The primary role of a CNC Machinist is to create machine parts and tools using precision computer equipment. CNC (computer numerical control) Machinists set up, adjust and maintain all equipment used in their daily job activities. They are also responsible for creating programming instructions for the parts they are manufacturing. Once the parts or tools have been produced, CNC Machinists inspect the finished products to ensure they meet all specifications.
Set Up and Operate Precision Equipment
The main task of CNC Machinists is to operate the equipment needed to manufacture tools and machine parts. This requires that CNC Machinists set up such components as switches, tool registers and offsets and program computerized equipment to adjust for particular job specifications.
Maintain Precision Equipment
To reduce any possible downtime, CNC Machinists must perform regularly scheduled maintenance of all precision computer equipment. This includes running tests, replacing worn or broken parts and keeping inventory of parts and supplies needed to operate this equipment.
Inspect and Test Finished Products
Once a part or tool has been manufactured, CNC Machinists must inspect the completed item to ensure that it meets all specifications. They must be able to complete any inspection reports required by their employer.
Create Programming Documentation
CNC Machinists are often responsible for creating documents outlining step-by-step processes they followed to program equipment for specific jobs. They keep and maintain these documents and make any adjustments or updates as needed.
CNC Machinist Skills
Analytical, problem-solving and mechanical skills top the list of required abilities that must be displayed by CNC Machinists. Eye-hand coordination, strong math skills and the ability to stand for long periods of time at lathes, drills and other equipment are vital capabilities as well. Also, CNC Machinists should be detail-oriented individuals who can work with little or no supervision and possess strong written communication and computer skills. Besides these crucial skills, it is also important for CNC Machinists to possess the following abilities:
o Understanding of the operations of drills, lathes and milling equipment
o Setting up and maintaining computer manufacturing and production machines
o Programming precision computer equipment according to per-job specifications
o Reading schematics, blueprints and other documentation
o Writing and maintaining inspection and programming logs and manuals
- Hand tools and equipment – CNC Machinists need to have the ability to work with gauges, calipers, micrometers, scales, indicators and other items necessary to complete the manufacturing of tools and machine parts.
- Precision equipment computer software – it is vital that CNC Machinists have the ability to run necessary software needed to set up specific manufacturing jobs or to update or upgrade equipment as needed.
- Safety procedures and regulations – knowledge of safety regulations regarding all CNC equipment is an important aspect of being a CNC Machinist