Machine Operator


HPI produces plastic injection-molded products for household storage such as carts and drawers, tubes, totes and other specialty products.  These products are made in various sizes and weights. 

Machine operators stand at presses where they retrieve the products off a drop conveyor or waist height conveyor, lift the product to inspect it, trim flash from the product using hand knives, assemble and tape corrugate boxes; pack the product into the boxes, tape the boxes shut and push the boxes away from the work station.   All jobs require the use of both hands. Operators are rotated between jobs / machines every three hours to avoid fatigue and repetitive motion injuries. With these rotations, operators are required to regularly work jobs that include assembly:  (1) assembling cart frames and inserting the drawers, (2) inserting a rope handle into a tub or (3) placing latches on totes.

Some job assignments require operators to work two machines simultaneously.  When assigned to lids or latches, operators will spend ½ their time at two machines.  This requires continual walking between the two machines and a fast pace of work.  

Machine cycle times vary with one unit being produced every 20 to 35 seconds.  The lowest cycle time is 16 seconds; the highest cycle time is 45 seconds. Pace of work at all machines is fast and sustained. 

The Chicago plant has 49 plastic injection molding presses that are dispersed over an ~250,000 square foot area.   Operators are required to work 12-hour shifts as follows:  two days on, three days off, three days on two days off.  HPI does not have 8-hour shifts for machine operators.

Operators  stand for their entire shift with the exception of a 30-minute lunch and two 15 minute breaks. 


  1. Read and follow written and visual instructions.
  2. Fold and tape corrugate boxes with a tape gun.
    Requires repeated bending, the use of both hands and firm hand grasping.
  3. Remove product from injection molding presses from conveyors of various heights.
    Requires repeated bending, reaching, twisting and lifting.
  4. Lift product and check for flaws against quality standards.
    Requires repeated use of hands and wrists with simple hand grasping and lifting from waist height.
  5. Remove excess flash from product with trimming tools.  
    Requires repeated use of both hands with firm hand grasping to hold hand tools and fine hand work. 
  6. Count number of items and place in boxes according to order specifications.
    Requires repeated bending, reaching, twisting and lifting and the use of both hands with simple hand grasping.
  7. Apply labels to product and boxes. 
    Requires the use of both hands and simple hand grasping.
  8. Stage finished good boxes for material handler pick-up. 
    Requires bending, pushing and the use of both hands.
  9. Keep up with pace of production and machine cycle times. 

Requires walking, standing, bending, reaching, twisting, lifting and pushing with simple and firm hand grasping and fine hand work.

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