Operate glass melting process


This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to operate primary melting furnaces and ancillary equipment that is integral to the process. It applies to a large production context where the melting process is used to melt, refine or condition raw material to produce glass for forming processes or to form products directly from the melting furnace.

This unit of competency does not apply to secondary processes, the softening of already made glass or the production of scientific glass.

This unit of competency applies to operators who are required to start up and shut down the equipment, monitor and adjust process parameters, perform test procedures and identify and rectify routine problems.

This unit of competency applies to an individual working alone or as part of a team or group and working in liaison with other shift team members, team leader and supervisor, as appropriate.

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.


Prepare the melting equipment


Establish production program and melting guidelines from the job specifications/work instructions


Conduct furnace pre-start procedures according to enterprise procedure checklist


Ensure furnace start-up function complies with standard operating procedures (SOPs)


Ensure glass melting equipment is operated in accordance with established enterprise procedures


Test furnace back-up equipment


Make sure furnace back-up equipment test schedule is maintained


Conduct back-up equipment test procedures to meet specific enterprise requirements


Melt raw materials


Interpret the molten glass mix and required furnace operation from job specifications


Melt glass and monitor furnace and other operating parameters in accordance with established enterprise procedures


Monitor and interpret data and adjust operation


Monitor instruments and control panels, and interpret test results for fluctuations, variations and trends


Monitor plant and process and deduce conditions of materials in process and products being made


Determine appropriate action to improve process operation


Adjust furnace controls to ensure glass melt parameters are maintained to job specifications


Check that process operation has improved


Continue analysing data and making adjustments until desired level of process operation is achieved and product is within specifications in accordance with work instructions


Rectify problems


Identify the range of faults that can occur during the operation


Determine and rectify fault causes in accordance with established enterprise procedures


Identify and rectify equipment failure causes in accordance with established enterprise procedures


Make sure appropriate records and log books of equipment operations are maintained to meet enterprise requirements


Identify non-routine problems and report to designated person


Control hazards


Identify hazards from the job to be done


Identify other hazards in the work area


Assess the risks arising from those hazards


Implement measures to control those risks in line with procedures

Evidence of Performance

Evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy the requirements of the elements and performance criteria and demonstrate the ability to:

read and interpret, job sheets, procedures, instruments/control panels, test results, material labels and safety information

perform pre-start procedures

conduct back-up equipment test procedures to schedule

analyse test results and control instrument data to identify fluctuations, variations and trends in process variables

monitor key variables, including:


material flow and discharge rates

fuel source

melt quality

product integrity and general conformance to specification

operate and adjust the equipment to meet product quality and production output specifications

identify hazards and apply relevant hazard controls

apply safety procedures

apply housekeeping procedures

recognise out-of-specification products, process problems and materials faults

recognise routine and non-routine problems

identify when the operator is able to rectify problems, when assistance is required and who is the appropriate source for assistance

take action to resolve problems or report them to appropriate personnel

distinguish between possible causes of routine problems, including:

raw material variations

equipment malfunctions

electrical/instrument malfunctions

process abnormalities

communicate effectively with team/work group and supervisors

complete workplace records

do basic arithmetical manipulations, including additions, subtractions, divisions, fractions and percentages.

Evidence of Knowledge

Must provide evidence that demonstrates knowledge relevant to their job sufficient to operate under routine only supervision and to solve routine problems, including knowledge of:

principles of glass melting process

control philosophy of process

functions, limitations and principles of operation of melting equipment

composition and nature of the glass

critical material properties, settings and readings

combustion fundamentals

test procedures and schedule

basic physics, and where appropriate chemistry, relevant to the equipment/process/materials

the potential effects of variations in raw materials and equipment operation in relation to quality of product

factors which may affect product quality or production output and appropriate remedies

start-up and shutdown processes

routine problems, their probable causes and relevant corrective actions

organisation procedures relevant to the work environment/job role

hierarchy of control

hazards that may arise in the job/work environment and:

their possible causes

potential consequences

appropriate risk controls.

Assessment Conditions

The unit should be assessed holistically and the judgement of competence shall be based on a holistic assessment of the evidence.

The collection of performance evidence:

should occur over a range of situations which include typical disruptions to normal, smooth operation of an operating plant

will typically include a supervisor/third-party report or other evidence, focussing on consistent performance and problem recognition and solving. A supervisor/third-party report must be prepared by someone who has a direct, relevant, current relationship with the person being assessed and who is in a position to form a judgement on workplace performance relevant to the unit of competency

must include the use of an appropriate industrial item/s of equipment requiring demonstration of operation, start-up and shutdown procedures and responding to problems

may use industry-based simulation for all or part of the unit particularly where safety, lack of opportunity or significant cost is an issue.

Assessment should occur in operational workplace situations. Where this is not possible or where personal safety or environmental damage are limiting factors assessment must occur in a sufficiently rigorous simulated environment that reflects realistic operational workplace conditions. This must cover all aspects of workplace performance, including environment, task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.

Assessment in a simulated environment should use evidence collected from demonstration of skills and one or more of:


pilot plant operation

industry-based case studies/scenarios

‘what ifs’.

Knowledge evidence may be collected concurrently with performance evidence (provided a record is kept) or through an independent process such as workbooks, written assessments or interviews (provided a record is kept).

Assessment processes and techniques must be appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy requirements of the work being performed and the needs of the candidate.

Conditions for assessment must include access to all tools, equipment, materials and documentation required, including relevant workplace procedures, product and manufacturing specifications associated with this unit.

The regulatory framework will be reflected in workplace policies and procedures and is not required to be independently assessed.

Foundation skills are integral to competent performance of the unit and should not be assessed separately.

Assessors must satisfy the assessor competency requirements that are in place at the time of the assessment as set by the VET regulator.

In addition the assessor or anyone acting in subject matter expert role in assessment shall demonstrate both technical competency and currency. If the assessor cannot demonstrate technical competency and currency they shall assess with a subject matter expert who does meet these requirements.

Technical competence can be demonstrated through one or more of:

relevant VET or other qualification/Statement of Attainment

appropriate workplace experience undertaking the type of work being assessed under routine and non-routine conditions

appropriate workplace experience supervising/evaluating the type of work being assessed under routine and non-routine conditions

Currency can be demonstrated through one or more of:

being currently employed undertaking the type of work being assessed

being employed by the organisation undertaking the type of work being assessed and having maintained currency in accordance with that organisation’s policies and procedures

having consulted/had contact with an organisation undertaking the type of work being assessed within the last twelve months, the consultation/contact being related to assessment

conducting on the job training/assessments of the type of work being assessed

being an active member of a relevant professional body and participating in activities relevant to the assessment of this type of work.

Foundation Skills

This section describes those required skills (language, literacy and numeracy) that are essential to performance.

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Range Statement

This field allows for different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

Regulatory framework

The latest version of all legislation, regulations, industry codes of practice and Australian/international standards, or the version specified by the local regulatory authority, must be used.

Applicable legislation, regulations, standards and codes of practice include:

health, safety and environmental (HSE) legislation, regulations and codes of practice relevant to the workplace, equipment and production processes and hazardous materials

Australian/international standards relevant to the materials being used and products being made

any relevant licence and certification requirements.

All operations to which this unit applies are subject to stringent HSE requirements, which may be imposed through state/territory or federal legislation, and these must not be compromised at any time. Where there is an apparent conflict between performance criteria and such requirements the legislative requirements take precedence.


All operations must be performed in accordance with relevant procedures.

Procedures are written, verbal, visual, computer-based or in some other form, and include one or any combination of:

job cards

emergency procedures

work instructions


safe work method statements (SWMS)


batch sheets

temporary instructions

any similar instructions provided for the smooth running of the plant.

Tools and equipment

Tools and equipment include:


measuring and recording equipment

ancillary equipment that is integral to the process.


Routine problems must be resolved by applying known solutions.

Routine problems are predictable and include one or more of:

raw materials feed

change of fuel source

variations in furnace temperature

variations in melt quality.

Known solutions are drawn from one or more of:



remembered experience.

Non-routine problems must be reported according to according to relevant procedures.


Hazards must be identified and controlled. Identifying hazards requires consideration of:

high temperatures

smoke, dust, vapours or other atmospheric hazards

weight, shape, volume of materials to be handled

hazardous products and materials

sharp edges, protrusions or obstructions

slippery surfaces, spills or leaks



gases and liquids under pressure


rotational equipment or vibration

plant services (steam, condensate, cooling water, etc)

structural hazards

equipment failures

machinery, equipment and product mass

limited head spaces or overhangs

working at heights

working in restricted or confined spaces

other hazards that might arise.

Records and reports

Records include one or more of:

log books/sheets

electronic records

job/work sheets

other records used for the smooth running of the plant.

Reports include one or more of:

paper or electronic-based logs and reports

verbal/radio reports

reporting items found which require action.


Not applicable

Competency Field