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Manufacturing Production Technicians

The Job

Manufacturing production technicians set up, monitor, and maintain manufacturing machinery and equipment. They work in manufacturing facilities in various industries, such as in metal stamping plants, printing plants, chemical and plastics plants, and almost any type of large-scale industrial operation. They may adjust and repair automobile assembly line conveyor belts, robotic welding arms, and hydraulic lifts.

Manufacturing production technicians also help install equipment and machinery. As manufacturing companies improve their operations by investing in new equipment, they rely on technicians to properly situate and install the machinery. They also set up and test the operations of safety equipment.

Routine inspections and tests are part of manufacturing production technicians' job. They regularly test equipment and machinery to make sure it's operating correctly and make adjustments as needed, using calipers, micrometers, height gauges, and other tools. This scheduled maintenance work is important for preventing equipment malfunctions and breakdowns, which can cause production delays and financial losses for manufacturing companies. They keep detailed records on the equipment operations. They often follow blueprints and engineering specifications to set up and maintain equipment.

Manufacturing production technicians may have to make adjustments to the operational settings of manufacturing machinery. They work with the machine's regular operator to test it. When maintaining electronically controlled machinery, technicians may work closely with electronic repairers or electricians who maintain the machine's electronic parts.

Production technicians can often identify potential breakdowns and fix problems before any real damage or delays occur. For example, they may notice that a machine is vibrating, rattling, or squeaking, or they may see that the items produced by the machine are flawed. Many machines are built with programmed internal evaluation systems that check the accuracy and condition of equipment. This helps technicians in their jobs and can also add to their responsibilities for maintaining the check-up systems.

Technicians use a wide range of tools for preventive maintenance or repairs, which may be simple tools such as a screwdriver and wrench to repair an engine or a hoist to lift a printing press off the ground. They may also use power and hand tools and precision measuring instruments. They use any combination of electrical, electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic, or computer technologies in their work. The computer software programs they use during the workday can include analytical or scientific software such as Cadence PSpice and Minitab; computer-aided design software such as Autodesk AutoCAD and National Instruments Multisim; development environment software such as National Instruments LabVIEW; enterprise resource planning software like SAP; and computer numerical control software.

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