scanner controls

    Use a mouse, keyboard or other controls to set up the scanner precisely.

  • Mix ink

    Tend a computer-guided dispenser that mixes different shades of ink to obtain the desired colour.

  • Prepare colour mixtures

    Prepare colour mixtures in accordance with the recipes and/or the characteristics of the article to be achieved.

  • Prepare printing form

    Prepare and inspect plates that are used in printing process to transfer ink on the desired surface and place them in the machines, for example fixing them around printing rollers.

  • Prepare films for printing plates

    Place the photographic materials coated with a light-sensitive substance on the printing plate in such a way that will limit waste and facilitate printing processes. Place the plates in the machine for the different exposure and curing processes.

Optional knowledge and skills

maintenance of printing machines reduce dots order supplies produce prepress proof wear appropriate protective gear perform machine maintenance manage inventory printing media use colour printing programs lay out digital written content printed goods processes edit negatives edit photographs apply opaque prevent paper jams proofing methods scan negatives train employees oversee quality control digital printing manage offset printing process store negatives