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.
This unit group includes other elemental occupations, not elsewhere classified, primarily concerned with the provision of services. Workers in these occupations are employed by a wide range of retail service establishments.
- May find that air temperature and humidity have created problems in product quality. They make adjustments in machinery. (1)
- May encounter electrical or hydraulic problems with machines. They check connections and call technicians if necessary. (2)
- May find that moulds are not filling properly. They review the operations to see if it is a mechanical or a processing problem and then take appropriate remedial action. (2)
- May find that some of the plastic parts being made do not meet specifications. They adjust machines to optimize the temperature of the plastic, the pressure of the injection process and the speed at which the plastic is fed into the machine. (3)
- Decide whether to run machinery that is faulty. (2)
- Decide whether to accept or reject products, consulting with supervisors if necessary. (2)
- Decide whether to increase or decrease the pressure and temperature in machines. This is done by periodically checking products as they emerge from the machines and considering how they can eliminate flaws. (3)
Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Plastics processing machine operators perform repetitive tasks, operating and maintaining machines and packaging products. The order and priority of job tasks are usually determined by supervisors who create the production schedules. Operators have some flexibility in determining the order of tasks, provided that deadlines are met. They co-ordinate their tasks with co-workers, such as those who produce the raw materials for the machines. Machine malfunctions, rush jobs or line breaks may interrupt the flow of work and lead to operators adjusting their priorities, in conjunction with their supervisors. Operators must organize their tasks effectively to respond to several needs at the same time.
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember the sequence of steps in machine setup when changing production runs.
- Remember how fast individual machines run and at what temperature.
- Remember troubleshooting procedures for solving problems with machines.
- Consult machine manufacturers to find out how to program changes on computerized machinery. (1)
- Refer to specification sheets to learn about materials, part sizes and tolerances for parts produced on machines. (1)
- Consult production schedules to obtain information on which machines will be used to produce different products. (2)
- Refer to machine manuals to troubleshoot or set up machines for new products. (2)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Plastics processing machine operators mainly work independently. They may work with a partner when doing preventive maintenance on machines or lifting materials and moulds. Although they all have their individual jobs, they form a team with other members of their shift.
Plastics processing machine operators continue to learn. They take first aid training and other safety related courses. They learn about new machinery and production procedures on the job through interaction with co-workers and supervisors.