Absorbent pad machine operator


Absorbent pad machine operators tend a machine that takes in cellulose fibres and compresses them to a highly absorbent pad material for use in hygienic products such as diapers and tampons.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to absorbent pad machine operator:

tampon machine specialist
absorbent pad machine operative
absorbent pad machine worker
tampon machine technician
absorbent pad machine technician
diaper machine specialist
diaper machine operator
tampon machine operator
diaper machine technician
absorbent pad machine specialist

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally the minimum required to work as an absorbent pad machine operator.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Absorbent pad machine operator is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Absorbent pad machine operator career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to absorbent pad machine operator.

nailing machine operator
tissue paper perforating and rewinding operator
paperboard products assembler
corrugator operator
laminating machine operator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of absorbent pad machine operator. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of absorbent pad machine operator with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

pulp control operator
automated assembly line operator
plastic and rubber products manufacturing supervisor
industrial robot controller
machine operator supervisor

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of absorbent pad machine operator.

  • Types of polymers: There are two kinds of absorbent pad polymers. In the first, the polymer is injected into the same feedstock that supplies the cellulose fibres, which disperses the polymer evenly throughout the whole product. The second method applies absorbent material to the surface of the pad after its formation.
  • 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.
  • Adhesives: The categories, production and the chemical components of adhesives such as non-reactive adhesives (drying adhesives, pressure-sensitive adhesives, contact adhesives and hot adhesives) and reactive adhesives (multi-part adhesives, one-part adhesives).

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of absorbent pad machine operator.

  • Manufacture nonwoven staple products: Perform the operation, monitoring and maintenance of machines and processes to manufacture nonwoven staple products, keeping efficiency and productivity at high levels.
  • Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
  • Perform test run: Perform tests putting a system, machine, tool or other equipment through a series of actions under actual operating conditions in order to assess its reliability and suitability to realise its tasks, and adjust settings accordingly.
  • Work safely with machines: Check and safely operate machines and equipment required for your work according to manuals and instructions.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.
  • Monitor conveyor belt: Monitor the flow of the work pieces on the conveyor belt as they are processed by the machine to ensure optimal productivity.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of absorbent pad machine operator. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Nonwoven machine technology: Manufacturing of nonwoven fabrics according to specification. Development, manufacture, properties and evaluation of nonwoven fabrics.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of absorbent pad machine operator. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Tend packaging machines: Tend packaging machines such as filling, labelling, and sealing machines. Stock and sort products to be processed according to specifications. Replenish packaging supplies as required, such as boxes, cartons, wrapping paper, plastic sheet, glue, ink, or labels.
  • Operate rotary vacuum-drum filter: Set up and monitor the machine that produces pads or cakes by creating a vacuum to draw the slurry through a filter onto the rotating drum and to remove moisture.
  • Inspect quality of products: Use various techniques to ensure the product quality is respecting the quality standards and specifications. Oversee defects, packaging and sendbacks of products to different production departments.
  • Monitor gauge: Oversee the data presented by a gauge concerning the measurement of pressure, temperature, thickness of a material, and others.
  • Record production data for quality control: Keep records of the machine’s faults, interventions and irregularities for quality control.
  • Operate electric embossing press: Use an electric embossing press, which can emboss thousands of documents one after another. They can also be adjusted to emboss from the top, side or bottom if needed.
  • Test absorbency: Execute standard tests to establish (diaper) absorbency, such as Demand Wettability or Gravimetric Absorbance. These tests evaluate the Absorbance Under Load and the fibre to particle ratio or the ability of the product to soak up moisture.
  • Operate paper folding machine: Perform folder operations, such as setting up and adjusting the feeder for delivery. Prepare the folder machine for special processes like perforating, scoring, trimming, softening, and binding of paper products.
  • Operate fluff pulp mixing machine: Mix pulp and cotton wool, which are shot out of the machine and woven into pulp strips. These can consequently be cut and shaped into diapers and other disposable pad products.
  • Perform machine maintenance: Perform regular maintenance, possibly including corrections and alterations, on a machine or machine tool to ensure it remains in a proper productive state.
  • Monitor paper reel: Overview the jumbo paper reel, which winds the paper at the right tension onto a core.
  • Prepare production reports: Prepare reports on wood technology production and progressive development of wood based materials.
  • Consult technical resources: Read and interpret technical resources such as digital or paper drawings and adjustment data in order to properly set up a machine or working tool, or to assemble mechanical equipment.
  • Report defective manufacturing materials: Maintain required company records and forms in order to report any defective materials or questionable conditions of manufacturing machinery and equipment.
  • Check quality of raw materials: Check the quality of basic materials used for the production of semi-finished and finished goods by assessing some of its characteristics and, if needed, select samples to be analysed.
  • Operate compression rollers: Set up and monitor the piece of machinery that applies pressure on material in order to flatten it and reduce its volume.
  • Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
  • Operate die-cut machines: Operate machinery to cut paper products into a pattern, which is folded and glued into a certain shape.
  • Measure materials: Measure the raw materials prior to their loading in the mixer or in machines, ensuring they conform with the specifications.

ISCO group and title

8143 – Paper products machine operators

  1. Absorbent pad machine operator – ESCO
Last updated on July 22, 2022

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