Skills Press Line Operator - Rubber Products Manufacturing in Canada

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a press line operator - rubber products manufacturing in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Rubber processing machine operators and related workers (NOC 9423).

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation. This section will be updated soon.

  • Read technical information on chemical labels to understand which chemicals best bind different grades of rubber to aluminum. (1)
  • Read memos on bulletin boards. (2)
  • May read letters of complaints outlining faults in processes or products. (2)
  • May read bulletins outlining new equipment safety information. (2)
  • Read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to be informed about the safe handling, storage and disposal of hazardous inks and solvents. (3)
  • Read machinist handbooks for instructions on lathing aluminum and rubber and how to cut angles and grooves, operate machinery and identify and fix minor problems. (3)
Document use
  • Read labels on materials, products, gauges and machines. (1)
  • Complete time and production sheets, showing days and hours worked and jobs completed. (1)
  • Read invoices including the customer's name, job specifications and deadlines. (2)
  • Read recipes of ingredients to mix. (2)
  • Read tire rejection reports which indicate reasons for rejecting tires. (2)
  • May refer to charts of exposure rates for different types of materials. (2)
  • Complete sample reports, filling out the lot number, colour, production time, weight and material used for each product sample. (2)
  • May read tables in machinist handbooks indicating lathe settings and mathematical calculations to set up machines correctly. (3)
  • Read blueprints to determine the depth, width, angle and placement of grooves on rubber coated aluminum wheels, building and grinding requirements for rubber rolls or dimensions of wheels to be built. (3)
  • Read assembly drawings when repairing, assembling or maintaining machines. (3)
  • Read schematic drawings of machines to obtain information about valves. (3)
  • Take messages for co-workers or record order information from customers. (1)
  • Write notes to themselves to keep track of tasks to accomplish. (1)
  • Write notes to supervisors or mechanics about machine malfunctions or safety problems (1)
  • Write production reports which outline the time taken to complete processes and the weight of materials. (1)
  • Complete sales orders recording the number of items ordered, the price and the delivery date and fill out shipping documents for couriers when mailing products to customers. (1)
  • Enter details of jobs in job logs for future reference, listing company names and work details, such as sizes of rolls, grooving and gearing details. (2)
  • May write instructions for changes in procedures and adjustments which should be made following a disruption in production. (3)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • May write price quotations for customers, calculating prices, taxes and delivery dates of products. (2)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May monitor production costs by keeping track of the use of materials. (1)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May measure diameters of wheels being built and the thickness of rubber that has been laid on wheels. (1)
  • May read temperature and pressure gauges on the mixing machine, making adjustments as required to ensure that the rubber is being mixed in conformance with prescribed parameters. (1)
  • May weigh plates before and after they are placed in chemical baths to determine the quantities of chemicals that must be added to the bath to maintain the desired concentration of active chemicals. (2)
  • May determine how many grooves can be chiselled onto the surface of a wheel with a non-standard diameter by using a formula to calculate the number of grooves. (2)
  • May use micrometers to measure the diameter of newly-built or polished rolls in order to ensure they are within the specified size range required by the customer. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • May calculate the average number of scraps per run or "washout rates" for production lines to ensure that etching baths are at the correct concentration of chemicals. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate the number of skids required for a day's work. (1)
  • May estimate the amount of rubber to remove when grinding rubber coatings on wheels to the right diameter on lathes. (1)
  • May estimate the length of time and amount of pressure required for rolls to be processed in vulcanizers, based on the amount of material in the roll and the type of rubber used. (2)
Oral communication
  • Speak with delivery staff to let them know when orders can be shipped out. (1)
  • Interact with supervisors to receive and clarify instructions and discuss job priorities and problems. (1)
  • Talk with customers regarding the particulars of their order, such as what inks should be used or their requirements for stamps. (1)
  • Talk to co-workers to discuss jobs in progress and to provide information regarding the use of machines or correct procedures to follow, such as the correct centre to use when stripping down rolls. (2)
  • Discuss product options with customers. (2)
  • Communicate with suppliers to obtain information on prices and on product use, quality and availability. (2)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • May receive batches of bad material. They have to recognize the incompatible quality of the material and call manufacturers for test results before using it. (1)
  • May find that some moulded materials are defective in colour or texture. They must ensure that these materials are isolated from the high quality products and reprocessed. (2)
  • May encounter mechanical problems when operating machines. They may refer to manuals, if problems are not too complicated, or call mechanics. (2)
  • Encounter time pressures to complete jobs. They determine the most efficient way to complete the products involved, which might include replacing tools to complete the job faster. (2)
  • May notice mistakes, such as plates not being exposed properly. Through a process of elimination and by reference to experience, they trace problems to a single factor, such as a low concentration of chemical or a bad light bulb. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide on the quantity of supplies needed for the next workday. (1)
  • Decide whether to increase or reduce the temperature of the mixer when making rubber and whether to decrease the amount of time poly is to be exposed to ultraviolet light. (2)
  • Decide whether blistered products are acceptable to be shipped. Decisions are based on the use to be made of the product. (2)
  • Decide what materials to order and in what quantities. (2)
  • Make decisions about what pressures to use when vulcanizing rubber. (2)
  • Decide when a tire is not in good enough shape to be saved and should be marked as scrap. (2)
  • Decide when to make production shifts in tread designs for tires, based on their knowledge of customer orders and priorities. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Rubber processing machine operators and related workers perform repetitive tasks daily. They determine the order and priority of work tasks based on customer orders and deadlines. They are interrupted frequently by customer calls and rush orders which may require work to be re-scheduled. Operators usually work on their own machines, although they co-ordinate their activities with co-workers. They plan what materials and machines will need to be used the next day and organize their workstations accordingly. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember details of current jobs being produced so work sheets do not have to be continually referenced.
  • Remember preheat times for particular types of rubbers.
  • Remember correct procedures and settings for the wrapping of rolls, based on experience with different materials used.
Finding Information
  • Refer to catalogues and manuals or telephone suppliers directly to find out about particular products or pieces of equipment. (1)
  • Refer to WHMIS documents when using a new product to understand how to safely handle, store and dispose of it (1)
  • Seek help from co-workers on how to do certain work processes. (2)
  • Refer to a book of specifications and to different recipes when making rubber. (2)
  • When confronted with complex new jobs, refer to notes they have made about previous jobs to determine whether they are repeat jobs and what gearings and processes were used previously. (2)
Digital technology
  • Use other computer applications. For example, they may monitor variations in production quality by interpreting numerical readings on computer screens. They may enter new production parameters or codes into the computer in response to alarms or obvious production faults. (1)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Rubber processing machine operators usually work independently. Occasionally, when finishing rush orders, they may work alone. Rubber processing machine operators may work with partners, such as when keeping the tension of nylon high while the lathe spins, wrapping large rubber coated wheels with nylon. Work teams may be used to lift and move heavy objects. Some rubber processing machine operators are members of an assembly line team.

Continuous Learning

Rubber processing machine operators and related workers have an ongoing need to learn. For example, they may learn about new machines and materials by reading trade magazines and manuals, consulting senior operators, watching new processes or taking college machinist programs. They may be required to take courses relating to work health and safety.

Labour Market Information Survey
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