Company Description

PQ is a leading global provider of silicates, silicas and derivative products. PQ’s products are used in a wide variety of industrial processes and many customer products, from decorative paints to green cement, from clean drinking water to green tires and from toothpaste to biofuels and beer.

Ideal candidates resonate with PQ’s Core Values of Integrity, Sustainability, People, Customer Focus and Safety.  Successful employees embrace and model these values in their behaviors and actions.

    Job Description

    This position reports to the Unit Manager, in the absence of the Unit Manager it takes direction from a Manager. This is a rotating shift job, with rotation taking place currently once per week.

    The Furnace Operator will be responsible for overall operations of the Furnace; which also include the glass dissolution batch vessels, filtration equipment, and auxiliary equipment and tanks associated with the Furnace and Dissolver area.

    The process consists of the following:

    a) Feeding and controlling the Furnace at the proper temperature and desired production rate.

    b) Filling of dissolution vessels with sodium silicate “glass” from the Furnace via a slat conveyor, glass feed hopper, and rotating glass feeder.

    c) Batch dissolution of “glass” with hot water, steam, and a recirculation pump.

    d) Transfer of batch dissolution vessels to surge tanks.

    e) Transfer of silicate to storage tanks.

    f) Overall operation of the filter.

    g) Transfer of powdered silicates within the plant from storage bin to storage bin.

    h) Bulk loading of silicate products, both liquids and powders; bulk unloading of silicate plant raw materials; acting as a spotter of railcars and/or the operator of the trackmobile in a safe manner. Responsible for all paperwork associated with loading and unloading bulk shipments.

    In addition, the Furnace Operator shall:

    a) Take samples, perform control tests and make changes, in the operation, as necessary to maintain product quality and production rates.

    b) The operator will obtain samples, as required by the Quality Control Laboratory, mark them properly, and deliver the samples to the lab.

    c) By frequent and thorough inspections of equipment, the operator will make sure it is operating properly; which includes oiling and lubing of equipment.

    d) The operator will perform minor repairs and adjustments as the need for them arises, and report promptly to the Unit Manager or Lead Person, any need for major repairs.

    e) The operator will give the Maintenance Department full cooperation whenever production equipment is broken down, and is to assist the Maintenance Department in every way possible, which includes writing work orders.

    f) The operator will be responsible for keeping their work area clean, orderly, and safe at all times. In addition, the operator will keep the safety of oneself and the safety of all those in the area uppermost in mind and will observe the proper safety procedures and wear the proper protective equipment.

    g) Cooperate with the relieving shift in passing on pertinent information for the successful performance of all operations, and ensure that all required tests and logs are properly

    obtained and recorded, along with any changes in operating conditions, repair, and adjustments.

    h) Monitor and maintain unattended plant operations as needed and assigned (i.e. utilities and effluent operation).

    When no designated furnace work or dissolving work is scheduled, the Furnace Operator will be assigned to other work if such is available.

    Lead shift operator activities:

    Safety, Health and Environmental:

    · Conduct Safety Contacts with other employees if necessary.

    · Administer first aid and arrange for appropriate external emergency care as required.

    · Implement Plant Emergency procedures.

    · Conduct or assist in conducting accident investigations.

    · Complete work permits and authorize work requiring such.

    · Ensure all safety, health, environmental and housekeeping standards are understood and followed.


    · Ensure all plant processes, systems and auxiliary equipment are operating to standard, including start-ups, shutdowns, and on-going operations.

    · Conduct call-outs for maintenance personnel, operations personnel, or laboratory personnel to ensure required coverage.

    · Collect data and complete various production logs, reports, or records (electronic, paper, or otherwise) as assigned.

    · Conduct or direct inspections (equipment, work areas, etc), inventories, and/or audits as required.

    · Direct work force (internal or external) as required.

    · Train or assist with training of new or existing employees.

    · Other duties as assigned.

    • Ability to learn and comprehend manufacturing processes.
    • Willingness to learn new skills, as needed.
    • Ability to assist others in completing required tasks.
    • Work safely and abide by all safety rules and requirements.
    • Knowledge, Skills & Experience   

    • High school diploma or equivalent.  Basic mathematical abilities and skills.
    • Must be proficient with Microsoft Office Products (Excel, Outlook, and Word). SAP and PLC experience is desired but not essential.
    • Experience with lab testing equipment and general lab safety. 
    • Previous manufacturing/chemical experience (2 years).
    • Behavioral & Job Competencies (including leadership competencies)

    • Exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written.
    • Essential
    • Sound analytical and problem-solving skills
    Additional Information

    Special Factors

    • Manufacturing plant that operates 24/7/365
    • Ability to work 12 hour/rotating shifts (monthly)
    • Ability to work OT, as required
    • Ability to work in non-temperature controlled environment
    • Ability to lift 50 lbs

    EHS Responsibilities

    • Communicates, promotes and personally demonstrates Safety/Health (including PQP Principles) as #1 priority
    • Participation in risk assessment audits as applicable
    • Understand PQ Principles (PQP) and how they are implemented in the site organization, rules and procedures
    • Completes HSE training requirements identified for the job in a timely manner

    PQ is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics. Click on the link to read Know Your Rights: Workplace discrimination is illegal ( For more information, please review the link Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (

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