A flexo press operator is a person who operates a flexo printing press. The flexo press operator works in a type of printing called flexography. Flexography is a method to print images from a raised printing plate onto fabric, plastic bags, textiles, cartons, and labels. There are five different types of printing press that a flexo press operator can work with: stack, central impression cylinder, inline, and newspaper flexographic presses.
A flexo press operator knows how to operate and set up a flexographic printing press. The operator adjusts the speed of the press. Flexo press operators can mount printing plates and cylinders into the printing press, and fill the dye font with ink. Operators feed the flexographic press with the material that is going to be printed on, so they can lift boxes of materials that can weigh at least 10 pounds and weigh over 100 pounds. Flexo press operators must to able to read job orders that gives them specific instructions on what the printing should look like. The flexo press operator is responsible for producing the entire printing job correctly. The operator is also responsible for cleaning the work area that surrounds the printer.
Skills of Flexo Press Operators
Attention to detail is one of the most important skills a flexo press operator should have. The operator has to read job orders that specify the types of ink, plate and material that should be used for the printing. If anything goes wrong, the press operator must fix it. Good math skills are essential to this job. At times, the operator might have to cut sheets into individual pieces, so they have to know how to cut the material precisely according to the client specification.
A high school diploma or general education degree is usually required by employers. College degrees aren't required, but some community colleges offer programs in flexography. Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina offers a two year associate degree in graphic arts or a certificate in flexography, for example. Companies that hire flexo press operators require one to five years experience of working a flexographic printing press.
Pay can start at $10.00 an hour and go up to or over $30.00 and hour, as of July of 2011.