Heat, shape, and cool metal and plastic.
What does a Heat Treat Operator do?
When someone turns off their alarm clock in the morning, pops a piece of bread into the toaster, and mixes up a smoothie in their blender, they’re using items created by Heat Treat Operators. As a Heat Treat Operator, you use complex knowledge of various metalworking machinery to create the metal and plastic parts found all around us. Without Heat Treat Operators, the world as we know it would cease to function.
On the job, you review the parts needed for the day’s order. Whether it’s little metal levers for microwaves or large metal pieces for a car, you must review charts and paperwork to determine the exact process for creating each piece.
Next, its off to the furnace to set the temperature and insert the raw metal. Understanding safety procedures, such as wearing safety glasses and picking up hot metal with tongs, is crucial for your own well-being. Once the machinery is at the correct setting and temperature and the materials inserted, you start timing.
Depending on the piece you’re making, your responsibilities vary from adjusting temperatures to dunking the parts in a chemical bath to cool and harden them. You write down each action, along with the current settings of the machines and the time. This ensures your work is accurate.
If necessary, the finished parts are cooled and treated with other chemicals to form the finished product. Then you box up each item and send it out for delivery. As you wind up your workday, you find satisfaction in having been a crucial behind-the-scenes player in keeping modern day technology functioning.