Grinders play an important role in the final part of the manufacturing process of metals and plastics by removing extra materials on the surfaces of the finished products. Through the use of machines and hand tools, they also sharpen edges and polish them according to instructions and specifications. Grinders use industrial bench grinders, metalworking lathes, computer numerically controlled (CNC) grinders, calipers and micrometers, among others, in performing their job. Some of the things that they grind may include jewelry, plastic tables and chairs and gun barrels.
Grinders must prepare the grinding machines before using them. Following specifications, they dress grinding wheels and mount them on the machines. They would then turn on the equipment and start the grinding and polishing process. They must be watchful while the machine is operating so that they can make adjustments if needed and turn them off immediately in the event of a malfunction. After the machine has finished with the pieces, grinders remove them and separate the good ones from those that have flaws.
Although most of the work they do are done on machines, grinders also use hand tools to finalize the finish of the metals or plastics they are working on. They also inspect each piece manually to ensure that the dimensions are met and surfaces are smoothened following specific instructions.
In addition to grinding and polishing metals and plastics, grinders are also responsible for maintaining the equipment they use. To ensure that the machines will continue to work well, they regularly clean and lubricate the parts. If they notice that there are parts that are worn out or broken, they use hand tools to replace them. They may also need to sharpen grinding tools on a regular basis. They also see to it that their workspace is clean after their shift.
Why Become a Grinder
A career as a grinder is well-suited for those who love to work with machines. Computers may have made doing things a bit easier but grinders are still responsible for setting up, operating and maintaining grinding equipment. Thus, those who have the patience to learn all about the use of grinding machines will find this career to be very satisfying. Individuals who are keen on the details and take pride in making a product look beautiful will find fulfillment in this occupation.
Grinder Work Environment
Grinders work for factories that manufacture various metal and plastic goods. They usually work fulltime during regular hours but overtime is typically expected in this job. It is also not unusual for grinders to work in the weekends or evenings since manufacturers usually operate for long stretches each day. Grinders must wear glasses to protect their eyes from the metal bits and pieces that may fly from the metal or plastic goods that they are polishing and ear plugs to keep their ears shielded from the noise of the machines in the factory. They must also follow safety precautions in handling grinding equipment to prevent getting cuts. Moreover, employers also expect grinders to put a premium on accuracy so that errors are minimized, resources are conserved and work is finished on time.