PrintED Competencies

Advanced Offset Press Operations

A. Press Mechanics and Printing Systems

  1. Describe the major systems of a web offset press.
  2. List the advantages and disadvantages of a web offset press vs. a sheetfed offset press.
  3. Describe digital printing and theadvantages and disadvantages compared to offset printing.
  4. Describe and identify direct imaging technologies.
  5. Identify various press feeding systems.
  6. Identify various drying and dampening systems.
  7. Explain the difference between conventional, compressible, and sleeve blankets and their applications.
  8. Perform preventative maintenance procedures on an offset press.
  9. Remove, replace, and reset rollers, ensuring proper roller pressure and durometer.
  10. Select and install a blanket and appropriate packing.
  11. Describe antistatic and anti-marking systems and explain why they are used.

B. Offset Press Operations

  1. Read and interpret production information on job docket/ticket.
  2. Select the proper stock according to job specifications.
  3. Describe and demonstrate the operational procedures for each of the controls and adjustments on the offset press.
  4. Identify and use a mechanical control of registration on an offset press.
  5. Identify and resolve mechanical pressproblems as they relate to quality control.
  6. Print a job on lightweight paper.
  7. Print a multi-color, two-sided job on coated paper.
  8. Print a job on card or board stock.
  9. Print a heavy solid coverage on coated paper.
  10. Describe various impositions for sheetfed and web offset presses.
  11. Print a series of jobs using a variety of different impositions.
  12. Explain how an infrared (IR) dryer works and the advantages and disadvantages of its use.
  13. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of ultraviolet (UV) coating/printing.
  14. Describe the use of color-controlled lighting in press sheet evaluation.

C. Process Color

  1. Describe the difference between process and spot color inks.
  2. Identify common problems in color reproduction and describe the solutions.
  3. Describe the differences encountered in printing a process color job on coated and uncoated paper.
  4. Print a process color job on uncoated paper.
  5. Print a process color job on coated paper.
  6. Interpret color bars on a press sheet to determine corrective actions, if necessary.
  7. Using color bars and a densitometer, measure solid ink density and tone value increase (TVI).

D. Printing Standards/Color Management

  1. Describe color densitometry/spectrophotometry principles and applications.
  2. Describe and apply industry standards, such as Specifications for Non-Heatset Advertising Printing (SNAP), General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography (GRACoL), and Specifications for Web Offset Publications (SWOP), etc.
  3. Adjust inking and/or dampening system so that solid ink density matches print specifications (SNAP, GRACoL, SWOP, etc.).
  4. Understand fountain chemistry requirements, including conductivity and pH.
  5. Demonstrate the use of pH strips or meters and modify fountain chemistry accordingly.
  6. Use conductivity and pH meters and interpret readings.
  7. Set up, mix, and test ink for printing using color chart for mixing requirements.

E.Workflow and Automation

  1. Describe the use of a press console in offset press operations.
  2. Describe the use of Job Definition Format (JDF) in offset press operations.

F. Paper Characteristics

  1. Describe paper characteristics as they relate to offset printing.
  2. Identify various varnishes and coatings and describe the reasons for using each.

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