Depending on the company, a Process Technician may also be referred to as Manufacturing Operators or Manufacturing Associates.
The role requires individuals to follow strict internal protocols and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as well as following current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). There is a large amount of responsibility given to individuals within these roles. Any deviation from these practices or any mistake made could have serious repercussions, resulting in potentially unsafe defective products or expensive destruction of batches.
Process Technicians are involved at all stages of the manufacturing process, ensuring efficient ongoing production. They usually work within a cleanroom environment. This means that personal protective gear (including masks, clothing, footwear and gloves) is required. This is both for their own safety and to maintain the integrity of the product by avoiding contamination.
A process technician will typically be responsible for a step within the manufacturing process. Their job is to know this process in great detail. Not only will they know how this process functions normally, they will be responsible for identifying when the process is deviating from the norm and taking action to correct it. They must have confidence in their knowledge of the process, troubleshooting at an appropriate level and involving senior members of staff if/when they are not able to correct the problem.
They are also responsible for keeping any equipment in good working order – this involves regular inspection, cleaning, servicing and maintenance. A key feature of the role is to maintain accurate and clear documentation that proves that these processes are being carried out in accordance with both internal and external regulations. It is important that procedures are followed, but it is also important that it can be shown and proved that procedures were followed.
A Process Technician may also be responsible for the gathering of data from their process and reporting it to senior staff members (typically a Process Engineer).
The role of a Process Technician is a constant assessment of maintaining cost effective and efficient processes that are carried out as quickly as possible while always ensuring that safety and protocol adherence is achieved. The aim is to maintain a highly optimised process.