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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 9461a Occupation: Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Process control and machine operators in this unit group operate multi-function process control machinery and single-function machines to process and package food and beverage products. They are employed in fruit and vegetable processing plants, dairies, flour mills, bakeries, sugar refineries, meat plants, breweries, and other food and beverage processing establishments. Process control and machine operators in this unit group operate multi-function process control machinery and single-function machines to process and package food and beverage products. They are employed in fruit and vegetable processing plants, dairies, flour mills, bakeries, sugar refineries, meat plants, breweries, and other food and beverage processing establishments.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read notes outlining the types and quantities of products to be processed. (1)
  • Read company rules and regulations. (2)
  • Read memos from the office regarding production schedules. (2)
  • Read changes in brewing procedures. (2)
  • Read machine manuals to learn how to care for and repair the processing machines. (3)
  • Read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to locate information about the handling and cleanup of spills. (3)
  • Read food handling manuals to stay current on sanitation and hygiene. (3)
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Writing
  • Write reminder notes and "to do" lists for the incoming shift. (1)
  • Write memos to the maintenance department to request repairs. (1)
  • Write notations in a report book, for example, to indicate vibrations in equipment or high temperatures which have triggered alarms. (1)
  • Write cleaning log reports to record specific tasks and times, such as "grain bin hosed out - 11:00 a.m." (1)
  • Write reports to supervisors to provide information on production problems and the sequence of events that led up to them. (2)
  • Write recipe sheets when changes are being made to ingredients or quantities. (2)
  • Write up procedures to keep track of steps in an operation. (2)
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Document Use
  • Read product codes for ingredients and packaging materials. (1)
  • Read pressure and temperature gauges on tanks. (1)
  • Obtain information from pictures and icons on the computer screen. (1)
  • Read safety signs and symbols posted throughout the plant. (1)
  • Read graphs to determine if the air level in cans is within an acceptable range. (2)
  • Read lists of ingredients and recipe formula printouts indicating the amount of ingredients required for batches of different sizes. (2)
  • Complete Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) labels when pouring cleaning chemicals from one container to another. (2)
  • Complete production record forms by entering codes for weight and taste. (2)
  • Fill in order forms to obtain ingredients from suppliers. (2)
  • Read computer charts which show which products are running from which tank and at what temperature. (2)
  • Complete work schedules. (2)
  • Read a schematic diagram of the production process on the computer screen, with a flashing light indicating the part of the process presently in progress. (2)
  • Record information in tables listing all ingredients used and their weights. (3)
  • Complete bar graphs to show the efficiency of current hourly production when compared to a standard hourly rate set by the company. (3)
  • Read assembly drawings of machines to understand cleaning and maintenance functions. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use computer applications. For example, use computer-controlled machinery programmed to check which tanks contain which products and to control time, temperatures and tank cleaning schedules. (1)
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Oral Communication
  • Interact with suppliers to discuss orders or to resolve supply difficulties. (1)
  • Discuss equipment failures with engineers, millwrights or mechanics. (2)
  • Communicate with supervisors to clarify instructions or report equipment problems. (2)
  • Interact with the quality control manager to discuss possible improvements to processes. (2)
  • Exchange information with co-workers about processes and production levels. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure the thickness of products, for example, a pizza pop. (1)
  • Weigh products to determine packaging requirements. (1)
  • Measure quantities of liquid and dry ingredients for recipes or batches. (1)
  • Calculate the volume of syrup, sugar or water from levels shown on a tank. (2)
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Data Analysis
  • Read lab test results to determine if a product falls within specifications for that product, for instance 30 percent butterfat content. (1)
  • Calculate the average usage of ingredients such as salt, sugar and dough over various time periods to verify if the machines are performing consistently. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the distance of hoses from pumping mechanisms when connecting hoses to different pumps. (1)
  • Estimate how many empty bottles will be required to empty the dispensing machine. (2)
  • Estimate how much bottle filling is required for an eight hour shift based on a number of variables, such as whether the machines are running well, how many mixes can be completed per hour and how many staff will be available for the whole shift. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Process control and machine operators in food and beverage processing receive instructions from their supervisors on a daily basis. The tasks are repetitive, with some interruptions caused by machine breakdowns or supply shortages. Since processing is a step by step procedure, tasks are performed in the same order every day. (2)
  • Since processing is generally part of a streamlined, assembly line operation, process control and machine operators co-ordinate their work activities with workers who are part of the same production team. They organize their tasks with strict time lines in mind to respect the schedules of packaging and shipping personnel. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide whether to pull dented cans off the line. (1)
  • Decide whether to reject a whole batch of a product when a foreign object is found in one small portion of a mix. (2)
  • Decide when to shut down a machine which is performing poorly, taking into account the consequences on production. (2)
  • Decide when to change flavours in a production run. (2)
  • Decide how to modify a product to make it more appealing to customers' tastes. Make this decision based on past experience with other products and based on consulting sources such as recipe books and magazines. If the modification is not a good one, the result will be lost money for the company. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • The bread crust is wrinkled. It may be necessary to change the thickness on a rolling machine or reset the pressure on the machine moulds. (1)
  • The grain "hangs up" and does not enter the slide to the brewing vats. Place vibrating equipment to open the slides and free the grain. (1)
  • There is an incorrect percentage of butterfat in a dairy product, placing it in violation of government regulations on fat content. The problem may be resolved by making another batch of the product and then mixing the two to get the correct level. (2)
  • A complete computer shutdown has occurred which makes the screens go blank and which automatically halts the process. Call maintenance immediately, performing some steps manually in the interim, if possible. (3)
  • Equipment malfunctions or machine failures have occurred. Repairs may be attempted or, in some cases, maintenance personnel may be called in for assistance. It may be necessary to arrive at creative solutions such as using scrap parts if a supplier cannot supply the needed part immediately. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Refer to ingredient lists to identify ingredients which might be harmful to people with food allergies. (1)
  • Consult a recipe book for a recipe which has not been used recently. (1)
  • Get information on syrup mixes from a computer database. (1)
  • Read articles in culinary magazines to find specific information to improve the recipes they are presently using. (2)
  • Contact product testers at a supplier's laboratory to discuss problems encountered when using a product. (2)
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