National Application Center :: career details :: Numerical Control Machine Tool Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Career Details :: Numerical Control Machine Tool Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up and operate numerical control (magnetic- or punched-tape-controlled) machine tools that automatically mill, drill, broach, and ream metal and plastic parts. May adjust machine feed and speed, change cutting tools, or adjust machine controls when automatic programming is faulty or if machine malfunctions.
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience may be helpful in these occupations, but usually is not needed. For example, a drywall installer might benefit from experience installing drywall, but an inexperienced person could still learn to be an installer with little difficulty.
These occupations usually require a high school diploma and may require some vocational training or job-related course work. In some cases, an associate's or bachelor's degree could be needed.
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.
- Examines electronic components for defects and completeness of laser-beam trimming, using microscope.
- Enters commands or manually adjusts machine controls to correct malfunctions or tolerances.
- Lays out and marks areas of part to be shot-peened and fills hopper with shot.
- Cleans machine, tooling, and parts, using solvent or solution and rag.
- Determines specifications or procedures for tooling setup, machine operation, workpiece dimensions, or numerical control sequences, using blueprints, instructions, and machine knowledge.
- Mounts, installs, aligns, and secures tools, attachments, fixtures, and workpiece on machine, using hand tools and precision measuring instruments.
- Calculates and sets machine controls to position tools, synchronize tape and tool, or regulate cutting depth, speed, feed, or coolant flow.
- Positions and secures workpiece on machine bed, indexing table, fixture, or dispensing or holding device.
- Maintains machines and removes and replaces broken or worn machine tools, using hand tools.
- Monitors machine operation and control panel displays to detect malfunctions and compare readings to specifications.
- Selects, measures, assembles, and sets machine tools, such as drill bits and milling or cutting tools, using precision gauges and instruments.
- Operates lathe, drill press, jig-boring machine, or other machines manually or semiautomatically.
- Loads control media, such as tape, card, or disk, in machine controller or enters commands to retrieve programmed instructions.
- Starts automatic operation of numerical control machine to machine parts or test setup, workpiece dimensions, or programming.
- Lifts workpiece to machine manually, with hoist or crane, or with tweezers.
- Measures dimensions of finished workpiece to ensure conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments, templates, and fixtures.
- Stops machine to remove finished workpiece or change tooling, setup, or workpiece placement, according to required machining sequence.
- Confers with supervisor or programmer to resolve machine malfunctions and production errors and obtains approval to continue production.
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General Work Activities
- Handling and Moving Objects
- Controlling Machines and Processes
- Repairing & Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
- Performing General Physical Activities
- Monitor Processes, Material, Surroundings
- Operation and Control
- Operation Monitoring
- Product Inspection
- Equipment Selection
- Equipment Maintenance
Frequent Work Context
- Degree of Automation
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate
- Consequence of Error
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment