Gravure Machine Operator or Lithographic Machine-minder

Gravure machine operators are in charge of printing machines and are primarily responsible for making the necessary adjustments to ensure the highest quality of printing possible.

Gravure machine operators’ tasks include the setting up of the printing machine, using printing cylinders prepared by photogravure engravers. They also clean the inking system and oil the machine; lock the printing cylinder into position on the machine; and fill the ink trough and regulate the flow of ink. They thread the paper through the machine guides and rollers; adjust the rollers and cutting mechanisms, then set and adjust the scraper blade to remove excess ink from the cylinder surface. Finally, a trial run is made to check legibility and printing uniformity.

When everything is in order, the machine is restarted and brought to full speed to commence printing. The printing, folding and cutting procedures also need to be checked for correct functioning.


  • commercial printing plants

  • book and magazine publishers

  • newspaper plants

  • stationery and envelope manufacturers

  • government departments e.g. government printing works

  • manufacturers and other firms that do their own printing

Getting Started

  • consult the Registrar of Manpower Training concerning learnership programmes in your area

  • try to obtain vacation work at a printing factory

  • speak to a gravure machine operator about this type of work


College of Cape Town , Eastcape Midlands TVET College, Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Lovedale Public TVET College, Mauritius Institute of Training and Development, Tshwane North TVET College, Vuselela TVET College

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