Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators/tenders operate and tend to machines which remove impurities from pickling units, such as kegs or barrels, glass containers, tin plates, plastic, rubber, and organic materials such as fruit, animal stock, or pulp. They use chemicals to maintain specific concentrations and solution-levels, clean machines, and drain and refill tanks at regular intervals, and they also draw and submit samples for lab analysis and test solutions to ensure they conform to set standards, including proper levels of acidity and gravity. They may monitor the operations of machinery, gauges, and thermometers and make adjustments to maintain specific conditions, as well as set controls for regulation of temperature and length of cycles. They also operate conveyors, agitators, and pumps and examine machines to prevent and detect malfunctions and record readings, processing times, test results, and materials used.
These equipment operators/tenders use a variety of tools, including adjustable wrenches, scrapers, mops, scrubbers, grease guns, hammers, hand sprayers, stirring rods, mixers, pipe and tube cleaners, pressure and steam cleaners, power buffers, screwdrivers, vacuum hoses, water pumps, scissor lifts, pallet trucks, forklifts, and vacuum trucks. They may also use office equipment, such as computers and printers, and data entry, spreadsheet, and word processing software.
Other skills for this position include monitoring the equipment and performance of those working with pickling equipment and making quick and repeated adjustments on machines to specific positions. Manual dexterity is necessary for frequent hand-motions, including grasping, manipulating, and assembling, and close attention to detail and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time are also important in this position. Physical strength is also necessary for frequent bending, climbing, lifting, walking, and handling materials.
Work is usually performed in food manufacturing or preserving plants, scientific research/development services, chemical manufacturing plants, and specialty food production environments, usually in an industrial or factory setting, and they typically report to a supervisor or manager. They usually work full-time during regular business hours, and some weekend work and flexibility in shifts may be necessary. A high school diploma and knowledge of food production techniques, including appropriate storage and handling techniques of food for human consumption, are required for this position, and prior experience in the field is highly beneficial.
Cleaning, Washing, and Metal Pickling Equipment Operator / Tender Tasks
Wash and remove impurities from items such as barrels or kegs, plastic, rubber, and glass products.
Draw samples for laboratory analysis and test solutions for conformance to specifications.
Measure, weigh, and mix cleaning solutions.
Drain, clean, and refill machines or tanks at designated intervals.