Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

Description

Operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.

Tasks

  • Measure dimensions of finished workpieces to ensure conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments, templates, and fixtures.
  • Remove and replace dull cutting tools.
  • Mount, install, align, and secure tools, attachments, fixtures, and workpieces on machines, using hand tools and precision measuring instruments.
  • Listen to machines during operation to detect sounds such as those made by dull cutting tools or excessive vibration and adjust machines to compensate for problems.
  • Adjust machine feed and speed, change cutting tools, or adjust machine controls when automatic programming is faulty or if machines malfunction.
  • Stop machines to remove finished workpieces or to change tooling, setup, or workpiece placement, according to required machining sequences.
  • Lift workpieces to machines manually or with hoists or cranes.
  • Modify cutting programs to account for problems encountered during operation and save modified programs.
  • Calculate machine speed and feed ratios and the size and position of cuts.
  • Insert control instructions into machine control units to start operation.
  • Check to ensure that workpieces are properly lubricated and cooled during machine operation.
  • Input initial part dimensions into machine control panels.
  • Set up and operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic workpieces.
  • Confer with supervisors or programmers to resolve machine malfunctions or production errors or to obtain approval to continue production.
  • Review program specifications or blueprints to determine and set machine operations and sequencing, finished workpiece dimensions, or numerical control sequences.
  • Monitor machine operation and control panel displays and compare readings to specifications to detect malfunctions.
  • Control coolant systems.
  • Maintain machines and remove and replace broken or worn machine tools, using hand tools.
  • Stack or load finished items or place items on conveyor systems.
  • Clean machines, tooling, or parts, using solvents or solutions and rags.
  • Enter commands or load control media, such as tapes, cards, or disks, into machine controllers to retrieve programmed instructions.
  • Transfer commands from servers to computer numerical control (CNC) modules, using computer network links.
  • Set up future jobs while machines are operating.
  • Implement changes to machine programs and enter new specifications, using computers.
  • Write simple programs for computer-controlled machine tools.
  • Examine electronic components for defects or completeness of laser-beam trimming, using microscopes.
  • Lay out and mark areas of parts to be shot-peened and fill hoppers with shot.

Knowledge

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Automated Cutting Machine Operator
Automation Machine Operator
Brake Press Operator
CNC Machine Operator (Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Operator)
CNC Machinist (Computer Numerically Controlled Machinist)
CNC Operator (Computer Numeric Control Operator)
Computer Numerical Control Lathe Operator (CNC Lathe Operator)
Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator (CNC Machine Operator)
Computer Numerical Control Machinist (CNC Machinist)
Computer Numerical Control Mill Operator (CNC Mill Operator)
Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator)
Computer Numerical Control Programmer (CNC Programmer)
Computer Numerical Control Set Up Technician (CNC Set Up Technician)
Computer Numerical Control Set-Up Operator (CNC Set-Up Operator)
Coordinate Measuring Machine Programmer (CMM Programmer)
Laser Beam Trim Operator
Machine Operator
Machinist
Manufacturing Assistant
Manufacturing Associate
Manufacturing Operator
Medical Numerical Control Operator
Mold Maker
Numerical Control Drill Press Operator
Numerical Control Jig Boring Machine Operator
Numerical Control Lathe Operator
Numerical Control Machine Operator
Numerical Control Machine Set-Up Operator
Numerical Control Machine Tool Operator
Numerical Control Milling Machine Operator
Numerical Control Milling Machine Set-Up Operator
Numerical Control Router Operator
Numerical Control Router Set-Up Operator
Printed Circuit Boards Numerical Control Drill Operator
Production Worker
Programer
Robotic Machine Operator
Shot Peening Operator
Welder

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$17.1 hourly, $35,580 annual.
Employment (2008):
138,870 employees