A Day in the Life of a Thermoforming Machine Operator

Explore the day-to-day responsibilities of a Thermoforming Machine Operator.​

There are so many people, machines, and materials that go into the creation of a final product. Today, we explore one part of that process by peaking into the day-to-day responsibilities of a Thermoforming Machine Operator at our sister plant, TriEnda.

What does a Machine Operator Do?

We shadowed Shannon Horkan, who has worked as a Thermoforming Machine Operator at TriEnda for 8 years. As an operator, this position is responsible for taking measurements of finished products, loading the thermoforming machine, solving problems that the machine might have, and sometimes filling in as a finisher or helping the production team in other ways. The machine operator is crucial to the final product’s integrity because this position also assists in maintaining excellent quality control. “I make sure everything’s running within specifications even if the other operator checks.” Shannon said, she always double checks and constantly measures the finished products. Overseeing the machines to make sure everything is running smoothly and accurately. She will also adjust the machine if it is not up to par, which assures that our products are created on-time and with the highest level of quality.

What does their schedule look like?

Thermoforming Machine Operators usually follow the 2-2-3 schedule. The 2-2-3 schedule means that the employee would work 7 am – 7 pm for 2 days on, then get 2 days in a row off, and then again 7 am – 7 pm for 3 days. This schedule is often one of the employee’s favorite parts of the work because it allows them to have a significant amount of time off with their family both during the week and one the weekends, because of the rotating schedule.

What are the challenges they face?

There are challenges to every position, Shannon discussed some of her biggest obstacles at work with us, “There is constant change, if there is a problem it’s hard to know what the problem is because of how complex the machines are, there are so many factors that go into solving the problem.” A normal day as a machine operator includes paperwork if there is a new tool, otherwise the main task is making sure that the team is using the right routers and drills.

What do they enjoy most about their job?

Luckily, there are many up-sides to this position as well. Shannon discussed the benefits of having insurance, a 401k, and the stability of her position at KFI which make all the hard work worth it. Part of why many employees love working at Penda’s sister plant TriEnda, is also the rigorous nature of our production jobs, not only physically but also the mental challenges and problem solving makes the day-to-day duties interesting and engaging. At KFI we cultivate an environment that is safe, fun, and enjoyable which Shannon also noted, “My coworkers are my favorite part of my job, I like everybody I work with.”

Every KFI employee is an asset to our complete operation and we are always looking for hard working, positive people to add to our team. If you are interested in working with us, take a look at our careers page.