Chemical Plant and System Operators Job Description video

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Whether the product is photographic film, pesticides, prescription drugs, or food, the chances are that it uses one of the 50,000 different chemical substances manufactured by workers in the chemical industries. Operating from a control booth, chemical plant and systems operators use gauges and computer readouts to monitor and control the entire production process. They make sure that chemicals are mixed in the correct ratios, and that reaction rates, temperatures, and many other variables are on target. However, this is not nearly as "routine" as it sounds. Chemistry is based in science, but at the industrial scale, it is still an art. And like all artists, chemical plant and systems operators must know everything about their materials—and how they will react under various conditions. After all, not every batch of raw materials received is uniformly pure, and moisture content can vary with the weather. These and dozens of other factors can affect any chemical process. Computers can help. But in the end, it is the experience, skill, and seasoned judgment of chemical plant and systems operators that insure the uniform quality of the product. It has been said that chefs are just chemists with starched aprons and tall hats. Chemical plant and systems operators wear rubber aprons and hard hats, and they "cook" their batches tens of thousands of gallons at a time. But in the end, like any great chef, they are true artists capable of producing uniform results in their products —regardless of what they are given to work with. And that's the real challenge –and satisfaction—of becoming a chemical plant and systems operator.

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