What does a Shoe Machine Operator and Tender do?

Operate or tend a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.

Jobs Roles

  • Study work orders or shoe part tags to obtain information about workloads, specifications, and the types of materials to be used.
  • Remove and examine shoes, shoe parts, and designs to verify conformance to specifications such as proper embedding of stitches in channels.
  • Perform routine equipment maintenance such as cleaning and lubricating machines or replacing broken needles.
  • Cut excess thread or material from shoe parts, using scissors or knives.
  • Turn screws to regulate size of staples.
  • Align parts to be stitched, following seams, edges, or markings, before positioning them under needles.
  • Turn setscrews on needle bars, and position required numbers of needles in stitching machines.
  • Switch on machines, lower pressure feet or rollers to secure parts, and start machine stitching, using hand, foot, or knee controls.
  • Collect shoe parts from conveyer belts or racks and place them in machinery such as ovens or on molds for dressing, returning them to conveyers or racks to send them to the next work station.
  • Position dies on material in a manner that will obtain the maximum number of parts from each portion of material.
  • Test machinery to ensure proper functioning before beginning production.
  • Operate or tend machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.
  • Draw thread through machine guide slots, needles, and presser feet in preparation for stitching, or load rolls of wire through machine axles.
  • Fill shuttle spools with thread from a machine's bobbin winder by pressing a foot treadle.
  • Load hot-melt plastic rod glue through reactivator axles, using wrenches, and switch on reactivators, setting temperature and timers to heat glue to specifications.
  • Staple sides of shoes, pressing a foot treadle to position and hold each shoe under the feeder of the machine.
  • Select and place spools of thread or pre-wound bobbins into shuttles, or onto spindles or loupers of stitching machines.
  • Hammer loose staples for proper attachment.
  • Turn knobs to adjust stitch length and thread tension.
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