Career summary

Details for Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders


Description

Operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.

Tasks

  • Regulate supplies of fuel and air, or control flow of electric current and water coolant to heat furnaces and adjust temperatures.
  • Draw smelted metal samples from furnaces or kettles for analysis, and calculate types and amounts of materials needed to ensure that materials meet specifications.
  • Weigh materials to be charged into furnaces, using scales.
  • Record production data, and maintain production logs.
  • Observe air and temperature gauges or metal color and fluidity, and turn fuel valves or adjust controls to maintain required temperatures.
  • Operate controls to move or discharge metal workpieces from furnaces.
  • Inspect furnaces and equipment to locate defects and wear.
  • Drain, transfer, or remove molten metal from furnaces, and place it into molds, using hoists, pumps, or ladles.
  • Kindle fires, and shovel fuel and other materials into furnaces or onto conveyors by hand, with hoists, or by directing crane operators.
  • Prepare material to load into furnaces, including cleaning, crushing, or applying chemicals, by using crushing machines, shovels, rakes, or sprayers.
  • Remove impurities from the surface of molten metal, using strainers.
  • Observe operations inside furnaces, using television screens, to ensure that problems do not occur.
  • Sprinkle chemicals over molten metal to bring impurities to the surface.
  • Direct work crews in the cleaning and repair of furnace walls and flooring.
  • Scrape accumulations of metal oxides from floors, molds, and crucibles, and sift and store them for reclamation.

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.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • 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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