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Plating Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Set up, operate, or tend plating machines to coat metal or plastic products with chromium, zinc, copper, cadmium, nickel, or other metal to protect or decorate surfaces. Typically, the product being coated is immersed in molten metal or an electrolytic solution.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Immerse workpieces in coating solutions or liquid metal or plastic for specified times.
    • Adjust dials to regulate flow of current and voltage supplied to terminals to control plating processes.
    • Inspect coated or plated areas for defects, such as air bubbles or uneven coverage.
    • Set up, operate, or tend plating or coating machines to coat metal or plastic products with chromium, zinc, copper, cadmium, nickel, or other metal to protect or decorate surfaces.
    • Maintain production records.
    • Observe gauges to ensure that machines are operating properly, making adjustments or stopping machines when problems occur.
    • Remove objects from solutions at periodic intervals and observe objects to verify conformance to specifications.
    • Remove excess materials or impurities from objects, using air hoses or grinding machines.
    • Determine sizes and compositions of objects to be plated, and amounts of electrical current and time required.
    • Test machinery to ensure that it is operating properly.
    • Measure or weigh materials, using rulers, calculators, and scales.
    • Measure, mark, and mask areas to be excluded from plating.
    • Examine completed objects to determine thicknesses of metal deposits, or measure thicknesses by using instruments such as micrometers.
    • Immerse objects to be coated or plated into cleaning solutions, or spray objects with conductive solutions to prepare them for plating.
    • Read production schedules to determine setups of equipment and machines.
    • Suspend objects, such as parts or molds from cathode rods, or negative terminals, and immerse objects in plating solutions.
    • Suspend sticks or pieces of plating metal from anodes, or positive terminals, and immerse metal in plating solutions.
    • Adjust controls to set temperatures of coating substances and speeds of machines and equipment.
    • Rinse coated objects in cleansing liquids and dry them with cloths, centrifugal driers, or by tumbling in sawdust-filled barrels.
    • Monitor and measure thicknesses of electroplating on component parts to verify conformance to specifications, using micrometers.
    • Operate hoists to place workpieces onto machine feed carriages or spindles.
    • Position and feed materials into processing machines, by hand or by using automated equipment.
    • Position objects to be plated in frames, or suspend them from positive or negative terminals of power supplies.
    • Operate sandblasting equipment to roughen and clean surfaces of workpieces.
    • Spray coating in specified patterns according to instructions.
    • Clean and maintain equipment, using water hoses and scrapers.
    • Plate small objects, such as nuts or bolts, using motor-driven barrels.
    • Clean workpieces, using wire brushes.
    • Mix and test solutions, and turn valves to fill tanks with solutions.
    • Replace worn parts and adjust equipment components, using hand tools.
    • Place plated or coated materials on racks and transfer them to ovens to dry for specified periods of time.
    • Measure and set stops, rolls, brushes, and guides on automatic feeders and conveying equipment or coating machines, using micrometers, rules, and hand tools.
    • Position containers to receive parts, and load or unload materials in containers, using dollies or handtrucks.
    • Attach nozzles, position guns, connect hoses, and thread wire to set up metal-spraying machines.
    • Perform equipment maintenance, such as cleaning tanks and lubricating moving parts of conveyors.
    • Install gears and holding devices on conveyor equipment.
    • Preheat workpieces in ovens.
    • Cut metal or other materials, using shears or band saws.

    Skills

    • Operation Monitoring

      Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

    • 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.

    • Monitoring

      Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

    WorkKeys®

    Applied Math
    4
    Workplace Documents
    4
    Graphic Literacy
    4

    Abilities

    • Control Precision

      The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

    • Near Vision

      The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

    • Arm-Hand Steadiness

      The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

    Knowledge

    • Production and Processing

      Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    • 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.

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    Pay

    • Ohio Annual Salary 34850/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 16.76/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 3,660
    • Yearly Projected Openings 330

    Typical Education

    Personality

    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Cooperation
    • Achievement/Effort
    • Integrity
    • Self Control

    Tools

    • Forklifts
    • Conveyor system
    • Calipers
    • Ammeters
    • Air dryers

    Technology

    • Spreadsheet software
    • Procurement software
    • Electronic mail software
    • Computer aided design CAD software
    • Compliance software

    Tags

    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.

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