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Plastics and Composites Processor

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

Also known as Plastics Technician, Gun Hand, Fibreglass Laminator, Injection Moulder Operator, Extrusion Operator, Blow-moulder Operator and Flexible Film Processor.

Plastics and composites processors handle machinery that manufactures or finishes plastic or composite products by injection moulding, extrusion, blow moulding, blow film extrusion and other processes.

They may also finish, repair, and refinish damaged products.

Plastics and composites processors may work in one of the following industry areas: injection moulding, pipe and profile extrusion, blow moulding of plastic bottles, film and sheet extrusion, thermoforming and fabrication, reinforced plastics (fibreglass) and composites, vinyl calendering, laminating, compounding and reclamation, foam processing and cable manufacturing.

Plastics and composites processors may have to wear special safety equipment such as masks, gloves, glasses, ear protection and protective clothing, especially when using spray guns.

Some of the tasks involved in composites production may require working in confined spaces.

Plastics and composites processors may be required to work shifts.

TASKS

    Plastics and composites processors may perform the following tasks:

  • check machine settings and safety devices before their operation, set controls and start machines
  • mix and prepare materials to be moulded
  • prepare moulds or tooling for required lay-up
  • interpret material requirements and quantities for required lay-up
  • regulate the machine temperatures, pressures and speeds of operation of manually operated and semi-automatic equipmentextract mouldings and extrusions, cut off waste material, and trim and finish moulded components in accordance with machine cycle and quality specifications
  • assemble, install, or secure moulded-in components
  • control feeding devices for wire and cable coating
  • control blending, compounding and drying equipment
  • maintain production and quality assessment records
  • apply surface coatings to moulds
  • apply core materials like foam, balsa and honeycomb structures to the laminate
  • apply resin/reinforcement matrix by hand or by machine
  • adjust resin chemicals for current conditions
  • use and select required ionising techniques for combining materials
  • trim and finish parts for assembly or final bonding
  • keep up to date with new and emerging technologies

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • aptitude for technical activities
  • able to work as part of a team
  • safety-conscious
  • enjoy working with machinery

Interest Area

Manual/Practical

EDUCATION & TRAINING


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

You can work as a plastics and composites processor without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

You can also become a plastics and composites processor through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Engineering Composites Trade, Polymer Processing or Process Manufacturing.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Manufacturing, Metal and Engineering or Plastics, Rubber and Cablemaking Training Packages that will expand your career opportunities within these industries.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Plastics and composites are increasingly replacing more traditional materials like steel and wood in many everyday products such as motor vehicles, aircraft, bicycles, furniture and household appliances. People with design flair and people who are good at solving practical problems are in particular demand.

Plastics and composites processors are often employed in small to medium-sized manufacturing companies, making products or components for the aerospace, marine, construction, water and recycling industries. Experienced workers sometimes set up their own companies and others may work on a subcontract basis doing a broad range of composites work. Work on products such as boats, surfboards and swimming pools can be seasonal.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Plastics and Composites Processor Composites Australia Inc.


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