Profession digester operator

Digester operators, or cooks, cook wood chips with soda ash or acid to separate the wood pulp from unwanted constituents. They test the resulting solution.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional

Knowledge

  • Types of pulp

    Kinds of pulp are distinguished based on their fibre type and the specific chemical processes through which they were created.

  • Types of paper

    The different criteria used to determine differences in paper types such as coarseness and thickness, and the different fabrication methods and wood types from which the types of paper stem.

  • Types of wood

    Types of wood, such as birch, pine, poplar, mahogany, maple and tulipwood.

  • Types of digesters

    This includes the stationary and rotary steam digesters, which cook wood chips in an acid solution to make pulp for use in the manufacture of paper.

  • Quality standards

    The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.

Skills

  • Troubleshoot

    Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.

  • Wear appropriate protective gear

    Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.

  • Concentrate pulp slurry

    Measure the weight and concentration of the pulp slurry for further processing and storage by using disk filters and calculating slurry density with specific formulas.

  • Monitor pulp quality

    Avoid lesser quality and lower grades of recycled paper and pulp by keeping an eye open for stickies, plastics, colour, unbleached fibres, brightness, and dirt.

  • Work safely with machines

    Check and safely operate machines and equipment required for your work according to manuals and instructions.

  • Operate digester machine

    Add cooking chemicals and steam to dissolve lignin and separate the plant fibres, breaking down wood chips to recover pulp after a bleaching and drying process.

  • Wash fibres

    Remove the chemical solution of the digesting process, making paper pulp soft and fibrous.

  • Supply machine

    Ensure the machine is fed the necessary and adequate materials and control the placement or automatic feed and retrieval of work pieces in the machines or machine tools on the production line.

  • Set up the controller of a machine

    Set up and give commands to a machine by dispatching the appropriate data and input into the (computer) controller corresponding with the desired processed product.

  • Monitor automated machines

    Continuously check up on the automated machine's set-up and execution or make regular control rounds. If necessary, record and interpret data on the operating conditions of installations and equipment in order to identify abnormalities.

  • Conform to health and safety regulations

    Carry out all work in accordance with relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, risk assessment requirements and company policies. Take the necessary health and safety precautions during work including posture the body well, safely operate tools and machinery, and wear the right clothes and protection for the climate.

Optional knowledge and skills

tend bleacher deinking processes types of bleach drive chipper truck test paper production samples record production data for quality control check quality of raw materials carry out waste water treatment keep records of work progress consult technical resources use deinking chemicals operate wood chipper clean equipment monitor gauge dispose of non-hazardous waste dispose of hazardous waste monitor chipper machine perform machine maintenance operate debarking machine prepare production reports report defective manufacturing materials monitor chemical process condition

Common job titles

  • Plant operator
  • Water reclamation operator
  • Equipment operator (100% travel)
  • Plant operator
  • Cookinng/bleachment fiberline operator
  • Junior plant operator
  • Plant operator i,ii,iii (wastewater)
  • Pulp mill operating technician
  • Supervising waste facility worker