Press Operator

FIRST Press Operator Certification

POC_copyrightThis certification is designed for press operators wanting to gain an expert proficiency of the flexographic printing process. After successfully completing this 3-level program, students will have a solid understanding of FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances) and how it applies within their daily routine of press operations, specifically how to:

  • Achieve optimal results for consistency & color/tone accuracy
  • Measure & control print variables
  • Effectively manage inks, substrates, plates & other press components
  • Identify methods to reduce waste
  • Utilize process control techniques throughout the workflow
  • Evaluate press conditions & perform proper maintenance
  • Streamline communication with internal/external customers & suppliers
  • Enhance personal productivity during press make-ready
  • Ensure each element within the workflow complies with FIRST methodology
Level I:  6 weeks, self-paced – Sign up online
Level II: 12 weeks, self-paced – Sign up online
Level III: 12 weeks, self-paced – Sign up online

FIRST Methodology

FIRST supports the methodical approach to process control, optimization, fingerprinting, characterization and process improvement as outlined in CGATS TR 012-2003 (Graphic Technology – Color Reproduction and Process Control for Packaging Printing). While each organization may use its own workflow based upon its specific needs, there are certain fundamentals universal to the flexographic printing process. With a firm understanding and application of the FIRST methodology, flexographers can: identify potentially troublesome issues, benchmark press performance, utilize statistical analysis to maintain optimal conditions, perform accurate device calibrations, identify improvement opportunities and preserve stable conditions for repeatable results –all with the end result of satisfactorily reproducing the graphic design.

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