A molding and casting operator is someone who molds and casts material. The material molded and casted depends on the type of industry a person chooses to enter. Industries that need molding and casting vary enormously; candy making, ceramics, tile casting and cosmetics are a few examples of companies that utilize casting and molding. A worker in this field is also responsible for assembling and filling molds to create a particular product.
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The operation of heavy machinery is essential to the job duties of molding and casting personnel. Heavy machinery is used to trim molds, pour material into the molds, and insert materials into the molds. For example, watch-making requires very delicate instruments to be inserted into the mold before a cast is made. In the instance of candy-making, ingredients are added to the mold while hot and allowed to cool in the mold.
The worker is also responsible for inspecting molds and injected material to assure that the proper amount is being molded and cast. Molds are inspected to assure there are no cracks or seepage. Materials injected into molds are inspected for foreign material. Both types of inspection are necessary to producing a quality product. Monitoring of equipment and product production promotes safety and maintains high output of product.
Blueprints and technical drawings are read by the worker to assess production. These detailed outlines provide direction and information in molding and casting a product. The design or drawing is an accurate reproduction of the finished product and provides a schema toward product completion. Information in the blueprint may include revisions, materials needed for production and a list of abbreviations along with their meaning.
Molding and casting material requires a person willing to meet the physical demands of the job. Standing for long periods and a willingness to manipulate materials requires a hands-on approach. A person who enjoys working with different materials and molding them to specific product guidelines. A variety of materials are used for molding and casting. Concrete, tobacco, precious jewels and plastics are all material that a molding and casting operator would manipulate.
A person willing to be a team player is another aspect of this type of work. People work in teams to assure product quality and production. Therefore, the person who wants to work in molding and casting should get along well with others and willing to share credit for product production. People skills include a willingness to assist others in a team effort and to discuss potential problems as they arise. Some people work better alone and with little supervision. Molding and casting requires a willingness to work well with people and enjoy the experience in the process.
Dependability, reliability and responsibility are all valued skills of the person expected to work in a team environment. Others should be able to rely on the worker to get the job done in an appropriate and timely fashion. A team effort is required in this type of work and the individual must be willing to accept the responsibilities essential toward working as a productive team member. A team member is expected to apply his or her abilities and skills in completing joint projects.
Active listening skills and the ability to process written and spoken instructions are skills important to a mold and cast worker. Active listening requires the ability to pay close attention to the speaker and the information being discussed. The ability to process written and spoken instructions requires the individual to be able to think clearly about the information provided and the ability to process the information. An ability to competently follow-through with instructions is a skill necessary in molding and casting work.
Problem-solving is a skill necessary in molding and casting. Breakdowns in machinery require the ability to assess the problem and either repair the machinery or suggest repair solutions. Therefore, a working knowledge about heavy equipment and the production process is important to casting and molding work. In some cases, the operator may be required to do very small, intricate work. This type of work requires a strong mind for detail and the ability to work with hand tools, such as pliers or screwdrivers.
Experience is more important in this kind of work than a formal education. Some companies require a trade school certificate or an Associate’s degree in operating heavy equipment or deciphering blueprints. However, many industries do not require a post-secondary education and only require a general education diploma.
The workplace varies widely for this type of worker, just as the type of material to be manipulated differs according to the manufactured product. The workplace may be small, such as in producing clockwork or casting jewelry. Or a molding and casting operator may work in a very large factory setting, such as in the ceramic, tobacco or candy-making industries.
The average starting salary for molding and casting is about $32,000 annually with full benefits. The starting salary is dependent upon experience.