What does a Heat Treating Equipment Setter, Operator, and Tender, Metal and Plastic do?

Set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, soaking pits, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, anneal, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.

Jobs Roles

  • Read production schedules and work orders to determine processing sequences, furnace temperatures, and heat cycle requirements for objects to be heat-treated.
  • Record times that parts are removed from furnaces to document that objects have attained specified temperatures for specified times.
  • Set up and operate or tend machines, such as furnaces, baths, flame-hardening machines, and electronic induction machines, that harden, anneal, and heat-treat metal.
  • Determine types and temperatures of baths and quenching media needed to attain specified part hardness, toughness, and ductility, using heat-treating charts and knowledge of methods, equipment, and metals.
  • Remove parts from furnaces after specified times, and air dry or cool parts in water, oil brine, or other baths.
  • Position stock in furnaces, using tongs, chain hoists, or pry bars.
  • Instruct new workers in machine operation.
  • Adjust controls to maintain temperatures and heating times, using thermal instruments and charts, dials and gauges of furnaces, and color of stock in furnaces to make setting determinations.
  • Determine flame temperatures, current frequencies, heating cycles, and induction heating coils needed, based on degree of hardness required and properties of stock to be treated.
  • Load parts into containers and place containers on conveyors to be inserted into furnaces, or insert parts into furnaces.
  • Mount workpieces in fixtures, on arbors, or between centers of machines.
  • Set up and operate die-quenching machines to prevent parts from warping.
  • Move controls to light gas burners and to adjust gas and water flow and flame temperature.
  • Reduce heat when processing is complete to allow parts to cool in furnaces or machinery.
  • Signal forklift operators to deposit or extract containers of parts into and from furnaces and quenching rinse tanks.
  • Test parts for hardness, using hardness testing equipment, or by examining and feeling samples.
  • Position plastic sheets and molds in plastic bags, heat material under lamps, and force confrontation of sheets to molds by vacuum pressure.
  • Examine parts to ensure metal shades and colors conform to specifications, using knowledge of metal heat-treating.
  • Cover parts with charcoal before inserting them in furnaces to prevent discoloration caused by rapid heating.
  • Repair, replace, and maintain furnace equipment as needed, using hand tools.
  • Start conveyors and open furnace doors to load stock, or signal crane operators to uncover soaking pits and lower ingots into them.
  • Heat billets, bars, plates, rods, and other stock to specified temperatures preparatory to forging, rolling, or processing, using oil, gas, or electrical furnaces.
  • Clean oxides and scales from parts or fittings, using steam sprays or chemical and water baths.
  • Place completed workpieces on conveyors, using cold rods, tongs, or chain hoists, or signal crane operators to transport them to subsequent stations.
  • Stamp heat-treatment identification marks on parts, using hammers and punches.
  • Set and adjust speeds of reels and conveyors for prescribed time cycles to pass parts through continuous furnaces.
  • Mount fixtures and industrial coils on machines, using hand tools.
  • Attach wire or metal to winding mechanisms that will pull parts through furnaces.
  • Place parts on carts, connect vacuum lines to vacuum tubes, and smooth bags around parts to ensure vacuum.
  • Position parts in plastic bags, and seal bags with irons.
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