A Day in the Life of a Thermoforming Machine Operator

Thermoforming process

Explore the day-to-day responsibilities of a Thermoforming Machine Operator.

There are so many people, machines, and materials that go into the creation of a final product. Today, we explore one part of that process by peaking into the day-to-day responsibilities of a Thermoforming Machine Operator at TriEnda.

What does a Machine Operator Do?

We shadowed Shannon Horkan, who has worked as a Thermoforming Machine Operator at TriEnda for 8 years. As an operator, this position is responsible for taking measurements of finished products, loading the thermoforming machine, solving problems that the machine might have, and sometimes filling in as a finisher or helping the production team in other ways. The machine operator is crucial to the final product’s integrity because this position also assists in maintaining excellent quality control. “I make sure everything’s running within specifications even if the other operator checks.” Shannon said, she always double checks and constantly measures the finished products. Overseeing the machines to make sure everything is running smoothly and accurately. She will also adjust the machine if it is not up to par, which assures that our products are created on-time and with the highest level of quality.

Thermoforming process

What does their schedule look like?

Thermoforming Machine Operators usually follow the 2-2-3 schedule. The 2-2-3 schedule means that the employee would work 7 am – 7 pm for 2 days on, then get 2 days in a row off, and then again 7 am – 7 pm for 3 days. This schedule is often one of the employee’s favorite parts of the work because it allows them to have a significant amount of time off with their family both during the week and one the weekends, because of the rotating schedule.

What are the challenges they face?

There are challenges to every position, Shannon discussed some of her biggest obstacles at work with us, “There is constant change, if there is a problem it’s hard to know what the problem is because of how complex the machines are, there are so many factors that go into solving the problem.” A normal day as a machine operator includes paperwork if there is a new tool, otherwise the main task is making sure that the team is using the right routers and drills.

Thermoforming process

What do they enjoy most about their job?

Luckily, there are many up-sides to this position as well. Shannon discussed the benefits of having insurance, a 401k, and the stability of her position at TriEnda which make all the hard work worth it. Part of why many employees love working at TriEnda is also the rigorous nature of our production jobs, not only physically but also the mental challenges and problem solving makes the day-to-day duties interesting and engaging. At TriEnda we cultivate an environment that is safe, fun, and enjoyable which Shannon also noted, “My coworkers are my favorite part of my job, I like everybody I work with.”

Every KFI employee is an asset to our complete operation and we are always looking for hard working, positive people to add to our team. If you are interested in working with us, take a look at our careers page.  

Meet Our Team: Sarena Krueger

Sarena Krueger

The Meet Our Team blog series gives you an inside look into our team members’ careers, exciting new projects, history with KFI, and a general introduction to some of our key players! We hope you enjoy this, and many more blogs, that give you a better idea of the people behind the operation here at KFI.

To begin this series, we will speak with our Vice President of Marketing, Sarena Krueger.
Sarena oversees all marketing and communications as well as business development and industrial design teams. Sarena has helped to build KFI’s
marketing and industrial design departments into one of the leaders in the thermoforming industry. Among other projects she has overseen the complete re-launch of all six of KFI’s brand sites.

Q: What is your job title?

A: Vice President of Marketing and Communications, all of our Business Development, Industrial Design and the Marketing teams all report to me.


Q: How long have you been with KFI?

A:  I have been with KFI for 18 months.


Q: What do your day-to-day responsibilities look like?

A:  It is different every day.  I work with the sales teams to execute new product launches and campaigns, planning for trade shows, directing our digital marketing tactics, and work on corporate initiatives, such as hiring campaigns and updating the look and feel of our corporate communications.


Q: What is your favorite part of working for KFI?

A: The people and the opportunity!  I see a long runway ahead for the company, and I like contributing to our successes and helping to improve our business.


Q: Can you share a project that your department accomplished that you feel proud of?

A: I love all of the videos that we have created.  They are such a fun and effective way
to display our products.  The end results are a clear result of
collaboration between engineering, sales, and my teams.


Q: How does your department embody KFI’s values?

A:   The key value that the marketing, business development and industrial design teams most embody is Get Things Done. In the year and a half since I have been at KFI, we have updated all of our websites, created countless new pieces of collateral, videos and images.


Q: What is your favorite memory from working at KFI?

A: Starting my career during a global pandemic and seeing how everyone banded together to come up with a very cool product that helped people in such an unbelievable time in our history.


While Sarena is one of our newer leaders, she has definitely embodied KFI’s values and brings
energy, experience, creativity, and drive to the team.
Interested in being a part of our team? Apply today, we can’t wait to meet you!