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Are Machining Jobs Good Manufacturing Jobs…and, Why do I want one?
Machining positions are highly sought after. It is widely known that manufacturing jobs tend to be among the best paying, most desirable jobs available. Manufacturing jobs offer good pay and, often, extensive benefits. Automation and implementation of new technologies have transformed the scene.
Manufacturing jobs are not what many people think they are. There is a consistent demand for a skilled & productive workforce in this industry, and it is not likely to change anytime soon. Additionally, if you become part of the team in the right company, you will find they create opportunities for you to grow and develop. These factors are important for anyone who desires consistent, reliable employment with lots of opportunity and potential for their career.
Manufacturing jobs, including CNC machining jobs give you a lot of options. They are jobs that are interesting and can be challenging as well. . Here is an overview of some of the best opportunities in manufacturing jobs.
CNC machining is accomplished through the utilization of a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine. A program consisting of commands known as G code and M code, tell the machining center what to do, how fast to do it. The program is loaded into the machine, then made active in the control. The machine is set up to the hold the parts in the proper orientation. The parts are then loaded and once everything is proven out, the “cycle start” button is pressed and the machining begins.
The CNC machinist monitors the complex machinery as the program directs the machine to do the required tasks with great precision and repeatability. Computer numerical control or CNC supersedes the limitations of manual work. CNC machining allows great repeatability and precision to be obtained in the process.
Vertical Machining (Milling)
There are boundless opportunities in vertical Machining or milling. With the help of precision tools, the raw material is loaded into the machine and material is removed by machining or cutting away the raw material until the piece has reached the desired shape. In milling, the cutting head is fixed in a vertical orientation. The tools then spin as the raw material is moved into the spinning tool, causing chips to fly. Vertical machining is one of the machine tools a machinist uses in their work.
Turning (lathe work)
The turning machining process is a little different than vertical machining for several reasons. In Vertical machining the part is moved around and tool spins. In turning, the raw material normally spins and the tools move into the spinning material in a way to shape or cut it. The cutting tool is a non-rotating. Turning machining is another machine tool a machinist uses in their work.
CNC machine programming
The manufacturers utilize CNC programming to develop computer instructions for machine tool operation. CNC programming is the requirement of every new manufacturer regardless of industry. It combines automation with flexibility.
The CNC programmers create instruction for a computer program and implement it for CNC machines. It is related to electrical drives and sensors to complete the system. The device exists, and its rotation is controlled through a computer. It has two types
By hand or at the machine
The programming is done by hand, or the CNC programmer is on the machine and manually inputs the g & m code into the machines control.
With a cam system
The other way of CNC machine programming is through a cam system. A cam (computer aided manufacturing) is a software package developed to assist manufacturing companies in creating efficient CNC Machining programs. Geometry of the part is created in programming software. Then a programmer tells the software how the raw material should be machined. It is done virtually as the programmer is not physically present at the location. Next, the g code and the m code is automatically created by a post that is designed specifically for the CNC machine tool being used to run the parts. Then that program is downloaded into the CNC machine.
Manual machining (old school- no CNC needed)
Though automation and CNC machining has replaced manual Machining in some aspects, still manual Machining has its presence. Manual machining usually requires excellent technical skills. It covers the many aspects that are vital for the metal removal process. The human operators manually control the machines. Manual control of mill and lathe machines involves some dials, cranks, and hand levers for spindle adjustment or feed rate. It used in the following situations extensively
- For simple jobs with few parts.
- When this is the most efficient method
- Manual machining requires a significant level of skill
Various machining positions
There are different levels and classes of machining positions according to skill acquisition level. Your skill level and amount of experience are demonstrated through various groups and categories. You will be offered a machining job according to the skill set you have. Here are some varieties of different machining positions.
General laborers are typically at the beginning of a career in machining positions. They may have no or almost no experience in machining or manufacturing. The pay grade for the position reflects this. These team members are essential to any manufacturing business. They are the folks who make things happen. General laborers work under direct supervision.
These team members typically have a few set up duties. Experience is not required for this position. We will train team members who show interest and an aptitude for the work.
- Load/unload parts for machining
- Inspect parts
- Clean parts and prepare for shipment
Machine Tender (Button pusher)
These are semi-skilled team members and can do a little set up and job prep for machining jobs under supervision of more experienced team members. They can perform some machine tasks because they have some technical knowledge due to experience or basic training. They can do these jobs on their own. Experience is not required for this position. We will train team members who show interest and an aptitude for the work.
- Load/unload parts for machining
- Inspect parts
- Clean parts and prepare for shipment
The setup assistant is a position a semi-skilled person can hold in addition to their general laborer or machine tender position. The setup assistant should have good mechanical skills. They have good technical expertise in CNC machining or mechanical understanding but come with no certifications in the field. They are trained on the job. They can run CNC machines with supervision, but are not recognized as a fully-fledged machinist due to lack of experience or training. None the less, these team members are very valuable to the manufacturing operation. They assist by prepping the workstation and beginning the setup process under the supervision of the lead machinist. The setup assistant team members can perform duties such as:
- Works under the supervision of the lead machinist
- Uses setup sheet and notes to identify job requirements
- Gather tools and place them in machine
- Sets tool offsets and tool work offsets in machine
- Loads program into machine
- Stages parts by machine
Machinist 3rd Class
Able to fulfil all of setup assistant’s duties with very minimal supervision, but can also run low to medium complexity job and do low complexity CNC jobs with minimal setup without supervision. Able to edit tooling wear offsets. Has a basic understanding of CNC code programming. This position requires the Team member to have a good basic understanding of machining concepts, and to be able to set up and run manual machines such as a knee mill or lathe with little or no supervision. This position is a certified position and requires a minimum of a 1 year technical certification or the equivalent work experience.
Machinist 2nd class
Able to fulfil all of Machinist 3rd Class position requirements, but also can set up and run low to medium complexity jobs. Machinist 2nd class can do high complexity jobs with minimal assistance or supervision. Has a strong understanding of CNC programming language. Can read and understand Most CNC code. They are able to write CNC programs for low complexity and medium complexity jobs without assistance.
Machinist 1st class
Able to fulfil all of Machinist 2nd Class position, but also can do all setup and programming for CNC machines. Able to set up, program, and run low medium and high complexity jobs without supervision. Fully able to do all tasks related to Machining and has an excellent grasp of all phases of Machining. The machinist is responsible for all stages of his work. Set up, programming, inspection, production,
These are a few CNC machining job categories. If you have the proper education, training or experience as a CNC Machinist we would encourage you to apply and we would welcome the opportunity to interview you. The manufacturing field has countless opportunities for ambitious, skilled, and potential machinists. Manufacturing jobs may be a good choice for you.