What does a Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operator, Metal and Plastic do?

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

Jobs Roles

  • 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.
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