A day in the life of a Print Finisher apprentice

Josh Levett-Thomas

Print Finisher Apprentice, Hobbs

No two days are the same when you’re a print finisher, which is one of the things in the print industry that makes it unique. Before I start my shift I will usually confirm with my supervisor which specific machine I’ll be running for the day. Once this has been confirmed I’ll then be provided with a job plan detailing the jobs that need to be completed and sent out for delivery.

I normally have a discussion with my colleagues to make sure that the work on my list has been prepared and is ready for me to complete. Sometimes it may be down to me to turn it from a flat sheet all the way to a finished book.

Each job has a unique number so I will type that number into our imprint system and print out a works instruction.

The work instruction will provide me with up-to-date information about the job I’m going to do such as:

  • Size of the book?
  • How many pages the book consists of?
  • How it is bound?
  • If it requires a cover 
  • Where it is being delivered to?

Once I have this information I can set up my machine for the job and make the cartons ready to pack as well as the labels.

After I am satisfied that the machine is set and ready to run I ask my supervisor for some assistants to help me with the job.

Having an assistant on large machines is very beneficial for me as it allows me to monitor my machine correctly and efficiently.

One or two assistants will load the paper into the machine for binding and another one or two assistants will help me pack the books into boxes. These boxes will then need labels to detail what’s in the box and the box is then stacked.

On job completion, the pallet holding the finished job is taken over to the dispatch team to be processed for delivery.

Then it’s on to the next job!!