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Details for Chemical Plant and System Operators


Description

Control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.

Tasks

  • Move control settings to make necessary adjustments on equipment units affecting speeds of chemical reactions, quality, and yields.
  • Monitor recording instruments, flowmeters, panel lights, and other indicators, and listen for warning signals, in order to verify conformity of process conditions.
  • Control or operate chemical processes or systems of machines, using panelboards, control boards, or semi-automatic equipment.
  • Record operating data such as process conditions, test results, and instrument readings.
  • Confer with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety, efficiency, and product quality.
  • Draw samples of products, and conduct quality control tests in order to monitor processing, and to ensure that standards are met.
  • Regulate or shut down equipment during emergency situations, as directed by supervisory personnel.
  • Start pumps to wash and rinse reactor vessels, to exhaust gases and vapors, to regulate the flow of oil, steam, air, and perfume to towers, and to add products to converter or blending vessels.
  • Interpret chemical reactions visible through sight glasses or on television monitors, and review laboratory test reports for process adjustments.
  • Patrol work areas to ensure that solutions in tanks and troughs are not in danger of overflowing.
  • Notify maintenance, stationary-engineering, and other auxiliary personnel to correct equipment malfunctions and to adjust power, steam, water, or air supplies.
  • Inspect operating units such as towers, soap-spray storage tanks, scrubbers, collectors, and driers to ensure that all are functioning, and to maintain maximum efficiency.
  • Direct workers engaged in operating machinery that regulates the flow of materials and products.
  • Turn valves to regulate flow of products or byproducts through agitator tanks, storage drums, or neutralizer tanks.
  • Calculate material requirements or yields according to formulas.
  • Gauge tank levels, using calibrated rods.
  • Repair and replace damaged equipment.
  • Defrost frozen valves, using steam hoses.
  • Supervise the cleaning of towers, strainers, and spray tips.

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.
  • 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

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • 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.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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