Polymer Process Technician

copyright by Ensinger Inc.

A Plastic Process Technician's primary job is to set up, monitor and troubleshoot plastic injection-molding machines. This requires specialized knowledge of materials, specific tools, and equipment. Troubleshooting tasks might include dealing with inconsistent material, faulty equipment, human error, and preventing defects from occurring. Moreover, they ensure injection molding machines, auxiliary equipment and connected automated systems are set to regulation parameters, meet quality standards and all production goals. On top of that Technicians provide feedback on mold design and assist tool and die makers to dial in each mold for optimal cycle time and quality and are able to apply all aspects of scientific molding. 

Q&A - Polymer Process Technician

What are my tasks as Polymer Process Technician?

Polymer Process Technicians can work as Blow Mold / Injection Mold or Extrusion Technicians.

  • Set up and take down an extrusion/blow mold line incl. cooling routes, puller operation and saw / guillotine set up 
  • Understands all components of an extruder/blow mold machine (motor, screw, die head), and error recognition on extrusion tooling, including cooling routes, puller operation and saw / guillotine
  • Start-up an extrusion/blow mold line and knowledge of material process PVC Compound / Regrind (Temperature and melt condition)
  • String-up an extrusion/blow mold line and bringing a profile up to shape (Evaluate flow sample) (Make a profile to keep wall thickness even)
  • Start-up, and adjust / trouble-shooting production lines until sale competency (Material process PVC / Regrind)
  • Quality Control: Visual inspections and dimensional checks
  • Monitor profile while running and make process adjustments as necessary to maintain product quality
  • Operating, adjustments of additional extrusion equipment
  • Knowledge of plastic material
  • Program and maintain mechatronics systems of the machines
  • Assemble sub-assemblies and components into machines and systems
  • Assemble and dismantle machinery, systems and plants, transport and secure
  • Monitor and troubleshoot processing problems
  • Perform preventive maintenance tasks, and document process changes

What will be taught in the classroom section of the program?

Classroom training will be conducted at CCAC's Mechatronics Lab at their Westhills Center every other Friday (apprentices will be paid during classroom training) to give our apprentices a real college experience. The curriculum for plastic apprentices includes classes from the Mechatronics occupation i.a. in basic electrical and their components, motor control, wiring, power distribution, hydraulics, pneumatics. On top of that students get additional classes in basic chemistry and plastics and extrusion/injection/blow molding.

What school participate in the Polymer Process program?

  • South Fayette High School
  • Riverside High School
  • Trinity High School
  • California Area High School
  • Belle Vernon High School
  • Washington High School
  • Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center
  • Freedom Area High School

Upon completion the apprentice receive:

  - Journeyman papers from the Dept. of Labor & Industry (issued through the GACC)

  - CCAC certificate in Mechatronics and Plastic Processing

  - Associates Degree from CCAC

  - Apprenticeship Certificate from the DIHK


Apprentices that finished the Polymer Process Technician work as: Extrusion Technician Blow Mold Technician Injection Mold Technician

From High School Student to Polymer Process Technician

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