Operator (Non-metallic minerals)Make IT - Qualifications
Operators in non-metallic mineral products industries operate plant and equipment to produce ceramic and clay products, glass, cement and concrete products such as bricks, tiles, pottery, cement, lime, paving blocks and glassware.
Non-metallic mineral products equipment operators may…
weigh, measure and mix ingredients
clean plant areas and clean and lubricate equipment
operate machines to combine and process ingredients or finish products
keep an eye on machine operations and adjust pressure, temperature, tension and other controls
collect samples for laboratory analysis
measure and test products
weigh and package products.
Non-metallic mineral products equipment operators may work in…
Cement production plant to produce cement, lime and clinker (glazed brick; slag; or fused ash). They may control the operation of continuous feeding equipment such as pumps and conveyors; adjust temperature and pressure gauges or physical indicators such as oil levels; operate kilns or grinding equipment.
Ceramics production plant, producing floor and wall tiles, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, pottery, figurines and a variety of industrial products. They may cut, grind and polish blocks to the desired shape; heat products in oil baths; fire products in kilns; or use cold processes for manufacture.
Clay production plant, producing clay products such as bricks, tiles, insulators, porcelain and pottery ware using machines to shape and fire products. They may select dies, ores, ring and cutter assemblies for installation; set controls on automatic cut-off knives or wires to cut extruded clay; operate vertical or horizontal lathes to cut and shape unfired clayware or similar materials; load, unload and operate kilns; adjust automatic machines according to patterns specified by work orders or drawings; check the flow of clay and clay products into machines; adjust valves and controls until products meet specifications.
Glass production plant, operating and controlling machines to make molten glass, and press or blow it into moulds to form or shape glassware products (e.g. bottles, jars and drinking glasses) as well as insulation and fibreglass products. They may process raw chemical and glass materials; process glass insulation products; handle glass fibres to form a continuous length and then change into a usable customer product; operate the controls of machinery either manually or from remote control centres; check conditions such as temperatures, pressures and gas compositions; adjust valves on furnaces to regulate the temperature of molten glass according to production specifications.
Kiln Operations using kilns or ovens to fire ceramics, and to dry and season wood products and timber. Kiln operators may inspect plant and check the performance of equipment, gauges and record readings; control temperature, heating times and ventilation in kilns or ovens; control rates of flow of ceramics and wood products into kilns; remove products and waste from kilns or ovens.
Concrete products manufacturing, operating plant and equipment to produce moulded concrete products such as pipes and fittings, concrete railway sleepers, concrete bricks, tiles and paving blocks, structural beams, building panels and cast products. They may operate automatic stacking machines, splitters or cubers; load items onto rollers; operate concrete spreading devices; spin pipe moulds to harden concrete and remove water; operate slurry and clinker mills and pumps; make prestressed and precast concrete products.
Pre-mixed Concrete, operating plant and equipment to produce batches of concrete from cement, sand, aggregate, water and other ingredients, or operate equipment to pump, cast and mould concrete. They may operate controls to transfer materials to gravity feed tanks; record and confirm batch details; work out composition and quantities of concrete; weigh quantities of cement, sand, gravel, other additives and water using manual scales or console controls; check position and rotation of concrete truck agitators, signal drivers to increase rotation speed and vary discharge of materials to achieve even mixing; signal end of discharging and assess the quality of mixed concrete; add pigments for colouring; operate computerised batching and allocating equipment; check casting and moulding machinery and equipment; assemble moulds; fabricate precast reinforcements; deliver concrete to sites.
be interested in practical and manual work
have an aptitude for problem solving
possess mechanical aptitude
be able to handle multiple tasks
be able to work as part of a team
be safety conscious
Non-metallic mineral products equipment operators 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. Some of their work may be spent standing and they sometimes work shifts.
Non-metallic mineral products equipment operators 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.
You can sometimes work as a non-metallic mineral products equipment operator without undertaking any formal training or qualifications however some employers will prefer that you do. To work as an equipment operator you will usually require a Certificate II in Manufactured Mineral Products .
With experience, and possibly some further training, mineral products equipment operators can become senior operators . This will usually require a Certificate III 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 in advanced trade or technician occupations, and also 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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