National Application Center :: career details :: Plastic Molding and Casting Machine Operators and Tenders
Career Details :: Plastic Molding and Casting Machine Operators and Tenders
Operate or tend plastic molding machines, such as compression or injection molding machines, to mold, form, or cast thermoplastic materials to specified shape.
No previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a general office clerk even if he/she has never worked in an office before.
These occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some may require a formal training course to obtain a license.
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
- Observes meters and gauges to verify specified temperatures, pressures, and press-cycle times.
- Starts machine that automatically liquefies plastic material in heating chamber, injects liquefied material into mold, and ejects molded product.
- Turns valves and dials of machines to regulate pressure and temperature, to set press-cycle time, and to close press.
- Throws flash and rejected parts into grinder machine to be recycled.
- Signals coworker to synchronize feed of materials into molding process.
- Feels stiffness and consistency of molded sheeting to detect machinery malfunction.
- Pulls level and toggle latches to fill mold and regulate tension on sheeting and to release mold covers.
- Heats plastic material prior to forming product or cools product after processing to prevent distortion.
- Mixes and pours liquid plastic into rotating drum of machine that spreads, hardens, and shapes mixture.
- Weighs prescribed amounts of material for molded part and finished product to ensure specifications are maintained.
- Reports defect in molds to supervisor.
- Stacks molded parts in boxes or on conveyor for subsequent processing or leaves parts in mold to cool.
- Trims flashing from product.
- Breaks seals that hold plastic product in molds, using hand tool, and removes product from mold.
- Fills tubs, molds, or cavities of machine with plastic material in solid or liquid form prior to activating machine.
- Observes continuous operation of automatic machine and width and alignment of plastic sheeting to ensure side flanges.
- Removes product from mold or conveyor and cleans and reloads mold.
- Dumps plastic powder, preformed plastic pellets, or preformed rubber slugs into hopper of molding machine.
- Positions mold frame to correct alignment and tubs containing mixture on top of mold to facilitate loading of molds.
- Examines molded product for surface defects, such as dents, bubbles, thin areas, and cracks.
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General Work Activities
- Handling and Moving Objects
- Controlling Machines and Processes
- Monitor Processes, Material, Surroundings
- Performing General Physical Activities
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, Material
Frequent Work Context
- Degree of Automation
- Using Hands on Objects, Tools, Controls
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment