Trade & Industry Department | Manufacturing Technology
Trade & Industry Department

Tasks and Activities

Occupation specific tasks and the most important generalized work activities are listed for Machinists.

Occupation Specific Tasks

  • Advise clients about the materials being used for finished products.
  • Align and secure holding fixtures, cutting tools, attachments, accessories, and materials onto machines.
  • Calculate dimensions and tolerances using knowledge of mathematics and instruments such as micrometers and vernier calipers.
  • Check work pieces to ensure that they are properly lubricated and cooled.
  • Clean and lubricate machines, tools, and equipment to remove grease, rust, stains, and foreign matter.
  • Confer with engineering, supervisory, and manufacturing personnel to exchange technical information.
  • Confer with numerical control programmers to check and ensure that new programs or machinery will function properly, and that output will meet specifications.
  • Design fixtures, tooling, and experimental parts to meet special engineering needs.
  • Dismantle machines or equipment, using hand tools and power tools, to examine parts for defects and replace defective parts where needed.
  • Establish work procedures for fabricating new structural products, using a variety of metalworking machines.
  • Evaluate experimental procedures, and recommend changes or modifications for improved efficiency and adaptability to setup and production.
  • Fit and assemble parts to make or repair machine tools.
  • Install experimental parts and assemblies such as hydraulic systems, electrical wiring, lubricants, and batteries into machines and mechanisms.
  • Install repaired parts into equipment, or install new equipment.
  • Lay out, measure, and mark metal stock to display placement of cuts.
  • Machine parts to specifications using machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.
  • Maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, shop mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.
  • Measure, examine, and test completed units to detect defects and ensure conformance to specifications, using precision instruments such as micrometers.
  • Monitor the feed and speed of machines during the machining process.
  • Observe and listen to operating machines or equipment to diagnose machine malfunctions and to determine need for adjustments or repairs.
  • Operate equipment to verify operational efficiency.
  • Position and fasten work pieces.
  • Prepare working sketches for the illustration of product appearance.
  • Program computers and electronic instruments such as numerically controlled machine tools.
  • Select the appropriate tools, machines, and materials to be used in preparation of machinery work.
  • Set controls to regulate machining, or enter commands to retrieve, input, or edit computerized machine control media.
  • Set up and operate metalworking, brazing, heat-treating, welding, and cutting equipment.
  • Set up, adjust, and operate all of the basic machine tools and many specialized or advanced variation tools to perform precision machining operations.
  • Study sample parts, blueprints, drawings, and engineering information to determine methods and sequences of operations needed to fabricate products, and determine product dimensions and tolerances.
  • Support metalworking projects from planning and fabrication through assembly, inspection, and testing, using knowledge of machine functions, metal properties and mathematics.
  • Test experimental models under simulated operating conditions for such purposes as development, standardization, and feasibility of design.

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Generalized Work Activities

  • Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • adjust production equipment/machinery setup
  • advise clients or customers
  • confer with engineering, technical or manufacturing personnel
  • design tools or mechanical devices
  • determine tasks needed to complete machined products
  • examine products or work to verify conformance to specifications
  • fabricate, assemble, or disassemble manufactured products by hand
  • follow statistical process control procedures
  • identify base metals for welding
  • install equipment or attachments on machinery or related structures
  • lay out machining, welding or precision assembly projects
  • load or unload material or workpiece into machinery
  • maintain or repair industrial or related equipment/machinery
  • maintain welding machines or equipment
  • monitor production machinery/equipment operation to detect problems
  • move or fit heavy objects
  • operate metal or plastic fabricating equipment/machinery
  • perform safety inspections in manufacturing or industrial setting
  • program computer numerical controlled machines
  • read blueprints
  • read specifications
  • read technical drawings
  • recognize characteristics of alloys
  • recognize characteristics of metals
  • set up and operate variety of machine tools
  • set up computer numerical control machines
  • set up production equipment or machinery
  • solve machine tool problems
  • understand machine setup instructions
  • understand technical operating, service or repair manuals
  • use arc welding equipment
  • use drafting or mechanical drawing techniques
  • use hand or power tools
  • use knowledge of fire suppression methods in industrial emergencies
  • use knowledge of metric system
  • use machining practices
  • use non-destructive test equipment
  • use precision measuring tools or equipment
  • use robotics systems technology
  • use technical information in manufacturing or industrial activities
  • use x-ray or magnetic inspection techniques
  • weld together metal parts, components, or structures

Source: Occupational Information Network: Machinists.

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