Career summary

Details for Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Description

Set up, operate, or tend machines to extrude or draw thermoplastic or metal materials into tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.

Tasks

  • Measure and examine extruded products to locate defects and to check for conformance to specifications, adjusting controls as necessary to alter products.
  • Determine setup procedures and select machine dies and parts, according to specifications.
  • Start machines and set controls to regulate vacuum, air pressure, sizing rings, and temperature, and to synchronize speed of extrusion.
  • Reel extruded products into rolls of specified lengths and weights.
  • Install dies, machine screws, and sizing rings on machines that extrude thermoplastic or metal materials.
  • Change dies on extruding machines according to production line changes.
  • Clean work areas.
  • Troubleshoot, maintain, and make minor repairs to equipment.
  • Weigh and mix pelletized, granular, or powdered thermoplastic materials and coloring pigments.
  • Test physical properties of products with testing devices such as acid-bath testers, burst testers, and impact testers.
  • Load machine hoppers with mixed materials, using augers, or stuff rolls of plastic dough into machine cylinders.
  • Maintain an inventory of materials.
  • Adjust controls to draw or press metal into specified shapes and diameters.
  • Replace worn dies when products vary from specifications.
  • Select nozzles, spacers, and wire guides, according to diameters and lengths of rods.
  • Operate shearing mechanisms to cut rods to specified lengths.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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