Pulp control operator

Pulp control operators


Pulp control operators operate and monitor multi-function process control machinery and equipment to control the processing of wood, scrap pulp, recycable paper and other cellulose materials in the production of pulp. They set up, operate and maintain the machinery, analyse the production results and adjust the process when necessary.

Pulp control operators typically do the following:

  • Operate, coordinate and monitor pulping, papermaking and papercoating process equipment from central control room or machine consoles and control panels in equipment cabins to control process operations and machinery in the production of pulp and paper
  • Control the processing of wood, scrap pulp, recyclable paper, cellulose materials, pulp paper and paperboard and monitor the chemical and physical process operations using a distributed control system and process computers
  • Observe panel indicators, gauges, video monitors and other instruments to detect equipment malfunctions and ensure pulping, papermaking and coating processes are operating according to process specifications
  • Analyze instrument readings and production test samples and make adjustments or direct other pulp mill, papermaking and finishing machine operators to make adjustments to pulp production, papermaking and coating process and equipment as required
  • Complete and maintain production reports.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to pulp control operator:

pulp producer
pulping production operator
pulping production assistant
pulp paper operator
pulp production assistant
pulp production operator
pulp control worker
pulp and paper producer
pulping control worker
pulping control operator

Minimum qualifications

An associate’s degree in forest products processing or a related field is generally required to work as a pulp control operator. Depending on the job location, a certification may be needed to.

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.

Pulp control operator is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Pulp control operator career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to pulp control operator.

automated assembly line operator
industrial robot controller
plastic and rubber products manufacturing supervisor
paper mill supervisor
metal furnace operator

Long term prospects

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

paper engineer
maintenance and repair engineer
calculation engineer
solar energy engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of pulp control operator.

  • 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.
  • Types of moulded fibres: Field of information which distinguishes different kinds of moulded fibres such as thickwall, transfer moulded, thermoformed, and processed fibre types.
  • Types of pulp: Kinds of pulp are distinguished based on their fibre type and the specific chemical processes through which they were created.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of pulp control operator.

  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Operate pulp control machine: Set up, operate and maintain specialised machinery and equipment to control the creation of pulp from wood, recyclable paper, and other cellulose materials.
  • 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.
  • 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 machine controls: Set up or adjust machine controls to regulate conditions such as material flow, temperature, or pressure.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

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

  • Deinking processes: Various deinking processes such as flotation, bleaching, and washing. These are used to remove ink from the paper in preparation for producing new paper.

Optional skills and competences

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

  • Test paper production samples: Acquire test samples at various stages of the paper deinking and paper recycling process. Process the samples, e.g. by adding a measured amount of dye solution, and test them to determine values such as the pH level, the tear resistance or the degree of disintegration.
  • 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.
  • Grade pulp: Oversee pulp quality based on their pulping process, raw materials, yield, fibre length and other categories such as dirt, moisture content, porosity, density, and brightness.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Maintain recycling records: Maintain records and process facts and figures about type and volume of different recycling operations.
  • Dispose of non-hazardous waste: Dispose of waste materials which pose no risk to health and safety in a manner which complies with recycling and waste management procedures.
  • Feed pulp mixing vat: Open valve to admit water into pulp-mixing vat. Weigh and dump specified amounts of different ingredients such as scrap paper, rosin, wax and other binders into the vat. Transfer the mixed slurry to a storage or slurry tank.
  • 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.
  • Prepare production reports: Prepare a comprehensive and unbiased report on wood technology production and progressive development of wood based materials.
  • Coordinate shipments of recycling materials: Coordinate and oversee shipments of recycling materials. Communicate with processing companies and shipping brokers.
  • Consult technical resources: Read and interpret such 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.
  • Operate pulp moulding machine: Shape paperboard flats by using formation moulds, which vacuum pulp and windsoft the excess material. Transfer the materials to a conveyor belt. Apply waterproof lubricants so the flats won’t stick to the mould and put the flats in an oven, after which the rigid material is stacked and made ready to be packaged.
  • Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
  • Operate pulper: Set up and monitor the blender that crushes wastepaper and dry pulp sheets and mixes them with water to produce slurry for the production of paper and paper-related products.

ISCO group and title

3139 – Process control technicians not elsewhere classified

  1. Pulp control operator – ESCO
  2. Pulping Control Operator in Ontario | Job requirements – Job Bank
  3. Featured image: By Carol M. Highsmith – Library of CongressCatalog : http://lccn.loc.gov/2010639749 Image download: https://cdn.loc.gov/master/pnp/highsm/07900/07935a.tif Original url: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.07935, Public Domain
Last updated on January 25, 2023