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What Does an Extruder Do?

Extruders set up, operate, or tend machines to extrude, or draw, thermoplastic into tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.

When a winery orders a $40,000 stainless steel tank to hold their wine, $100 worth of tubing is essential for the tank to be useful.  When a dairy farm orders a $500,000 robotic milker; tubing is a critical piece that transports the milk from the cow to the collection tank.  Your local ice cream shop uses tubing for their soft-serve machines and how about your favorite beer at the microbrewery down the road! Both applications use specialized tubing ensuring that taste is not compromised. Most importantly, consider your loved one’s medication that is administered via IV.  Another vitally important job that cannot be done without tubing.

Tubing is made by a relatively straight forward process called extrusion.  Depending on the size of the tubing being manufactured and the output specified, common barrel sizes range from 1” to 4 ½”.  Raw material in the form of pellets, delivered via rail car or in gaylord boxes, are fed down into the extruder.  When the pellets hit the rotating screw inside the barrel, the heat begins the melting process.  Different mixing sections of the screw and the head work out any imperfections that may exist.  Dies and pins are used to create the size desired and compressed air or vacuum helps to make minor adjustments and keep the tube round.  Immediately exiting this part of the process, the tubing is placed in a cold-water bath to setup.  Once set, the tubing is coiled or cut to length, packaged, and shipped to the customer.

Interview Process

Finger Lakes Extrusion strives to be a very transparent and easy company to work for.  The interview process would take place at the facility with its two Vice Presidents, Erica Wright,, and Philip Scott.  They will ask questions about your work history, experience and skill set.  Then, they will share information about the company and its benefits, both monetary and otherwise, with you.  This will be followed by a plant tour where you would see all the equipment that you would work on and have the opportunity to ask any questions that you have. 

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