Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

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Also known as:
Aluminum Molding Machine Operator, Blow Mold Operator, Compression Molding Machine Operator, Plastic Cup Fabricating Machine Operator

ABOUT METAL OR PLASTIC MOLDING, COREMAKING, OR CASTING MACHINE SETTER/OPERATOR CAREERS
Video transcript

Manufacturing plays a key role in our national economy. The label "Made in America" has come to stand for quality goods, made reliably and efficiently. So each person on the production line has to do their job well. Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setter, as well as operators and tenders for metal and plastic, are each trained to do a specific job.

The setters get the machines ready for operation. They are trained to adjust and set up specific equipment. The tenders operate the machines during production. These are skills that can be learned on the job. They require good hand-eye coordination, the ability to read and follow instructions, and, often, physical strength.

The work can be repetitive, requiring lifting and bending. The workplace can be noisy and distracting. Safety equipment such as earplugs may be required. Global competition, as well as advances in automation will make it more difficult to find this kind of work in the years ahead.

However, while job opportunities may become limited, the high expectations for quality will remain the same. Because even if what you're making is just a small piece of a larger item, the ultimate product is only going to be as reliable as its individual parts.

SNAPSHOT
Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
LOW
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Connect water hoses to cooling systems of dies, using hand tools.

Perform maintenance work such as cleaning and oiling machines.

Remove parts, such as dies, from machines after production runs are finished.

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.

Observe continuous operation of automatic machines to ensure that products meet specifications and to detect jams or malfunctions, making adjustments as necessary.

Turn valves and dials of machines to regulate pressure, temperature, and speed and feed rates, and to set cycle times.

Measure and visually inspect products for surface and dimension defects to ensure conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
AREAS OF 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.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
TOP SKILLS
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.