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What do Chemical Plant and System Operators do?

Control or operate entire chemical processes or system of machines.

What are the Main Tasks of Chemical Plant and System Operators?

  • Move control settings to make necessary adjustments on equipment units affecting speeds of chemical reactions, quality, or yields.
  • Monitor recording instruments, flowmeters, panel lights, or other indicators and listen for warning signals, to verify conformity of process conditions.
  • Control or operate chemical processes or systems of machines, using panelboards, control boards, or semi-automatic equipment.
  • Record operating data, such as process conditions, test results, or instrument readings.
  • Confer with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting safety, efficiency, or product quality.
  • Draw samples of products and conduct quality control tests to monitor processing and to ensure that standards are met.
  • Regulate or shut down equipment during emergency situations, as directed by supervisory personnel.
  • Start pumps to wash and rinse reactor vessels, to exhaust gases or vapors, to regulate the flow of oil, steam, air, or perfume to towers, or to add products to converter or blending vessels.
  • Interpret chemical reactions visible through sight glasses or on television monitors and review laboratory test reports for process adjustments.
  • Patrol work areas to ensure that solutions in tanks or troughs are not in danger of overflowing.
  • Notify maintenance, stationary-engineering, or other auxiliary personnel to correct equipment malfunctions or to adjust power, steam, water, or air supplies.
  • Inspect operating units, such as towers, soap-spray storage tanks, scrubbers, collectors, or driers to ensure that all are functioning and to maintain maximum efficiency.
  • Direct workers engaged in operating machinery that regulates the flow of materials and products.
  • Turn valves to regulate flow of products or byproducts through agitator tanks, storage drums, or neutralizer tanks.
  • Calculate material requirements or yields according to formulas.
  • Gauge tank levels, using calibrated rods.
  • Repair or replace damaged equipment.
  • Defrost frozen valves, using steam hoses.
  • Supervise the cleaning of towers, strainers, or spray tips.
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