What Do Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Do?
Extruding and forming machine operators and tenders are crucial employees at many factories and other industrial settings. You’ll set and control the equipment which molds and shapes pliable raw materials into final products for sale, or into parts to be assembled into products. Depending on the nature of the company, you’ll work with a variety of substances and ingredients, everything from food such as doughs or chocolate; to glass and metal, rubbers and plastics, and other man-made polymers, in order to produce candy bars, toys, light bulbs or any number of other products.Like many industrial jobs, the American market is slowly shrinking, expected to drop by 3% from 2012 to 2022. However, due to turnover there will still be new jobs, with an estimated 1,920 opening every year nationwide in industrial centers.
Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Skills and Abilities
Machine operators and tenders require both mental and physical skills to competently operate equipment. You’ll need mechanical know-how as well as a good understanding of the different aspects of the production process, from raw materials to costs and distribution. Administrative and training knowledge is also important. To control the machinery, you must have good reaction times, eyesight and steady hands, as well as the ability to compare items against one another with speed and accuracy, in order to effectively quality control products.
Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Duties
Your primary responsibility as an extruding and forming machine operator will be to adjust industrial machines to the specifications required to shape raw materials into the configurations described in the work orders. You’ll need to measure and examine the component substances to verify they’re up to standards and to appropriately set the machinery. Depending on the type of production, you may have to prepare and set cutters, molds and dies, as well as adjust air pressure, coolant flow or other factors. You’ll ready the raw materials as needed, measuring, cutting and blending, and feed them into the equipment via a conveyor belt or by hand. When the machinery is operating, you’ll monitor its progress and deal with any blockages or interruptions.Once a product is shaped, you’ll remove it from the machinery and store it for shipping or send it for further processing. You’ll keep a record of production information like the number and dimensions of what’s produced. Cleaning and maintaining the equipment may also be your responsibility, including disassembling parts for repair or replacement.
Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Tools and Technology
Depending on the industry you may use a number of different extruding and forming machines, including:
- Glass forming machines
- Vulcanizer presses
- Extruders, plodder and tuber machines
You will also use equipment to measure raw materials and products, such as bench scales, micrometers and calipers.
Education and Training for Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
The majority of machine operator jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent. While most positions provide on-the-job training, it can be helpful for you to have experience in a factory or other industrial work.
Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Salary
Like most industrial positions, salaries can vary widely depending on the location. While the lowest paid positions may be below $20,000 a year, the average salary is $32,000, and experienced machine operators can make over $48,000 a year.
Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Jobs by Geography
Machine operator positions are most common in factories in industrial areas. The majority of jobs are in the Midwest, South and California, while the highest average salaries are found in the South and the West, including Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.