Career summary

Details for Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Description

Set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.

Tasks

  • Examine completed workpieces for defects, such as chipped edges or marred surfaces and sort defective pieces according to types of flaws.
  • Measure completed workpieces to verify conformance to specifications, using micrometers, gauges, calipers, templates, or rulers.
  • Set stops on machine beds, change dies, and adjust components, such as rams or power presses, when making multiple or successive passes.
  • Start machines, monitor their operations, and record operational data.
  • Set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.
  • Test and adjust machine speeds or actions, according to product specifications, using gauges and hand tools.
  • Install, align, and lock specified punches, dies, cutting blades, or other fixtures in rams or beds of machines, using gauges, templates, feelers, shims, and hand tools.
  • Read work orders or production schedules to determine specifications, such as materials to be used, locations of cutting lines, or dimensions and tolerances.
  • Position guides, stops, holding blocks, or other fixtures to secure and direct workpieces, using hand tools and measuring devices.
  • Position, align, and secure workpieces against fixtures or stops on machine beds or on dies.
  • Load workpieces, plastic material, or chemical solutions into machines.
  • Adjust ram strokes of presses to specified lengths, using hand tools.
  • Clean and lubricate machines.
  • Mark identifying data on workpieces.
  • Clean work area.
  • Plan sequences of operations, applying knowledge of physical properties of workpiece materials.
  • Operate forklifts to deliver materials.
  • Lubricate workpieces with oil.
  • Turn controls to set cutting speeds, feed rates, or table angles for specified operations.
  • Scribe reference lines on workpieces as guides for cutting operations, according to blueprints, templates, sample parts, or specifications.
  • Place workpieces on cutting tables, manually or using hoists, cranes, or sledges.
  • Turn valves to start flow of coolant against cutting areas or to start airflow that blows cuttings away from kerfs.
  • Thread ends of metal coils from reels through slitters and secure ends on recoilers.
  • Grind out burrs or sharp edges, using portable grinders, speed lathes, or polishing jacks.
  • Remove housings, feed tubes, tool holders, or other accessories to replace worn or broken parts, such as springs or bushings.
  • Replace defective blades or wheels, using hand tools.
  • Set blade tensions, heights, and angles to perform prescribed cuts, using wrenches.
  • Select, clean, and install spacers, rubber sleeves, or cutters on arbors.
  • Hand-form, cut, or finish workpieces, using tools such as table saws, hand sledges, or anvils.
  • Preheat workpieces, using heating furnaces or hand torches.
  • Sharpen dulled blades, using bench grinders, abrasive wheels, or lathes.
  • Hone cutters with oilstones to remove nicks.

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.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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