What does a Metal-Refining Furnace Operator and Tender do?

Operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.

Jobs Roles

  • Draw smelted metal samples from furnaces or kettles for analysis, and calculate types and amounts of materials needed to ensure that materials meet specifications.
  • Drain, transfer, or remove molten metal from furnaces, and place it into molds, using hoists, pumps, or ladles.
  • Record production data, and maintain production logs.
  • Operate controls to move or discharge metal workpieces from furnaces.
  • Weigh materials to be charged into furnaces, using scales.
  • Regulate supplies of fuel and air, or control flow of electric current and water coolant to heat furnaces and adjust temperatures.
  • Inspect furnaces and equipment to locate defects and wear.
  • Observe air and temperature gauges or metal color and fluidity, and turn fuel valves or adjust controls to maintain required temperatures.
  • Observe operations inside furnaces, using television screens, to ensure that problems do not occur.
  • Remove impurities from the surface of molten metal, using strainers.
  • Kindle fires, and shovel fuel and other materials into furnaces or onto conveyors by hand, with hoists, or by directing crane operators.
  • Sprinkle chemicals over molten metal to bring impurities to the surface.
  • Direct work crews in the cleaning and repair of furnace walls and flooring.
  • Prepare material to load into furnaces, including cleaning, crushing, or applying chemicals, by using crushing machines, shovels, rakes, or sprayers.
  • Scrape accumulations of metal oxides from floors, molds, and crucibles, and sift and store them for reclamation.
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