Process technicians working in manufactured mineral products industries control the process operations of the plant and equipment used to produce ceramic, clay, glass, cement and concrete products such as bricks, tiles, pottery, cement, lime, paving blocks and glassware.
Process technicians may…
assess what needs to be done and allocate duties to equipment operators
consult with management to coordinate activities
prepare and measure raw materials
feed raw materials and processing agents into plant machinery
set controls and operate machinery
check instruments and equipment to ensure correct operation, and be aware of any abnormal operating conditions
monitor maintenance requirements and arrange for equipment to be serviced
take samples for testing, test products and record process data
move materials by hand or using a forklift
provide written reports on plant operation and product levels
liaise with operators, technologists and management
Many manufactured mineral products plants utilise instruments and systems that are computer-controlled.
Process technicians may specialise as a…
Cement Process Technician who controls processes that produce cement, lime and clinker (glazed brick; slag; or fused ash). These processes may involve the operation of continuous feeding equipment such as pumps and conveyors; temperature and pressure gauges or physical indicators such as oil levels; operate kilns or grinding equipment.
Ceramics Products Process Technician who controls processes that produce floor and wall tiles, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, pottery and figurines. Equipment used includes computers and a variety of devices such as sandblasters, airwipes, brick core tips, and cutting, grinding and polishing equipment.
Clay Products Process Technician who controls processes that produce clay products such as bricks, tiles, insulators, porcelain and pottery ware using machines to shape and fire products. Equipment used includes dies, ores, ring and cutter assemblies; automatic cut-off knives or wires to cut extruded clay; vertical or horizontal lathes to cut and shape unfired clayware or similar materials; and kilns.
Glass Products Process Technician who controls processes to make molten glass and shape glassware products such as containers, sheet glass, structural or stained glass, glass lenses or prisms.
Pre-cast Concrete Products Process Technician who controls processes that produce moulded concrete products such as cement pipes and fittings, concrete railway sleepers, concrete bricks, tiles and paving blocks, structural beams, building panels and cast products. Equipment used includes automatic stacking machines, splitters or cubers; rollers; concrete spreading devices; pipe moulds to harden concrete and remove water; and slurry and clinker mills and pumps.
Pre-mixed Concrete Products Process Technician who controls processes to produce batches of concrete from cement, sand, aggregate, water and other ingredients.
be interested in practical and mechanical work
be able to work as part of a team
possess leadership ability
be able to follow written instructions
be physically fit
possess mathematical aptitude
possess good problem-solving and analytical skills
possess good communication skills
have an aptitude for computerised work
possess good hand coordination
Process technicians work in production areas that may be noisy, hot, dusty and at times contain fumes, however the work environments are generally spacious, ventilated and well lit. The majority of their work may be spent standing and they sometimes work shifts.
Process technicians will usually work in a team and because of the nature of their work safety awareness and compliance with regulations is important. They must be aware of safety regulations and must wear supplied protective equipment.
To work as a process technician you will usually require a Certificate IV in Manufactured Mineral Products .
You can work at even higher levels within this occupation and sector. With experience, and possibly further training, you can work as a technologist or at a para-professional level assisting engineers.
Of course you can continue to progress further along a career pathway that could see you in a number of senior management positions.
For detailed information about earnings, job and employment prospects for this occupation, go to the Australian JobSearch Careers page and click on Job Outlook .
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