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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operators (9441)

Textile dyeing and finishing machine operators operate machines to bleach, dye or finish yarn, thread, cloth or textile products. They are employed by textile manufacturing companies.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read notes from customers to comply with special requests, such as a requirement that material be from the same batch. (1)
  • Read brief memos from management about changes to policies or procedures. (2)
  • Read formulation sheets for dyes to obtain such information as chemical composition and mixing instructions. (2)
  • May read trade magazines to stay abreast of new equipment and techniques. (2)
  • Read operations and safety manuals to troubleshoot equipment problems, to verify procedures and to comply with health and safety regulations. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read signs on machines to follow operating procedures and labels on fabric and supplies to obtain content information. (1)
  • Complete forms, such as packing slips and formulation sheets, to record shipping and production data. (2)
  • Read work orders to process specific customer requests regarding such details as colour and length. Work orders are more complex to interpret when customers have their own fabric identification codes. (3)
  • Refer to tables showing colour samples and dyeing formulae to obtain mixing instructions and verify the colour correctness. Accuracy is important to minimize mixing errors. (3)
  • Read and interpret artist design sketches to be imprinted on material to determine the priority of colour to be imprinted and ensure the design is correctly placed on the fabric. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write supply lists to replenish the storeroom. (1)
  • Fill in tickets when rolling up fabric to document its colour, weight and length. (1)
  • Write in production log books to record information for inventory and accounting purposes, such as batch number, piece number, colour, fabric grade and type of material. (1)
  • Complete job reports to record production data, such as start and finish times, and any changes made to dyeing formulae. (1)
  • May write minutes for safety meetings. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May set and monitor production schedules to ensure that deadlines are met. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May measure material to correctly position artist drawings for printing. (1)
  • Convert between the imperial and metric measurement systems (e.g., yards to meters). (2)
  • Measure out quantities and volumes of dyes and chemicals which may involve doubling or quadrupling amounts specified in mixing instructions, to process-specific orders. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the volume of ink required to complete a printing job, following a preset procedure with a limited number of factors to consider. (1)
  • Estimate when to add the dye to a load within a margin of plus or minus 15 minutes. (2)
  • Estimate the quantities and volumes of dyes and chemicals required to create customized batch colours, considering factors such as the type and quantity of material to be dyed. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • May listen to a public address system for pages. (1)
  • Communicate with co-workers to co-ordinate work and exchange information on such technical matters as colour and grading. (2)
  • Speak with supervisors to receive instructions, provide progress reports and troubleshoot production problems. (2)
  • May liaise with suppliers to obtain information on colours and inks. (2)
  • May interact with co-workers to provide training. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • A design was inadequately transferred to the fabric due to an inferior quality of ink. Screen-printing operators reprint as many times as needed to produce a design of acceptable quality. (1)
  • A piece of fabric gets ripped during the dying process. Depending on the length of the rip, finishing machine operators address the problem by either cutting out the rip or ticketing the fabric to note the flaw. (2)
  • A web of cloth is missing a tag. Finishing machine operators rely on their experience to identify the web of cloth, consulting co-workers as needed. (2)
  • The fabric is not taking the colour as it should. Dyers attempt to correct the problem by adding more chemicals, leaving the fabric in the vats longer or raising the temperature of the water. If the problem is not resolved, the dyer contacts the supervisor. (2)
  • A customer requests an atypical colour-fabric combination. Dyers develop customized dyeing formulae, considering such variables as fabric density and duration of mixing, and assess the results. (3)

Decision Making

Finishing Machine Operators
  • Decide whether to accept or reject defective material, considering the nature of the defect. (2)
  • Decide how to set up their machines to match the fabric at hand. (2)
  • Decide when to shut machines down when problems arise such as grabbing or run lines in material. They take into consideration how much material will be wasted before the problem can be solved, and how much money and time will be lost during the shutdown. (3)
  • Decide whether the size of a feature needs to be changed so that it fits better onto a piece of material. There is little or no consequence of error. (1)
  • Decide which pieces of fabric to use for dyeing, considering such factors as the lightness of the colour and the cleanliness of the fabric. (1)
  • Decide whether the final product is of sufficiently high quality to be forwarded to a customer. (2)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Textile dyeing and finishing machine operators perform repetitive tasks with supervisors establishing their priorities. In their daily work, they have some scope to sequence tasks to maximize efficiency and respond to disruptions caused by technical problems. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Memorize frequently used formulation sheet recipes and colour numbers to maximize efficiency by avoiding having to look this information up.
  • Remember how many pieces have already been done and how many more are yet to be done.
  • Remember what caused a pump to fail in the past in order to take preventive measures.
Finding Information
  • Consult co-workers, such as the secretary or head shipper, to clarify orders. (1)
  • Ask their supervisor for technical advice to solve production problems. (2)
  • Look up information about equipment, dyeing or finishing in manuals. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use computer-controlled equipment. No knowledge of software is required. For example, they may set the job parameters on computer-controlled dyeing and finishing machines. (1)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Textile dyeing and finishing machine operators work independently as part of a production team. They may work with a partner or helper to process large orders. They co-ordinate with supervisors and co-workers as necessary to meet production goals and priorities.

Continuous Learning

Textile dyeing and finishing machine operators have a small need for ongoing learning to stay abreast of new fabric blends, equipment and textile processing. New learning is acquired as part of their regular work activity and, in particular, by supervisory coaching.

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