Several consumer products consist of metal and plastic parts. Machines operated by metal and plastic machine workers produce these parts. In general, injection molders set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or core making machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
After a machine is set up for production, an operator monitors the machine and its resulting products. Operators may be responsible in loading the machine with materials needed for production or adjust the speed of the machine during production depending on the volume requirement. They should periodically inspect the parts of the machine they operate with so that when they detect a minor problem, they could proceed with basic troubleshooting. However, if the repair is more serious, they should report immediately with a supervisor or contact the industrial mechanic to fix the problem.
The type of equipment they work with usually identifies setters, operators, and tenders. Injection molding duties generally vary with the size of the manufacturer and the type of machine operated. Although some workers specialize in one or two types of machinery, many personnel operate a variety of machines to adapt with increasing automation that allows controlling multiple machines at the same time.
In addition, some companies incorporate new production techniques, such as team-oriented manufacturing that require machine operators to rotate between different machines. While rotating assignments result to diverse works, it also trains workers to acquire a wider range of skills.
Why Become an Injection Molder
For starting injection molders, employers generally prefer applicants with high school diploma and post-secondary education is not required for this type of job because on the job training and experience will be enough to make skilled injection molders. If you possess good knowledge about plastic and metal properties, you could be on the right path on a fulfilling career. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the mean wage for injection molders is $14.71 per hour with an annual mean wage of $30,600 with the plastics product manufacturing industries having the highest level and concentration of employment in this occupation.
Injection Molder Work Environment
Nearly all metal and plastic molding machine operators work in manufacturing industries and perform their jobs in factories. These workers often operate powerful, high-speed equipment that could be dangerous, so they must observe safety guidelines. Operators usually wear protective gear, such as safety glasses, to shield them from flying particles of metal or plastic, earplugs to minimize the noise level of the machines, and steel-toed boots to protect their feet from falling heavy objects. Other mandatory safety equipment varies by work setting and machine such as respirators, which are common for employees in the plastics industry who work near materials that produce toxic fumes or dust. For injection molder's work schedules, factories normally hire full time workers and they work during regular business hours. Overtime work is very common, and because many manufacturers run their machinery for many hours a day, night shifts and weekend works are frequent.