What Do Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Do?
Factories all across America churn out tons of products in large quantities every day. During the production process, many materials need to be blended or mixed together. These materials could include explosives, chemicals, color pigments, animal feed, a variety of liquids and even tobacco. Mixing and blending machine operators are the people in charge of using large industrial machines to safely and effectively carry out this blending process.A three percent decline in the number of people working in this occupation is expected over the course of 10 years. Even so, there are a projected 3,390 job openings per year in the mixing machine operating business.
Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Skills and Abilities
In order to work as an operator, tender or setter of mixing and blending machines, you have to have some background knowledge of production and processing systems. You must know how to handle raw materials, as well as understand the basic principles of quality control and public safety. Your job will involve following formulas and recipes, so you’ll need a basic understanding of mathematics and chemistry. You will have to follow directions precisely in the order that they are written. You will also need to learn to operate and maintain the mixing equipment.
Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Duties
As a mixing machine operator, it will be up to you to ensure that products are mixed thoroughly and according to specifications. In order to fulfill this obligation, you may have to perform a range of tasks, including:
- Reading background information and technical instructions.
- Measuring and weighing ingredients.
- Safely pouring or dumping materials into machinery.
- Adding ingredients according in a specific sequence.
- Starting the equipment according to a prescribed process.
- Adjusting controls to set the equipment working in its optimal range.
- Monitoring equipment for safety and efficiency.
- Taking test samples.
- Mixing chemicals.
- Stopping machines and examining contents for proper consistency.
- Operating a system of valves, pumps and conveyors to move mixtures from one machine to another.
- Inspecting completed product and checking results against original specifications.
- Recording data.
- Using test equipment.
- Unloading mixtures from equipment.
- Thoroughly cleaning equipment.
- Clearing jams.
- Draining slurry into storage tanks.
- Maintaining equipment in good working order.
- Weighing or measuring finished products.
Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Tools and Technology
In addition to mixing and blending equipment, you will probably use some hand tools, such as screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, depth-measuring tools and bench scales. You may also need to use email, databases and other basic office software, such as word processors or spreadsheets.
Education and Training for Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
In general, mixing and blending machine operators only need a high school diploma to start, and there is a moderate amount of on-the-job-training required to come up to speed. No previous experience is usually needed to work in this occupation.
Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Salary
Most mixing machine workers in the United States earn between $10.22 and $25.92 per hour, which works out to $21,300 to $53,900 per year. The median wage, where half of all workers in this field earn more and half earn less, is $16.51 per hour or $34,300 per year.
Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Jobs by Geography
Alaska has both the highest percentage of expected openings in this field, at 34.9 percent, and the highest median wage, at $56,000 per year or $26.92 per hour. California, New York and Texas employ the most mixing machine operators, and of these three states, Texas expects the biggest increase in demand, at 16.4 percent.