Career summary

Details for Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Description

Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.

Tasks

  • Measure and visually inspect products for surface and dimension defects to ensure conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments.
  • Observe continuous operation of automatic machines to ensure that products meet specifications and to detect jams or malfunctions, making adjustments as necessary.
  • Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
  • Turn valves and dials of machines to regulate pressure, temperature, and speed and feed rates, and to set cycle times.
  • Read specifications, blueprints, and work orders to determine setups, temperatures, and time settings required to mold, form, or cast plastic materials, as well as to plan production sequences.
  • Observe meters and gauges to verify and record temperatures, pressures, and press-cycle times.
  • Connect water hoses to cooling systems of dies, using hand tools.
  • Remove parts, such as dies, from machines after production runs are finished.
  • Perform maintenance work such as cleaning and oiling machines.
  • Smooth and clean inner surfaces of molds, using brushes, scrapers, air hoses, or grinding wheels, and fill imperfections with refractory material.
  • Operate hoists to position dies or patterns on foundry floors.
  • Cool products after processing to prevent distortion.
  • Install dies onto machines or presses and coat dies with parting agents, according to work order specifications.
  • Unload finished products from conveyor belts, pack them in containers, and place containers in warehouses.
  • Remove finished or cured products from dies or molds, using hand tools, air hoses, and other equipment, stamping identifying information on products when necessary.
  • Obtain and move specified patterns to work stations, manually or using hoists, and secure patterns to machines, using wrenches.
  • Select and install blades, tools, or other attachments for each operation.
  • Repair or replace damaged molds, pipes, belts, chains, or other equipment, using hand tools, hand-powered presses, or jib cranes.
  • Inventory and record quantities of materials and finished products, requisitioning additional supplies as necessary.
  • Select coolants and lubricants, and start their flow.
  • Adjust equipment and workpiece holding fixtures, such as mold frames, tubs, and cutting tables, to ensure proper functioning.
  • Maintain inventories of materials.
  • Position and secure workpieces on machines, and start feeding mechanisms.
  • Trim excess material from parts, using knives, and grind scrap plastic into powder for reuse.
  • Mix and measure compounds, or weigh premixed compounds, and dump them into machine tubs, cavities, or molds.
  • Spray, smoke, or coat molds with compounds to lubricate or insulate molds, using acetylene torches or sprayers.
  • Preheat tools, dies, plastic materials, or patterns, using blowtorches or other equipment.
  • Pour or load metal or sand into melting pots, furnaces, molds, or hoppers, using shovels, ladles, or machines.
  • Clamp metal and plywood strips around dies or patterns to form molds.
  • Pull level and toggle latches to fill molds, to regulate tension on sheeting, and to release mold covers.
  • Skim or pour dross, slag, or impurities from molten metal, using ladles, rakes, hoes, spatulas, or spoons.
  • Shape molds to specified contours, using sand, and trowels and related tools.
  • Assemble shell halves, patterns, and foundry flasks, and reinforce core boxes, using glue, clamps, wire, bolts, rams, or machines.

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

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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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