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Details for Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders


Description

Operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.

Tasks

  • Draw smelted metal samples from furnaces or kettles for analysis, and calculate types and amounts of materials needed to ensure that materials meet specifications.
  • Drain, transfer, or remove molten metal from furnaces, and place it into molds, using hoists, pumps, or ladles.
  • Record production data, and maintain production logs.
  • Operate controls to move or discharge metal workpieces from furnaces.
  • Weigh materials to be charged into furnaces, using scales.
  • Regulate supplies of fuel and air, or control flow of electric current and water coolant to heat furnaces and adjust temperatures.
  • Inspect furnaces and equipment to locate defects and wear.
  • Observe air and temperature gauges or metal color and fluidity, and turn fuel valves or adjust controls to maintain required temperatures.
  • Observe operations inside furnaces, using television screens, to ensure that problems do not occur.
  • Remove impurities from the surface of molten metal, using strainers.
  • Kindle fires, and shovel fuel and other materials into furnaces or onto conveyors by hand, with hoists, or by directing crane operators.
  • Sprinkle chemicals over molten metal to bring impurities to the surface.
  • Direct work crews in the cleaning and repair of furnace walls and flooring.
  • Prepare material to load into furnaces, including cleaning, crushing, or applying chemicals, by using crushing-machines, shovels, rakes, or sprayers.
  • Scrape accumulations of metal oxides from floors, molds, and crucibles, and sift and store them for reclamation.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Related Careers

  • Bindery Workers
  • Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
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