Source: Pathways to Technology: "Process Technology Intro"
In this video excerpted from Pathways to Technology, learn about process technology and career opportunities in this field. Process refers to the steps that chemicals go through to become products, like gasoline or medicine. Process technology is used in just about every manufacturing industry, from pharmaceuticals to automobiles to cosmetics. A process technician keeps the machines that process chemicals running smoothly.
What is process technology? The process part refers to the steps for extracting and refining substances from raw materials: there are many processes, for example, that chemicals go through to become usable products like gasoline and plastics. Which industries use process technology? It might be easier to ask which industries don’t use it. Process technology is key to petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, the food industry, and other manufacturing—everything from the sugar coating on pills to cosmetics to shoe rubber. In addition to extracting and refining products from raw materials such as petroleum, natural gas, or corn, process technology involves carefully monitoring the processes that make it all happen. Special instrumentation, pumps, turbines, and compressors are designed to monitor and separate the chemicals that make up the countless products we use everyday.
Power plants depend on process technology to maximize output and minimize pollution. Waste- and water-treatment plants use process technology to monitor industrial waste, environmental impact, and human health and safety.
A process technician, also known as a process technology operator, is responsible for monitoring and maintaining such production processes, whether they are in an offshore oil-drilling rig or a power plant. He or she monitors the equipment, the operation, and the safety systems, and may also assist in installing and repairing equipment (such as pumps, compressors, and electric motors) involved in production processes. An associate's or bachelor's degree in process technology opens doors to the many industries that depend on process technology.
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