Ergonomics in the Printing Industry eTool: Glossary
U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Safety & Health Administration,
Constitution Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC 20210, U.S.A.
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Angle of Attack
The angle formed by the face of the moving squeegee
blade and the plane of the screen, under pressure.
Due to the flexibility of the blade, this angle generally
differs from the squeegee angle, which is measured
without movement or pressure.
Anilox rolls generally are steel with ceramic coating.
Etched into the ceramic are cells that are used to
transfer controlled volumes of ink to the flexographic
printing plate. Between print jobs they must be cleaned
of ink. Anilox rolls used in narrow web presses typically
have face lengths up to around 30 inches. These rolls
are often installed and maneuvered by hand, and can
approach 100 pounds. Anilox rolls on wide web presses
are longer (typically up to 100 inches, but can be
much longer) and can weigh several hundred pounds.
They are typically moved with cranes or robotically
because of their weight and size. Anilox rolls on
corrugated presses are also very large and are normally
cleaned on-press. The design of corrugated presses
allows for separation of print units.
Anilox sleeves are used as a lighter alternative to
anilox rolls. They are also ceramic coated, but are
hollow and slide over steel cylinders which remain
on-press. They are placed on-press by injecting air
pressure into the cylinder. This provides a cushion
of air so that the sleeve can slide onto the cylinder
face from a shaft on a storage/transport cart. Once
in place on the cylinder on the press, the air pressure
is released, causing the sleeve to deflate resulting
in a total, uniform grip to the cylinder surface.
A rubber-coated fabric mounted on a cylinder that
receives the inked impression from the plate and transfers
(or offsets) it to the paper.
A stack of signatures strapped together for later use
in other binding and finishing operations.
Coater (Emulsion Applicator)
A printing screen with direct emulsion applied to
the fabric preparatory to exposing.
A tool with a rounded, sometimes slotted edge used for
evenly spreading sensitized emulsion on the fabric of
Where cut, trimmed, or folded printed pieces are assembled
in proper sequence to prepare printed materials for
further binding operations.
A set of power actuated or non-powered rollers configured
to move materials through a production process line
or between job stations.
Shaped Hand Posture
Positioning fingers and thumb in the form of
a "C" provides neutral postures for
fingers and thumb eliminating pinch grip. This
is the desired hand posture for using hand tools.
Figure 1. "C" shaped hand posture illustration.
- A thin, flexible, adjustable blade mounted parallel
against the anilox roll for the purpose of scraping
off excess ink.
A mechanical device for tensioning screen printing
fabrics over the screen frame, accurately and correctly.
An operation in which sheets, or pages are separated
so that individual pieces do not stick together.
A method of direct-rotary printing, using resilient
raised-image printing plates, affixed to variable-repeat
plate cylinders, inked by a roll or doctor blade-wiped
engraved metal or ceramic roll carrying fluid inks
to virtually any substrate.
The device on a screen printing press comprised of
a thin metal (or plastic) blade, which has the function
of spreading a thin film of ink uniformly over the
printing screen, in the opposite direction of and
preceding the printing stroke.
Machine that creases and scores printed sheets of
paper to particular specifications during binding
and finishing. The process itself is called folding.
The area that has been specially treated to receive
ink and repel water.
Fast drying fluid (water- or solvent-based) or paste-type
(UV cured) ink.
The process of periodically moving employees between
different jobs or tasks to minimize monotonous activities
and overexertion of particular muscles or tendons.
The jobs within the rotation should use differing
muscle-tendon groups allowing for rest and recuperation.
Tasks should be categorized based on parameters such
as high/low repetition, high/low force exertion, maintaining
awkward postures for prolonged periods, and the areas
of the body affected. The jobs within the rotation
should use differing muscle-tendon groups or alternate
between extremes of parameters such as high or low
force. This will provide the opportunity for "working"
rest and recuperation.
In small shops where a few employees
perform multiple tasks the opportunity to rotate may
not exist, but in these shops the variety of tasks
that are performed during the shift will provide a
built in rotation scheme. Workers in these shops should
look for chances to move between tasks where parameters
such as force can be altered between high and low.
In larger shops, where there is enough work for dedicated
stations, a formalized rotation scheme should be developed
which moves people between stations.
A device comprised of a vibrating table, the action
of which squares and neatly stacks a pile of sheets
The process of aligning or moving even sheets of paper
to a common edge to produce a neat stack.
A printing process in which the image carrier is chemically
treated so that the non-image areas are receptive
to water (i.e., dampening or fountain solution) and
repel ink, while the image areas are receptive to
ink and repel water.
Postures where the body is aligned and balanced, while
sitting or standing. The head is kept upright and
is not turned to either side more than about 30 degrees
or tilted forward or backward more than about 15 degrees.
When the worker is standing, the torso is not bent
more than 10 to 20 degrees from the vertical position
and the natural curves of the spine are maintained.
The pelvis and shoulders should face straight ahead
to avoid twisting the torso. The shoulders are relaxed
and knees slightly bent. The arms hang normally at
the side, with elbows close to the body. The elbows
are not bent more than about 90 degrees and the palms
face in toward each other and the center line of the
body. The wrists are in line with the forearms and
are not bent sideways, forward (towards the palm),
or backward (towards the back of the hand.) When the
worker is seated, the buttocks and feet are firmly
An indirect printing method in which the inked image
on a press plate is first transferred to a rubber
blanket that in turn transfers ("offsets")
the inked impression to a press sheet. In offset lithography,
the printing plate has been photochemically treated
to produce image areas and non-image areas receptive
to ink and water, respectively.
A flexible, relief printing plate made of either precast
sheet or liquid light-sensitive polymers. Photopolymer
plates require exposure to UV light during the platemaking
process to cure the raised image. This is followed
by washout of unusable portions and drying.
Flexographic printing plates are relief-printing plates
made of rubber or photopolymer. Rubber plates are
engraved or molded. Photopolymer plates require exposure
to UV light during the platemaking process. Plates
are mounted on plate cylinders.
A thin metal, plastic, or paper sheet that serves
as the image carrier.
A steel cylinder to which flexographic printing plates
are mounted, using a double-sided, sticky-back tape.
A flexographic printing plate formed as a sleeve,
in a continuous circle. The sleeve slides over a plate
The hoppers on a binder that are loaded with the signatures
to be bound into a book or magazine.
The steps required to transform an original image
into a format that is ready for reproduction by printing,
including such activities as art and copy preparation,
photography, image assembly, and platemaking.
The drying of screen printing sheets in racks, usually
in ambient temperatures, but also placed in a room
where temperatures are elevated.
The manual placing of screen printing sheets on racks
The time allowance for employees to establish the
amount of material they can safely handle using a
Printing screens conditioned for re-use by removal
of excess ink and stencil, and reconditioning if necessary
of the screen printing fabric to receive a new stencil.
(1) The process of removing both ink and stencil from
the screen fabric after a printing run in order to
reuse the fabric for a later job;
(2) the process of distilling used
solvents to obtain a reusable, cleaner solvent for
Substrate or printed product produced in a continuous
strip and wound uniformly around a central shaft or
The hollow center of a roll.
A mechanical device used to lift and/or move rolls
around the work area.
A metal rod placed in the hollow core of a roll used
to hold the roll in place while on a web press.
To compress or crease heavy substrate along the fiber
line to facilitate folding or tearing.
(1) Printing Screen: an assembly of stretched screen
printing fabric on a frame with stencil attached,
ready for printing;
(2) Halftone Screen: a transparent
glass sheet marked with cross-hatched design to be
placed before the camera film when photographing continuous
tone art to produce dot structure of the design in
the negative. Another type is produced photographically
on film with vignette dots. The latter is placed in
contact with the negative film.
(1) A term generally indicating screen printing fabric;
(2) that portion of the screen printing
fabric which can be counted or measured to identify
fineness or coarseness of the fabric.
A printing process which involves passing ink through
an open-weave screen fabric which is coated with a
stencil. The stencil blocks the non-image areas, allowing
the open areas of the fabric to pass ink to reproduce
A unit in which printing screens can be washed out
to remove ink residues after printing, or be reclaimed
completely by removing the stencil, usually by high
An offset lithographic printing press that prints
on individual cut sheets that are fed into the press
one at a time.
One or more printed sheets folded to form a multiple
page section of a book or pamphlet. Signatures are
most commonly grouped as four, eight, sixteen, or
thirty-two pages. Various combinations of multiple
page signatures create the full complement of pages
needed in the printed piece.
A dissolving, thinning or reducing agent. An additive
used to reduce viscosity of a screen printing ink,
generally. Specifically, a solvent is a liquid that
dissolves another substance such as resin.
A metal disc placed under a roll-off press to allow
for easier positioning or repositioning of a roll.
A tool used to force ink through the openings of a
screen printing stencil when in contact with a substrate,
consisting of a rubber or plastic strip or blade held
in the edge of a wooden or metallic handle.
The angle formed by the near-vertical axis of the
squeegees and the plane of the screen, measured when
the squeegee is in position, but no force or movement
has been applied.
A device attached to the delivery conveyor of a web
press that collects, compresses, and bundles printed
The component of a printing screen which controls
the design to be printed.
(v) The tensioning of screen printing fabric preparatory
to securing it to the printing frame, or by self-stretching
(n) the degree to which a material
can accommodate deforming tension.
A screen printing frame so constructed that after
the fabric is secured, additional stretch can be applied
by threaded rods bolts, cams, corner adjustments,
etc. Also called "retensionable frame".
Any base material with a surface that can be printed
or coated. This material may differ in shape and size.
Examples include paper, plastics, pressure sensitive
adhesive material (such as bumper stickers), textiles
of all kinds, metal, glass, ceramic, leather, and wood.
A rotary press that prints on a continuous web, or
ribbon, of substrate fed from a roll and threaded
through the press.
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