Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as 'building blocks' because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Workers in this unit group operate rubber processing machinery and assemble and inspect rubber products. They are employed by tire manufacturers and other rubber products manufacturing companies.
- May receive batches of bad material. They have to recognize the incompatible quality of the material and call manufacturers for test results before using it. (1)
- May find that some moulded materials are defective in colour or texture. They must ensure that these materials are isolated from the high quality products and reprocessed. (2)
- May encounter mechanical problems when operating machines. They may refer to manuals, if problems are not too complicated, or call mechanics. (2)
- Encounter time pressures to complete jobs. They determine the most efficient way to complete the products involved, which might include replacing tools to complete the job faster. (2)
- May notice mistakes, such as plates not being exposed properly. Through a process of elimination and by reference to experience, they trace problems to a single factor, such as a low concentration of chemical or a bad light bulb. (3)
- Decide on the quantity of supplies needed for the next workday. (1)
- Decide whether to increase or reduce the temperature of the mixer when making rubber and whether to decrease the amount of time poly is to be exposed to ultraviolet light. (2)
- Decide whether blistered products are acceptable to be shipped. Decisions are based on the use to be made of the product. (2)
- Decide what materials to order and in what quantities. (2)
- Make decisions about what pressures to use when vulcanizing rubber. (2)
- Decide when a tire is not in good enough shape to be saved and should be marked as scrap. (2)
- Decide when to make production shifts in tread designs for tires, based on their knowledge of customer orders and priorities. (3)
Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Rubber processing machine operators and related workers perform repetitive tasks daily. They determine the order and priority of work tasks based on customer orders and deadlines. They are interrupted frequently by customer calls and rush orders which may require work to be re-scheduled. Operators usually work on their own machines, although they co-ordinate their activities with co-workers. They plan what materials and machines will need to be used the next day and organize their workstations accordingly. (2)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember details of current jobs being produced so work sheets do not have to be continually referenced.
- Remember preheat times for particular types of rubbers.
- Remember correct procedures and settings for the wrapping of rolls, based on experience with different materials used.
- Refer to catalogues and manuals or telephone suppliers directly to find out about particular products or pieces of equipment. (1)
- Refer to WHMIS documents when using a new product to understand how to safely handle, store and dispose of it (1)
- Seek help from co-workers on how to do certain work processes. (2)
- Refer to a book of specifications and to different recipes when making rubber. (2)
- When confronted with complex new jobs, refer to notes they have made about previous jobs to determine whether they are repeat jobs and what gearings and processes were used previously. (2)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Rubber processing machine operators usually work independently. Occasionally, when finishing rush orders, they may work alone. Rubber processing machine operators may work with partners, such as when keeping the tension of nylon high while the lathe spins, wrapping large rubber coated wheels with nylon. Work teams may be used to lift and move heavy objects. Some rubber processing machine operators are members of an assembly line team.
Rubber processing machine operators and related workers have an ongoing need to learn. For example, they may learn about new machines and materials by reading trade magazines and manuals, consulting senior operators, watching new processes or taking college machinist programs. They may be required to take courses relating to work health and safety.