Small Equipment Operator Career

*A job as a Small Equipment Operator falls under the broader career category of Print Binding and Finishing Workers. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

Job Description for Print Binding and Finishing Workers : Bind books and other publications or finish printed products by hand or machine. May set up binding and finishing machines.

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Print Binding and Finishing Worker Career

What Print Binding and Finishing Workers do:

  • Read work orders to determine instructions and specifications for machine set-up.
  • Trim edges of books to size, using cutting machines, book trimming machines, or hand cutters.
  • Lubricate, clean, or make minor repairs to machine parts to keep machines in working condition.
  • Examine stitched, collated, bound, or unbound product samples for defects, such as imperfect bindings, ink spots, torn pages, loose pages, or loose or uncut threads.
  • Set up or operate machines that perform binding operations, such as pressing, folding, or trimming.
  • Prepare finished books for shipping by wrapping or packing books and stacking boxes on pallets.
  • Maintain records, such as daily production records, using specified forms.
  • Set up or operate glue machines by filling glue reservoirs, turning switches to activate heating elements, or adjusting glue flow or conveyor speed.
  • Monitor machine operations to detect malfunctions or to determine whether adjustments are needed.
  • Stitch or glue endpapers, bindings, backings, or signatures, using sewing machines, glue machines, or glue and brushes.
  • Install or adjust bindery machine devices, such as knives, guides, rollers, rounding forms, creasing rams, or clamps, to accommodate sheets, signatures, or books of specified sizes.
  • Train workers to set up, operate, and use automatic bindery machines.
  • Set up or operate bindery machines, such as coil binders, thermal or tape binders, plastic comb binders, or specialty binders.
  • Punch holes in and fasten paper sheets, signatures, or other material, using hand or machine punches and staplers.
  • Cut binder boards to specified dimensions, using board shears, hand cutters, or cutting machines.
  • Form book bodies by folding and sewing printed sheets to form signatures and assembling signatures in numerical order.
  • Cut cover material to specified dimensions, fitting and gluing material to binder boards by hand or machine.
  • Design original or special bindings for limited editions or other custom binding projects.
  • Repair, restore, or rebind old, rare, or damaged books, using hand tools.
  • Meet with clients, printers, or designers to discuss job requirements or binding plans.
  • Insert book bodies in devices that form back edges of books into convex shapes and produce grooves that facilitate cover attachment.
  • Bind new books, using hand tools such as bone folders, knives, hammers, or brass binding tools.
  • Compress sewed or glued signatures, using hand presses or smashing machines.
  • Perform highly skilled hand finishing binding operations, such as grooving or lettering.
  • Imprint or emboss lettering, designs, or numbers on book covers, using gold, silver, or colored foil, and stamping machines.
  • Apply color to edges of signatures using brushes, pads, or atomizers.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Holland Code Chart for a Print Binding and Finishing Worker