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Details for Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Set up, operate, or tend machines, such as glass forming machines, plodder machines, and tuber machines, to shape and form products, such as glassware, food, rubber, soap, brick, tile, clay, wax, tobacco, or cosmetics.


  • Clear jams, and remove defective or substandard materials or products.
  • Measure arbors and dies to verify sizes specified on work tickets.
  • Remove materials or products from molds or from extruding, forming, pressing, or compacting machines, and stack or store them for additional processing.
  • Activate machines to shape or form products such as candy bars, light bulbs, balloons, or insulation panels.
  • Adjust machine components to regulate speeds, pressures, and temperatures, and amounts, dimensions, and flow of materials or ingredients.
  • Couple air and gas lines to machines to maintain plasticity of material and to regulate solidification of final products.
  • Examine, measure, and weigh materials or products to verify conformance to standards, using measuring devices such as templates, micrometers, or scales.
  • Feed products into machines by hand or conveyor.
  • Install, align, and adjust neck rings, press plungers, and feeder tubes.
  • Measure, mix, cut, shape, soften, and join materials and ingredients such as powder, cornmeal, or rubber in order to prepare them for machine processing.
  • Monitor machine operations and observe lights and gauges in order to detect malfunctions.
  • Pour, scoop, or dump specified ingredients, metal assemblies, or mixtures into sections of machine prior to starting machines.
  • Press control buttons to activate machinery and equipment.
  • Remove molds, mold components, and feeder tubes from machinery after production is complete.
  • Review work orders, specifications, or instructions to determine materials, ingredients, procedures, components, settings, and adjustments for extruding, forming, pressing, or compacting machines.
  • Select and install machine components such as dies, molds, and cutters, according to specifications, using hand tools and measuring devices.
  • Turn controls to adjust machine functions, such as regulating air pressure, creating vacuums, and adjusting coolant flow.
  • Clean dies, arbors, compression chambers, and molds, using swabs, sponges, or air hoses.
  • Complete work tickets, and place them with products.
  • Disassemble equipment to repair it or to replace parts such as nozzles, punches, and filters.
  • Ignite burners to preheat products, or use torches to apply heat.
  • Move materials, supplies, components, and finished products between storage and work areas, using work aids such as racks, hoists, and handtrucks.
  • Notify supervisors when extruded filaments fail to meet standards.
  • Record and maintain production data such as meter readings, and quantities, types, and dimensions of materials produced.
  • Send product samples to laboratories for analysis.
  • Swab molds with solutions to prevent products from sticking.
  • Synchronize speeds of sections of machines when producing products involving several steps or processes.
  • Thread extruded strips through water tanks and hold-down bars, or attach strands to wires and draw them through tubes.


  • 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.


  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


  • 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.

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