U.S. Department of Commerce - Office of the Secretary U.S. Department of commerce seal

HR Practitioners banner

Home > HR Practitioners > Classification & Position Management > PD Library

Microfilm Equpment Operator 06




This position is located in

This position operates microfilm equipment to produce acceptable products and/or timely services.


Performs a variety of sequential steps to set up, supply, operate and control microfilm processing and duplication equipment.

Performs various quality control checks, tests, and adjustments to ensure an acceptable level of quality in the processed and/or duplicated microfilm, i.e., visually inspects film for photographic defects, reads process control strips on a densitometer and records densities and base fog. Reads resolution test targets with microscope.

Maintains production and control records required for the various surveys.

Performs operator maintenance using manufacturer's handbooks, operating specifications and acquired technical knowledge.

Operates support equipment, i.e., cartridge loader, densitometer, sensitometer, film rewinder, calculator and/or a computer system.

Operates automatic microfilm cameras and related equipment in the filming area.

Packs, sorts, and makes distribution of completed work.

Acts as a senior operator to receive and relay procedural instructions and assignments to co-workers.


Factor 1 - Knowledge Required FL 1-4, 550 pts.

Thorough knowledge and technical skill in the set up, operation, adjustment, and maintenance procedures of specialized microfilm equipment.

General knowledge of statistics in order plot characteristic curves, analyze data, derive control charts, and understand appropriate weights and measures used in processing microfilm.

Technical knowledge of the practices and procedures relative to chemical formulas and film resolution.

Knowledge of agency microfilm regulations, standards of tolerance, and record keeping requirements.

Knowledge of microfilm splicing techniques in order to splice microfilm.

Factor 2 - Supervisory Controls FL 2-3, 275 pts.

Operator works under general supervision. The supervisor makes special and continuing assignments. Routine tasks are performed independently following numerous project procedures. Guidance on matters of production, procedural changes or quality control is
provided by the supervisor.

Mechanical skills, manual dexterity and quality control techniques are applied to produce quality work on an established and timely basis. Work is appraised in terms of ability to apply the numerous procedures and requirements necessary to utilize effectively the specialized processing equipment in widely varying work load situations.

The supervisor provides general supervision and continuing assignments. In the absence of the supervisor, the incumbent handles the supervisory duties and responsibilities. Work is evaluated in terms of quality, resolution, visibility and optical scanning devices.

Factor 3 - Guidelines FL 3-2, 125 pts.

Guidelines consist of equipment manufacturers' operating handbooks, agency microfilming standards and specifications, and established operating procedures within the section. The
operator uses judgment in selecting the appropriate guideline(s) to perform a specific type of adjustment, repair, etc. The operator may not deviate from the guidelines.

Factor 4 - Complexity FL 4-3, 150 pts.

The work consists of operating a variety of specialized microfilm equipment to produce, develop, and duplicate microfilm generated from automatic and manual microfilm cameras. The operator mixes chemicals, sets up, operates and adjusts an automatic microfilm processor, duplicator and related equipment. The operator must consider several factors prior to determining the operation of the equipment, e.g., chemical mix, temperature setting, and speed. Various quality control checks, tests, and adjustments must be made to the equipment in order to assure the microfilm processed meets the quality tolerances established for each job.

Work processes range from those which are routine, as in the duplication of microfilm, to complex procedures involved in the operation of the continuous flow type microfilm processor. The latter work is complicated by such situations as having to clear film breaks and jams within a critical time period with the use of goggles or in total darkness. Problems must be found and repairs made within 30 seconds to avoid loss of film.

Takes corrective action and advises supervisor and/or maintenance personnel of major malfunctions and other equipment deficiencies such as various mechanical failures, quality control problems, drier problems, major cleaning requirements, etc. Must be knowledgeable of the lighting requirements for the processing and camera operations. Process control is tested using a knowledge of mathematics to plot sensitometric strip readings and determine processor dial and gauge settings. Lab work is critical as developer chemical is prepared by careful metric measurements under stringent quality control standards.

Factor 5 - Scope and Effect FL 5-2, 75 pts.

The work provides microfilm services to various users, inside and outside the immediate organization. The quality and timeliness of the finished product affects further processes.

Factor 6 - Personal Contacts FL 6-2, 25 pts.

Contacts are primarily with co-workers and microfilm users. In addition, contacts may occur with material suppliers and equipment manufacturers' technical representatives on a less frequent basis. All contacts take place in the employee's workplace.

Factor 7 - Purpose of Contacts FL 7-1, 20 pts.

Contacts serve to provide and clarify work instructions, resolve maintenance problems, obtain and/or report factual information relating to the work.

Factor 8 - Physical Demands FL 8-2, 20 pts.

The work requires some physical exertion such as extended periods of standing, frequent bending, reaching, stooping, or similar activities necessary to set up, operate, adjust, and monitor the operation of the equipment. The employee lifts, on a recurring basis, a variety of moderately heavy materials and supplies such as boxes of chemicals, record boxes, boxes of cards and envelopes, cartons of film; occasionally the employee may be required to lift heavy (over 50 pounds) items such as large stacks of paper stock. Work requires incumbent to push bins, carts or use a hand-truck when necessary.

Factor 9 - Work Environment FL 9-2, 20 pts.

The work involves moderate risks and/or discomforts such as a high level of noise; excessively bright or strobe lights; paper dust; ink; solvents; lubricants; chemicals; and chemical fumes; working around equipment in operation. Special safety precautions are required.

TOTAL = 1,260 points

This position is non-exempt from coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


(Last Updated: November 4, 1994)